Stars: 5 out of 5.
This is the best book of the series so far, at least in my opinion!
It starts off strong with Daniel Faust waking up on a prison bus in transfer to a prison, when last time we left him at the end of book 4, he’d just been framed for a murder and arrested… Only it seems that four months have passed, he’d already been put on trial (and lost), and he is being transferred to a maximum security prison to serve a life sentence. Confused yet? Add to that the fact that Daniel doesn’t remember anything about those four months. To him, he was arrested, and next time he woke up, he was on this bus.
I loved that the reader gets to experience that state of confusion and disbelief with the character. I even went back to the end of book 4 and re-read the ending just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. This confusion helps empathize with the character. Makes the reader root for him even more than before.
And Daniel will need all the support he can get in this book, because for once, he doesn’t have his friends and family to help him. He doesn’t even have access to his magic tricks. He is utterly alone in a hostile environment where people get shanked for just looking at the wrong person at the wrong time. Oh, and somebody really wants him dead to boot. And not only dead, but he needs to suffer horribly before he dies.
This was a very fast-paced story with constant tension, because not only is Daniel like a fish out of water here (although he does the best he can with the cards he is given), but also because so many different things are wrong with this prison. And the more wrong you discover, the more worried you become about the protagonist.
I also loved that when he finally manages to get help, the issuing fight is awesome and spectacular. And I’m not even a little bit irritated with Caitlyn in this book, which is rare. I think her almost total absence from the story is what made this book so great.
All in all, I love the direction in which this series is progressing. I want to know who the man with the Cheshire smile is and what his end game is. Something tells me Daniel and team are going to mess his plans so bad, he won’t realize what hit him. And I will be happily along for the ride.