Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
I have a problem lately with the contemporaries in this series. I don't know why, there seems to be something missing. Don't ask me what, it's just a feeling. That doesn't mean I don't like books written by JAK, and that especially doesn't mean I didn't like this book. Because I did. A lot, I just wish it was written by her alter ego, I think it would've worked better as a historical.
Why? Because it had a rather Old World feel to me. First with Fallon's impeccable manners, his being a little of a throw-back into the Victorian era (the guy carried around a handkerchief, for crying out loud), second with Isabella - she too seemed a bit out of place in the particular time, and third with the setting, isolated, special...It all felt a bit Victorian, if you ask me. That's why everything else seemed a bit jarring when it intruded in this special, little world. The suspense, the intrigue, the change of setting...Somehow it didn't quite gel.
It wasn't the suspense that made this book work - though it wasn't bad, once I got past the "intrusion", but it were the two leads. In my opinion, this was the first Arcane contemporary, that concentrated more on the two leads than the suspense and the mystery. And it worked. I've been waiting for Fallon's story since the beginning. I was fascinated by this reclusive, mysterious character living like a hermit somewhere "in the wild". And I wasn't disappointed when his story has finally been told. From the beginning of the series I've been watching him through the eyes of others, now he finally got a voice of his own, and the recounting of others didn't do him justice. He was this utterly misunderstood soul, everybody thought he was going nuts, becoming a conspiracy theorist of the worst kind, and it took a real conspiracy theorist to enlighten Fallon and the rest of his family and coworkers, that the guy was as sane as they come, relying on logic and detective work to fuel his "conspiracy theories" instead of guess-work and blind luck.
Yep, it took a special woman to show the reader, Fallon and the world, just what a special kind of guy this hero was.
The rest was pretty much predictable - the romance part, I mean, since it was obvious in that one scene in Fired Up just where Fallon and Isabella were heading romance-wise. It's such a cliché, the whole boy-meets-girl-boy-falls-for-girl-and-vice-versa and its paranormal twist (their abilities are completely compatible, so thy must be soul-mates) even more so, but it works. Every single time it works.
The only unpredictable thing in this book was the suspense. The villain came out of the left field, the Nightshade is back in business (I've forgotten about them), and the Bridewell curiosities were a nice touch (I hope to read more about them in the second book in this trilogy). But the suspense was just a side-dish, a garnish for the story of Fallon and Isabella.