I've had this book for over a month. Thank you, Netgalley. I gave myself ample time to re-read it for a 3rd time before posting on my blog. For one, it's one of my favorites out of the series now, dethroning the Black Sea trip and the Midnight Games. Second, when I enjoy a book so much and then post right after (see a ton of reviews on random Jane Yellowrock books), it's a mess of 'OMG OMG OMG OMG' and not much else. So taking my time to review it gives a better review in the end. Here we go ...
With Kate and Curran now separated from the Pack, they're getting their own private affairs in order. Curran has the Guild and Kate has the entire city of Atlanta. Now, the witch oracle has foreseen the death of Curran and/or the son he and Kate would have when they go to war with Roland. So of course, the entire book revolves around trying to prevent that battle, failing at that part, but at least preventing the deaths. I'll touch on scenes from the book during the review. Let's do this.
I can't give a proper review about the actual book itself without my feelings getting in the way. For me, this was the most emotional but not in a way you would think.
***Prepare yourself for spoilers***
Saiman has been kidnapped by Roland and it starts off a chain of events.
In this book in particular, Roland is basically poking at Kate with a long pointy stick. The stick isn't sharp enough to stab but if you keep making knicks, blood will be drawn. And it's really incredible to see how Roland purposefully does this to push Kate. He tries to talk his way out of things with her or talk his way into things with her all the same. But the thing that I hate about it is I'm so drawn into the picture of Roland that Ilona Andrews has created for him that I want to give in to his whims. I want to do everything he wants me to do if I were in Kate's shoes. Roland has been described as being so fatherly and loving-looking that any child would want him as their dad and desperately want his approval. Apparently, when you are favored by him and he smiles at you, the sun shines. And I've become so drawn to that when Roland is in the scene that I get so sucked in that I'm wondering whose side I'm on. It's ridiculous! I've read this and wondered ... Would it be so bad to go over to his side? Maybe he won't treat 'me' as badly as he treated Hugh because I'm his daughter (I'm aware that I've completely thrown myself in this as if I'm Kate and this is my memoir, lol). Surely, I'd be treated with much more care.
It's that same lull into a false sense of security that he's trying to work on Julie. The difference between Julie and I is that she's much smarter than I am or give her credit for. She's an orphan and she's been taken in my Kate and Curran, then here comes 'grandpa' teaching you all these amazing magical things that you've longed for so you'll do something for him later. Surely, she'd fall for it. And just when you think she would, a situation with an anchor slaps her in the face.
Let's talk about those anchors.
Out of all the anchors, the one I'm going to talk about is the one that had the most profound effect on the events of the book.
The witch oracle is really a tricky bunch. We learn that their are anchors ... Things that need to happen in order for the 'correct' version of the future to take place. Sienna, one of the witches, will call Kate with some cryptic warning that ends up being an anchor. Kate goes on with what she needs to do for the day, encounters it and deals with the fallout. So, basically, if Roland gets to the anchor first, the chain of events will fall in favor of his version of the future. But in order for Kate to alter it to her version, she has to secure the anchor. A lot of the big moments in this book come from having to deal with those anchors. Although one didn't have a direct effect on Julie, it shattered her a little. Don't worry, though, she picks herself up and keeps moving with her eyes open a little wider than before.
The same anchor I mention above will also effect the Pack and how the battle is played out in the end. I mean honestly ... if Jim hadn't done what he did, I really think the battle could have been avoided. But ... Yea, he was going to do SOMETHING after what happened, I would expect nothing less.
Moving on ... I was complaining to a friend a few weeks ago that in certain books, when someone has awesome cosmic powers, they're always fighting against them so they don't become evil. I was saying that I, for once, want someone to get those powers and just do whatever the fuck they want. That didn't happen here ... But ... Some pretty cool shit did happen.
Ever since Kate claimed the city, her power has been growing. And you don't really get the full breadth of it until Kate has a run in with her dad after she confronts him about something early on. It's so difficult to explain, the sheer elation I felt when Kate was being sucked in by her own power. It's like ... Dad is getting in her face, literally, with his power flailing and Kate is like ... Oh hell no, let me show you what's up. All this power from Roland is bashing up against all that power from Kate while they're having a yelling match. It's like ... you push me, I'm going to push you. I can't describe it. A storm came! A fucking storm. All because of this argument. Later, in the Guild, Roland will appear and argue with Kate again, but that argument won't be in English. When the argument ends, she'll notice everyone cowering in corners, noses bleeding and all that and she'll realize that she was speaking an old/timeless Language of Power that she didn't even know she could speak.
The other cool thing about all this is that the power is at a point where it's talking to her, trying to change her and Kate is slipping. When I say slipping, I mean ... Questioning herself. She's hesitating before she realizes that this isn't something she wants. In future books, I'm going to be cheering death-bringing Kate on. I want it so badly I can taste it! But with that, comes Curran, who I believe will follow her to the ends of the Earth because he loves her so much. He says so ... That's another conversation worth really paying attention to when you read it.
I'm almost finished, I just need to touch on one more conversation. Roland comes to see Kate at Cutting Edge and they talk. They sit quietly, share a beer, talk about the past and the possible future and I found myself unable to keep my head clear. There was a part of me that was sitting there in Kate's place on the verge of tears. Roland was saying all the right things and making the right gestures. Kate even thought about giving in before remembering just who she is and what she's fighting for. Had it been me, I would have been out of there, on Roland's back, killing people as I walked down the street. It was the most genuine moment between the two of them and one of my favorite scenes of the book.
There are a million big things that take place in just this book and it's one of the primary reasons why I read it 3 times before I posted this review. It goes with out saying ... I love it. The battle at the end is everything you want it to be. The way Kate got her army together is everything. The surprise that is Christopher is MORE everything. And let me say ... All this is going on while Roman is planning Kate's wedding. Yes, Roman.
A few things I will keep a look out for in the next installment: The Iron Dog that was on the cross, Adora, the conversation Kate had with the witches at the end, Saiman being bled dry, Curran and his 'dinner', Hugh (slim chance), and Red (Julie's ex but he may not pop up until further down the line if at all).
Yea ... I think this one is my favorite. I don't think any book that comes out the rest of the year will top this.
P.S. F*ck Jim! And I say that with equal amounts of love and hate.