Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
So in my review of the previous book Seventh Grave and No Body I said that the overall myth-arc of the storyline with Charley's background and the battle with Hell all felt muddled and I hope that the author surprises me and pulls it all together so I go 'Aha!'. Well that isn't happening. If anything I am getting an "Oh, Dear.." feeling. A feeling like this storyline isn't well thought out and is being delivered rather poorly.
At this point the only thing still tethering me to this series is my affection for Charley and her crew: Cookie, Bob, Amber, Garret, Angel, Reyes, Osh ..etc.
But the story...eesh!
First this one felt boring. They were stuck in a convent on consecrated grounds because the 12 hell hounds were after them. Charley helps the FBI find a missing girl using her phone & Cookie's (& now Amber's) exponentially increasingly information skills. Additionally there is a dead nun on the grounds and Charley needs to find out her story to help her cross over.
I am in the minority I think amongst the reviewing crowd for these books. I usually like the case-of-the week stuff. But I do have to concede this one felt like an 'eh...whatever.'
Second, I am getting some consistency issues. Like I said above It feels like the long plot arc hasn't been well thought out. It feels like each book, rather than getting more information about Charley that builds on what we have already learned, that we are instead getting new information that feels like "ooh, let's make this happen!" Like, for instance, Amber's sudden conversion to a ..what is she? Mystic? Psychic? Astral communicator?
Third, there is a major confrontation at the end that should have been epic and awesome and made my heart speed up and my fist pump. But it was the opposite of all of that. It was more like ..."Wait, what am I reading here?"
The characters all know more stuff than they are telling, but not for real organic reasons. Their silence and secretiveness all feels like it is just for reasons to create false suspense. A way to pull the trigger on a great revelation only for it to fizzle because it wasn't well deployed.
Overall some of the revelations in the end feel disturbingly like a giant retcon (the 12 hellhounds are what now?) We get a lot of new information but what we learn doesn't feel consistent with how characters acted in the past, imo.
And there there is the final chapter. I am guessing it is supposed to feel like a game changer. It really doesn't though. It feels more like "Oooh, let's make this happen!"
Oh well. I will probably still read the next book. Still hoping for that 'Aha!' If it doesn't it may well be the death knell of my enjoyment of this series.