by Rob Thurman
Reviewed by Ruby
Family is the theme of the day as the entire Puck race gathers in New York City to hold a lottery to see which unlucky few have to reproduce in order to keep the race alive; Nikoís deadbeat father shows up in town with an unstoppable metal golem on his ass that is bent on destroying their entire Clan; and Calís half-Auphe, half-brother shows up out of nowhere wanting Calís help to restart their race.
And, despite the third plot being billed last on the back cover, surprise, surprise, it takes up the majority of the book. I am so sick and tired of listen to Cal bitch about being half-Auphe. Even if he has Ďcome to termsí with it, he still spends most of the book dwelling on it. To makes matters worse the majority of his ramblings are incoherent or repetitive. We know that the brothers would do anything up to including getting themselves killed to protect the other one (it is only been mentioned in every single book so far), we know the Auphe and sick and twisted and have been around since the beginning of time (how many books have the Auphe been in? At least half of the books before this one, maybe more; can we find a new enemy please?). We know what happened in the last book, we read it; it doesnít need to be summarized. (Seriously who picks up book seven of a series and starts reading?)
I would have loved to find out about Nikoís thoughts and feelings, since it was his father that showed up. I find he is such an underused character and he is only an extension of Cal. It almost as if he only exists to be Calís conscious and nothing else. I feel like his character has degraded somewhat and where he once was awesome and deep now he is almost one dimensional.
And the whole Puck story line was over in less than two chapters and had nothing to do with the rest of the book. There are other characters besides Cal in the series and I wish the author would actually use some on them. Everything recently has been about Cal and him wiping out the Auphe (how many times has he done that now? Three? And still he hasnít succeeded.) I am getting bored with it.
I never read any of the books for the plots, always for the characters and the interaction between the brothers, but now character development and even what there was of plot, has been sacrificed so we can listen to Cal and all of his sarcastic, fowl-mouthed ramblings. After seven books, enough is enough. None of it is entertaining or original anymore.
I wish Robinís story could have taken up more than a chapter. It would have been a more interesting read than Cal vs. the Auphe part a million.
I thought the ending to the Janus story line made very little sense given the story up to that point.
I really wish there could be one book that wasnít told from Calís point-of-view. After seven books, I feel like we have heard it all. He hasnít had anything new to say in awhile. I also wish that, given that he was meeting his father for the first time, we could have had some chapters (or the whole book!) told from Nikoís point-of-view.
I guess itís a Ďbe careful what you wish forí thing, since I had wished for a Niko story apart from all of Calís issues, and I got this: Niko playing a minor supporting role while it was still, somehow, all about Cal.
I was also wishing for a happier ending, but I guess thatís something we just may not get with this series. Nothing to come between Cal and Nikoís brotherly bond in the long run.
And what the heck was up with Promise in this book? Sheís never been a favourite of mine (canít help that I am a Niko/Robin fan) but I think her actions were strange in this book. She just kind of abandoned them while they were still on the run from Janus. Why? And I wish we could explore more about her animosity to Robin, but have a feeling that if we do I will regret it.
Bringing back the Auphe, again, just seems to me like the author has run out of creativity in the series. The Auphe donít have to be the enemies in every book! It would actually be better if they stayed dead and never came back!