This is the last of the Roma Nova saga. I can't say much about the cover other than it's similar to the last two books, and although I found the covers dull, together they make an impressive collection.
The title Successio, in Latin, means descent, inheritance, succeeding etc so I think this book could focus on the main protagonist's family life. Maybe the grandmother, Aurelia Mitela (Nonnie), elderly in the last book, has died and Carina inherits? Shall have to read to find out.
The blurb nicely includes a first line hint at the troubles of the previous episodes before drawing me back into Carina's life. The blurb also reinforces my belief that this book will concentrate on troubles brewing in the Mitela household.
The look inside is again (almost) the same as the others--background story--which because I commented on before I shan't do so here.The only difference was the illustration of Carina. A nice touch.
Straight into the review of the story...
The beginning hinted at friction between Carina and her stepdaughter, Stella, which was nicely done. Nothing heavy handed. Then Conrad received a mysterious letter where Carina, instead of asking him about its contents, decided to be sneaky and follow him.I've always come away feeling that Conrad and Carina aren't a strong match for one another. They seem to mistrust the other, and in Book 1 and 2 I felt it was because he'd picked up on the sexual spark between Carina and Apollodorus--maybe he'll just never forgive her. Maybe I read too many romances!
Anyway, instead of asking her husband what the hell is going on Carina follows him and discovers he has a daughter from a past relationship laying claim to his affections. Nicola Sandbrook is resentful of Conrad's other family (Carina and her children) but worse, she is now the heir to the throne after the beloved death of Grandmother Nonnie (I came to love this character, and it was a sad moment when she passed).
Nicola is a nasty, flawed character, and intent on destructing the entire foundations of the Mitela household. She first causes trouble by trying to lead Carina and Conrad's oldest daughter, Allegra, astray, but then settles on Stella (another daughter from Conrad's past) and uses Stella's jealously over her stepmother Carina to worm her way into the Mitela household.
Then her destruction gets steadily worse as Carina and Conrad drift even further apart.
Successio, like the others in the series, is a plot driven book rather than character but I preferred Successio to the others because in this one, Carina seems more human and less of a superwoman. Conrad was allowed emotions as well, but so much so, I began to think he was a wimp! Neither could I understand why he was blind to Nicola's evilness and turn his back on Carina and their other children.
Subtly, Morton had dropped into the story that Conrad had had an accident and although recovered physically I felt his mental state was still in rehabilitation (because of his eagerness to side with his villainous daughter), but whether this was intended or not, I wasn't sure.
Even so, Carina was cruel to break the news in front of others about the activities of this bad daughter. She should have waited until they were alone. Their massive bust-up over it could still have happened, but the reader would have been more in Carina's court. Instead, I lost sympathy for her a little.
It's a tight read, tighter than the others, which seemed to have many little sub-plots feeding through. I did think that Carina would have had more respect at work by now, and the constant put downs she received was unnecessary because she'd proved herself time and again that she was an effective solider.
Successio is probably the only book out of the three that you could read as a stand-alone novel. It's genre is an alternative history (and well thought out) but first it's a crime story with a strong emphasis on thriller.
I have waited a long time for this and read it very quickly!!! Too quickly I am now waiting for the next book................... To be serious for a minute. I enjoyed the first 2 books in this series. I wasn't sure when I started reading the first one, but soon got stuck in The 3rd book deals with the family a bit more and there were times when i wanted to kick Conrad up the backside!! It is a little darker than the previous books, but not too dark There is drama There is violence ( not over the top and should not put you off) There is pathos There is politics There is humour ( not a lot but subtle when it is there) There are stroppy teenagers There are confused parents
Really just about everything you need in a good book and this IS a GOOD book
Well done Alison, worth waiting for, now no sitting on your laurels, when is the next due out!!!
Alison Morton has been acclaimed for this series of books, and that acclaim is well justified: the narrative moves along swiftly and deftly, and the quality of the writing is clear. Not very many typos but there are other notable editorial errors, mainly to do with punctuation, syntax and consistency, and totalling just under 100. This level of errors is broadly representative of that in other books issued by this self-publishing company.
I enjoyed this and the previous two. Rome survives in an alternative world which is otherwise very like our own. I'm not convinced by how this happened, but putting that aside gives strong political thrillers that uses the differences between this world and our own, rather than the parallels (as Harry Turtledove tends to do at length) to generate strong story lines.Recommended if you like SF or alternate history.
I have been awaiting this book with bated breath. Having read and loved the previous two Roma Nova books I was delighted to see the third one released. Another great book from Alison Morton, filled with intrigue, action, excitement, but definitely not missing emotion. I cannot recommend these books highky enough - if you haven't read any of them already, please do, you are missing out on a great piece of writing.