Total Hours to Read: 3 ½
--Average pages per minute: 1.58
Sex/Romance: Some minor romantic action.
Violence: Yep. Gore, too.
Thoughts: To start, the book changed the protagonist and I did NOT sign up for that. I got invested in Tom and Hester. Second, I saw no good reason to invest myself in the new character. They were whiny and uninteresting and didn't seem to make any choices of importance for themselves, and I only kept reading because I was still interested in the larger storyline. The character developments in this book felt forced and unnatural, and in some cases the characters weren't developed at all. They made the same mistakes for the same reasons, had the same reactions and got the same results. Highly frustrating. The timeline also didn't seem to fit. [<<<<<<<SPOILER WARNING>>>>>>> Spoilers ahead for the first three books] In the first book Tom and Hester were mid-teens (specifically Tom was 15), and at the beginning of the next book they had spent only two years together since the fall of London. At the end of "Predator's Gold," (the second book) Hester was pregnant with Tom's child. At the beginning of this book, we start with Wren Natsworthy, their child, who is fifteen years old. That means that Hester and Tom should be in their mid-30s at the most. But Hester is going gray and Tom is balding?!?!!? Hester's character seems to have stagnated, she swings full on to her "Valentine side" which seems completely out of character, very forced, then she doesn't really change, and ends up feeling very 2-dimensional in this book as a result. In Predator's Gold my interest was piqued by the change in Hester as she embraced her bit of Valentine, but in this book it was poorly utilised and given no depth or realistic development. Also, Tom and Hester had a child and lived peacefully for 15 years and those two still have the same exact problems! Sure, it may happen in real life, but that doesn't make it interesting in a book. Hester has the same messed up motivations as she did for the first two books! The first two books I get, but by three books in and fifteen years later there should be some sort of development or growth! It was just extremely frustrating. [<<<<<<<END SPOILERS>>>>>>>]
All in all this book was frustrating and a little disappointing. I really hope Mr. Reeve can bring it back for the final book of the series! Still a fascinating, well-developed world with history, lore, and a wide variety of characters to meet. Plus the overarching plotline still has my attention.
In the end: 3 out of 5 stars. 🤞 Here's hoping the final book ties it all off with a pretty bow!