Deceptions and illusions at every turn.
Olivia Taylor-Jones has just had her life upended. She has discovered she’s adopted and her real parents are convicted serial killers. Hiding in the small town of Cainesville to escape media attention, she finds herself at the center of a very different sort of plot that may or may not involve the true nature of her parents. Behind the lies and pretty fakery lie the twisted secrets of the fae and their trickery runs deep.
There are several aspects to this novel. One is the Welsh mythology that runs throughout. I found that fascinating in the extreme. Without having read the first two books however, I was utterly lost and floundered around like a misplaced fish. So-take my advice and don’t pick this book up until you’ve had the pleasure of reading the first two. They are now on my list. With all the mysteries dredged up, the plot kept me guessing and summarily scratching my head. I just didn’t have the correct context in which to read the book in the middle of the series. The author has too many things going on and you need to have the solid background for the book to flesh out in the appropriate fashion.
Another appealing facet of this book was the love triangle between Olivia, Gabriel and Ricky. There was tension in the air and wow…you can feel something building here. Sort of Twilight-ish. Ricky is perfect-in my mind almost too perfect for a biker. Gabriel is moody and I’m not altogether sure where things are going to lead but either way, it’s going to be interesting.
The nightmarish quality of Olivia’s visions was the part that intrigued me the most. Her heritage brings her down all manner of dark passages and leaps in time and space. And bodies for that matter. Despite not knowing exactly what I was reading, I was transfixed by the sheer creep factor of Olivia being inside of her mother’s body while she was in the asylum watching her relative-and seeing the true nature of the nurse as a shining one. So cool. The rage. The thrumming emotion. It was as vibrant as any painting. There is a lot of fear of the unknown and it floods the pages, making any lover of horror, romance or fantasy just revel in it.
My rating of 4/5 is mostly based on the fact that picking up the book, I wanted to be able to understand what was going on and at least be able to have a point of reference without having to have read the others in the series. I didn’t have that and was quite frustrated. If not for that, this would be a five star all the way. The characters were alive. The sex scenes-the ones that there were-were hot and appropriate for the story line. The dialogue was spot on. The mythology nicely woven into the fiber of the book. With Kelly Armstrong I would expect nothing less. She is one of my favorite PNR authors and has been for years. I will be going back and investing time and money in the other books in the series because now I simply have to find out what the heck is going on. The mystery is too compelling for me not to.
Read them in order-but read them. And be sure to sleep with the lights on.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.