Main Characters: Jane, Ryu, Julian, Anyan, Trill, Iris, Grizzie, Phaedra (and her crew of the Harpies and Fugwat) … and the rest of the cast.
NEW CHARACTERS: There are some really, really great new ones in this installment!
Cappie (aka Capitola) – a halfling. Good friends with Anyan (calls him Uncle Anyan). Her parents are Carl and Paige. Carl gave up his magic for his family. They all live in the Borderlands. Cappie is very powerful.
Moo (aka Emuishere) – an Alfar halfling. Really powerful. Her father set himself up as an Egyptian God. She’s on the Jane True side. Lives in the Borderlands.
Shar – half succubus. Also on JT’s side. Also lives in the Borderlands.
Terk – a brownie who really likes Jane. And Jane doesn’t realize it when she treats it like a puppy (petting it, holding it, etc.) that those acts must mean a whole lot more since everyone starts to tell her it’s not a good idea. She realizes it later when Terk tries to hump her leg. He has special powers and can apparate.
Blondie – the “Other”, who probably has a name other then the nickname of Blondie that Jane gives her – who helps Jane and crew out from time to time in this book.
Avery – the Goblin who helps Jane and Iris escape the facility after Jane turns herself into bait (with Julian’s help). His father is the green lizard guy, who runs off in the end. Avery comes to the compound to testify against Jarl since he is disgusted by what has been going on.
Locations: Borderands (which is really the American Midwest), Canada, Rockbill Maine.
Main Premise: Jane and Ryu are having some romantic issues. Not to mention, the secret lustful feelings Jane harbors for Anyan. Jane continues with her training until she finds out her mom has been killed. This sends Jane into a tailspin. She wants revenge. And it’s only going to be satisfying if it results in Jarl’s torturous and exceeding painful death. Because Jane knows he’s behind it all. Clinics like the one Conleth was held in continue to be found. And the group of Julian, Ryu, Anyan and Jane head off to the Borderlands to investigate the clinic where Jane’s mom was found. Along the way, Iris is kidnapped. Jane is attacked by a kappa (think TMNT, from the description – and Jane makes that comparison, not me!). She and Ryu have it out. Anyan’s feelings are apparent to everyone but Jane. We find out Julian doesn’t dig girls. And, we meet an “Original”. (As soon as Anyan mentions it, we know Jane’s mysterious tattooed lady is one, btw. That was no big reveal at the end, and I hope Ms. Peeler didn’t think it would be.) Phaedra causes all sorts of trouble for our crew – including killing the first doctor that they find and trying to stop them all from getting to the Compound at the end. She’s just pure evil. The jaw dropping stuff, though: Jarl is in fact behind it. But, so is Morrigan!!!!!! And she kills Orin, right in front of her entire Alfar court! Nyx probably wasn’t in on it! Julian leaves Ryu’s gang to go off with the ladies from Tryptich (Cappie’s gang), where he will fit in much better being as they are all halflings. Wow. It left me with really wide eyes and needing to re-read the chapter (or two) to make sure I read it all correctly!
Other Important Things to Remember for Later: Nyx and Ryu have been elected as interim leaders but the Alfar aren’t exactly democratic, so who knows how that will work out. Jarl and Morrigan are on the run. Jane needs to tell her dad that her mom is dead. She might have half-siblings out there somewhere. Grim is Grimauld – he is the Patron of Borealis (part of the Borderlands) and he keeps Borealis peaceful. And only Anyan knows what he is. Jane officially broke it off with Ryu and he’s not happy about it, nor does he really understand why.
Review: I love Jane and her cast of friends. And I love her inner voice (aka her libido). We continue to get good character development from the author and decent story telling. I love how it doesn’t matter that Jane has these feelings and is convinced of something (Jarl’s inner evilness) and the author doesn’t let anyone (**cough, cough, Ryu**) change Jane’s mind. I also love how strong Jane is, even though she thinks she’s weak. Most of the time, the story is well crafted and easy to follow along. What could use a tiny bit of work is the balance between foreshadowing in an obvious, hit me on the head with an anvil manner, and the foreshadowing with such subtly that I am smacking myself for not seeing it. It seems a little off, unless the author wants it that way, that we have such polar opposites with some things. The existence of an Original – the minute Anyan mentions that type, we know what’s coming. But Morrigan’s involvement was so subtly hinted at it was so well done. I felt almost schizophrenic after those two revelations because of how well hidden and how painfully obvious they were. I had to wonder if the same person plotted those out.
Jane’s libido is in full swing throughout the books. And it’s great comic relief, as always (although it wasn’t quite as funny this round, but it was still very good). I am still a Team Ryu gal, so I am a little disappointed in the break between Jane and Ryu and how solidly she seems to have turned to Anyan, but it was well done. I don’t feel like we are going to see the unfinished business, crappy love-triangle that often happens when we have the change in coupling status. At least that is my hope. What I mean is that Jane seems to come to terms with the fact that she cares for Ryu but doesn’t want to be with him. It’s not the sappy “oh I love them both” routine.
Our story here, with the continued slaughter and hatred of the halflings is interesting. We have a definite resolution in some ways, and yet the overall story arc continues. I appreciate the closure on one segment that the author gives us, while still moving us towards the next segment in a smooth and natural way.
I do hope that we haven’t seen the last of Ryu, and that he’s not going to simply be off ruling the Alfar with Nyx in the next installments. I am a Ryu-Jane shipper after all. Can’t wait to see what Blondie has in store for Jane in the next installment.