Stars: 3 out of 5.
Well, this book was a big disappointment, especially compared to book 3. Don’t get me wrong. It started strong with a murder and an explosion and a new actor trying to take over Babylon (again). It’s fast paced and a lot of things happen, and good guys win in the end, well sort of… but it just doesn’t hit the same as previous books.
Problem is, this series is starting to get formulistic. In every book, something happens and Kate looks for clues, but finds nothing. So they go visit Little Man, who gives them some clues. Then they hit a dead and again, so they go talk to Abe in prison… again, and get insulted and not learn much at all. Honestly, what’s the point visiting Uncle Abe in every book apart from reminding the reader what a horrible human being he is? Then by the end of the book Volos swoops in to help save the day… again. No matter which book in the series you pick up, the order of events is exactly the same.
Are you telling me that Kate doesn’t have any informants other than Little Man? And if Little Man is so knowledgeable in all underground Babylon affairs, why is he living in squalor? Why isn’t he brokering this information better? Also, why do we have to go talk to Abe all the time? Honestly, at this point, you give the creepy guy in prison more intel by showing up there than you are getting from him. Not to mention, it’s getting boring.
My biggest pet peeve though is that the author is trying to push Kate and Volos together by making us believe that Volos can be good for her, or that she still has romantic feelings for him. Erm, bad idea. The author spent three previous books showing us that Volos is ruthless, domineering, cruel at times, and not above using blackmail to get what he wants from anyone, including Kate. He constantly tries to insert himself into her life and dominate it. Their relationship is toxic to the Nth degree. WHY are we all of a sudden trying to put him into the status of love interest? No, just no.
Especially when it’s done to the detriment of Morales’s character. In order to push Kate towards Volos, the author had to paint Morales in less than flattering light, so she makes him shifty and cowardly about telling their superiors about his involvement in the murder of an undercover cop. Problem is, this behavior goes against everything we learned about Morales’s character in the past books. It’s like he had a case of identity switch. And it’s only done so that Kate can’t trust him anymore and would be pushed away. Sorry, but that’s lazy writing. If you absolutely want Kate and Volos together, find an organic way to make that happen. Don’t bring down another character just for that.
I really hope that there is another book in this series coming out soon and it will explain some of the treads left hanging at the end of this one. Like who is the real leader of the Votaries? But more importantly, I hope we get better character development on everybody’s part.
PS: Loved the guys with the pigeons though.