The more I think about this book the less invested I become. As with the previous books in this series I read this book in one day. That means I didn’t sit there and linger. The gaps and lulls both become less apparent and more apparent. However the big takeaway that I got from this book after reading it was that I simply didn’t enjoy it like I hoped.
I’m not going to pretend like I’m the biggest fan of these books. I like the series enough that I’ve continued, but I don’t really feel invested in the characters. Still there were enough twists and changes in dynamics that I stuck around. After this one, I’m less eager to read the next book than I was to pick up this one. So much of the story fell flat. I was looking for character development, but received very little. However what was the biggest downside was the decrease in big moments and the few that did emerge fell flat.
One of the reasons that I enjoyed the books in the series thus far was that they didn’t shy away from big moments. Sometimes these moments were complete shockers that came largely from left field, other times they were big moments that were building, but weren’t sure if Rhodes was actually going to go there. Either way, these were moments that didn’t often last long, but left you wondering and curious how the characters and the world would react to these moments and events. The story would then slow to a crawl with little progression and slow building as they reacted and new events were set in motion. It kept things interesting enough. Thus when this book decided not to throw those big moments throughout the novel but held off for the end I ended up feeling like the novel was dragging. We didn’t get any real progression to the plot until the end. Certain events were set in motion and steps were taken, but it was slow and with nothing to shake up what was expected.
The change in structure actually resembled other novels in which it builds slowly and more and more until the end when there are a string of big moments. I missed the former structure that shook things up at different intervals.
The real problem was that we saw a couple of character deaths in this one. One of which was of a character I previously liked enough. However, that character’s behavior had changed so much that he didn’t feel the same. Thus by the time he met what should have been his tragic end I didn’t much care. Heck, I hardly cared when the other big event happened to him previously. Likely because it was tied to a character who has only grown more and more insufferable as the novels continued.
Then there was a death that did hurt. Surprisingly it was from a character we didn’t get as much of. However, that character shared moments with another that was building to something I really enjoyed. Their time was tangible. Their interactions were unpredictable and exciting with possibility. Then the character was snuffed out and that one hurt.
I also need to address Magnus. I’m officially sick of his character. He has become so one note with his insistence that his bad despite his actions largely acting to the contrary. It’s annoying at this point. I want him to take a good look at himself because his insistence that he is bad is becoming stale. Also I don’t need the constant reminder that he is pouty because his sister doesn’t like him like he liked her. At least now he seems to be developing feelings for someone else.
Even my dear Jonas, who is still my favorite character, was relegated to trite material this book. Either falling in the lack of chemistry relationship with Lysandra or acting foolish around his new friend, Jonas was a shadow of the fire that we saw previously.
Maybe it was just middle book syndrome. Things definitely happened. By the end of the novel the playing field had been altered, but I just didn’t care for this leg of the journey.