Set after the short story in Dreams Made Flesh and "The Price," this focuses on Surreal getting trapped by Black Widows' tangled webs in a Haunted House and the rest of the family figuring out a way to safely get everyone out in one piece.
I don't think any book will ever compare to the original Trilogy and DMF. The characters (despite a heart-to-heart talk between Saetan and Daemon) are really losing their edge. Jaenelle, always a bit of a pawn in the Trilogy, is even less impressive in this one. And my favorite, Saetan, continues to separate himself from the living. grr.
BUT the story examines an interesting side to the Blood and focuses on how the landens (non-Blood) and Blood relate to each other. Tersa has a few moments where you realize the power she might have had. Daemon & Jaenelle; and Lucivar & Marian enjoy each others...company... Surreal continues to grow up.
I was interested in how Ms Bishop explores her world more fully in each story she writes about the Realms. I found myself learning something new about all of the characters. It was enough to make me like the book, and I do recommend it to fans of the other Black Jewels books.
I was deeply disappointed in this. Though the story centered around Surreal, many of the usual characters made appearances -- Daemon, the High Lord, Jaenelle, Tersa, Marion, the kindred -- their involvement was fairly limited and superficial, despite the book's description implying that the entire family will come together to help one of their own. The plot itself seemed very shallow and contrived, with Surreal being tricked into arriving at this "Haunted House", then appearing to be fairly helpless within, which is out of character for Surreal. Jaenelle appeared particularly insipid and, in general, the story lacked credibility and was dreadfully predictable. I loved the original Blood trilogy, as well as the volume of short stories, and re-read them frequently, but this has no "re-read" value at all.
The one bright spot was a previously published short story about one of Surreal's assassination jobs which was included at the end. It was much more in the flavor of the original stories and very enjoyable, though short.
Great fans of the series will want to read this for a bit of background on Surreal and an update on Jaenelle and her Twilight's Dawn, but it is, unfortunately, not a "keeper". Those who are not fans of Bishop's series, don't bother.
I just finished reading this and I LOVE it. Focused on Surreal and Rainier's plight while trapped in a web of illusions, I found it a wonderful read. While the main characters we all love to pieces were relatively minor players in this story, they still reveal more of themselves in their interactions and I love getting to know them.
This book was such a treat because the danger was relatively removed from the characters closest to my heart. I really enjoyed having a chance to see some of them enjoying relative normalcy and peace, everyday life. I spent the original trilogy wishing for that sort of peace for them and could read much more of the same.
I do hope Ms. Bishop will continue to write about Janelle and how her power has changed with her switch from her Ebony Jewels to Twilight's Dawn. While the trilogy would most likely be impossible to top, I still think that threats to the world could require the intervention of Witch and her unofficial circle and I would love to read about that!
Not equal to the trilogy, but still a very satisfying read. ^_^
This latest installment was quite enjoyable - a very fast read. And, like the others, it left me wanting more.
I think I would've enjoyed it more if it had been more about the main characters and less about Surreal - who's story is clearly not finished since she doesn't seem that happy... yet. Also, Graysfang's missing presence was a little upsetting.
Still, it was highly entertaining, even if it wasn't as good as the original trilogy.