DS Gemma Woodstock has moved to Melbourne after the harrowing experiences in Sarah Bailey's previous novel The Dark Lake.
Unfortunately, her attempts to start fresh are stymied by her troubled personality. Drinking too much, one night stands, lonely in a new city, and guilty for leaving her son Ben with his father, Gemma has brought her problems with her.
Despite having really liked The Dark Lake and expecting to feel the same about this one, I didn't have the sense of involvement. Into the Night doesn't have the same absorbing quality that made her first novel stand out for me.
Read in September. Review scheduled for Nov. 15.
NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing
Police Procedural. Dec. 4, 2018. Print length: 416 pages.
Hmmm. Didn't realize I never reviewed Mirror Gate, the second in the Harbinger series by Jeff Wheeler. I didn't read Storm Glass, the first in the series, which is a bit strange as I've read everything I possibly could by Wheeler and eagerly awaited the next. I went through the King Fountain series with bated breath because I loved the characters and the plots were so compelling.
Anyway, I didn't feel any loss at not having read the first book, as I quickly settled in with Sera and Cettie, the setting, and the plot.
Wheeler has a particular aptitude with characters, both the main protagonists and the secondary characters emerge with depth and dimension. He also excels at world-building, especially the cultural and political elements of the worlds he creates.
Sera, a princess, and Cettie, a homeless waif, are both lonely girls who end up together at a school for the "mysteries." Their friendship develops although their dreams, abilities, and goals are different.
In Mirror Gate, Sera's difficulties with her father take a turn for the worse when her grandfather the king dies, and her father is determined to take the reins and eliminate any competition from Sera.
As Sera and Cettie are preparing for their tests in the mysteries, Sera makes a serious misstep that will result in consequences that will change her perspective. Cettie continues to grow stronger in her abilities and must face a supernatural foe.
YA Fantasy. Aug. 28, 2018. Print length: 348 pages.
Iron Garland continues the adventures three years later; the war with King Fountain has been calamitous. Both girls have developed into stronger versions of their personalities. Sera has learned to bide her time and control her impulses; Cettie, whose skills are crucial in the war with King Fountain, has learned how to handle those who would pressure her.
The possibility of a negotiated end to the war has been floated and will require a sacrifice on Sera's part.
Fully fleshed characters and engrossing plots make Wheeler's work stand out, and I'm glad to see the connection with King Fountain becoming a significant part of the story.
Read in September. Review scheduled for
YA Fantasy. Nov. 13, 2018. Print length: 352 pages.