If you are expecting the usual light-hearted jaunt through various circles of hell, with our heroes chasing after wayward demons and inevitably bumbling their way to victory, think again; this is a darker kind of monster. This is almost a half-step back to Paul’s darker story days, (not a bad thing) and this story is like a mirror held up to show the horrors of our current societal ‘hell on earth’.
Taking into consideration the overall arc of this (presumably) twelve book series, then we are in the right spot for our hero to hit rock bottom, which he dutifully does in several ways. Rather than the usual self doubt from our star, we see a full on downward spiral, and a… well, you’ll just have to go and see for yourself.
This book had me guessing most of the way through due to the preconceptions I had from the book’s title. I kept expecting the second character to pop out of the woodwork at any moment, or we had a slight twist on the mythology and the twin I had been expecting was hidden in plain sight in the form of Zeke’s latest crush. I’m slightly miffed that the mythical stories weren’t utilised a little, but also happy where the story went, and the implications associated with this path for the remainder of the story.
Nice to finally see Ralrek grow as a character. I’ve been waiting and watching as the other characters grow and become more than stereotypical cardboard cutouts, thankfully Ralrek is now a fuller, more likable character that I can see becoming a well respected friend to our star of the show.
A great story, even with its somber note, that sets the reader up for the bigger picture of the series, and I for one am looking forward to it.
Have you been enjoying this series from Paul? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.