Delighted by the Series
I previously reviewed book one, The Shadow Revolution (review link: http://delightedreader.com/the-shadow-revolution-by-clay-and-susan-griffiths-review/ ) on the blog and loved it so had to continue on with the next two books to find out what happened next. Each book builds on the book before it so this is very much a series that needs to be read in order.
The series is a balanced blend of Steampunk and Urban Fantasy. These two books were much stronger than the one that set it up. I gave them both high ratings, but if I had to choose, The Undying Legion was probably my favorite because I was very taken with how the characters came together, became a cohesive group, and were a formidable team that worked well together by book three. It had more depth due to the character and team growth going on. I love action, but I like to see my characters flesh out, too.The Undying Legion by Susan Griffths
The Undying Legion covers the time from when the group decided to work together under Simon’s leadership through to the unveiling for who and what is behind the ominous stirrings in the shadows.
Simon and Penny work to figure out the properties and use of the key. Kate focuses on helping Imogene have a semblance of normal after becoming one of the doctor’s experiments even as Kate feverishly works to restore her back to her old self. Kate also experiments on a solution to help Charlotte control her werewolf nature. Kate is big on family and drawing these eccentric individuals together as a family is a great deal like herding cats. Malcolm can’t help with any of those things and he is dead set against trusting in Charlotte’s human nature to keep her werewolf half in line so he returns to London to hunt down the monsters that are hurting people. Their status quo ends when brutal ritualistic murders point to the fact that someone is attempting to perform a powerful magical spell for some purpose of their own. Each step of the ritual works to bring the dead to life and push the group harder to stop the killings and prevent the completion of the spell. The group leaps into action and it is under the pressure of stopping evil that they really start to gel as a formidable team.
I found the group dynamic my favorite part of this story full of intrigue, exciting action, and striking characters. It is not a weak transition book between the previous book and the next, but strong in its own right. There is a set up for what is to come and its building to something huge, but the author’s took the time to make this story more than worth the read.
The Conquering Dark by Susan Griffths
Throughout the first two books, there were numerous references to the Order of the Oak that was broken up when the members turned on themselves and several were killed or imprisoned and there were many references to the work that Kate’s father and Simon’s father did together. Finally, many things start to make sense as the past is illuminated to shed light on the dire situation in the present as two of that past Order’s leaders are in a tug o’ war over Britain. It’s for all the marbles and Simon and his band of helpers find themselves smack dab in the middle holding the line to protect millions of people who don’t even realize they’re in danger.
After the events of the last book, Simon is left with a personal crisis that affects his ability to help the team. They all still look to him to anchor them and lead them, but he is no longer sure of himself. Kate stands by Simon and will do whatever it takes to restore him because they will need them if they have any hope of defeating Gaios and his evil followers. Nick returns and with him he brings an atmosphere of mistrust and secrets. Simon welcomes him back though the others watch him warily.
The team is pulled so many directions and their enemies are tough. The danger is constant and deadly and they must work together and rely on each other to survive let alone win. Betrayal, loss, and sacrifice face them before all is said and done.
This final book took my breath away. And I do mean that literally. It was one long adrenaline rush that rarely slowed down. The action scenes were crystal clear and I felt I was right there. It felt like a series of climaxes rippling higher and bigger instead of a climb to one peak and then the denouement. Character and team development were there, but not emphasized. The end left me with many questions so I sincerely hope there is more to come.
Overall, this series was a strong one. I loved the well balanced blend of Urban Fantasy and Steampunk. The cast of characters are colorful and well-drawn, the plots engaging all the emotions from humor to heartbreak, and the worldbuilding fascinating. Well worth it for fans of both sub-genres or blends.
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