Monday, October 12, 2015

REVIEW: Against A Brightening Sky by Jaime Lee Moyer

Against A Brightening Sky
by Jaime Lee Moyer

Publisher: Tor Books
Page Count: 336
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Format: Hardcover

How got: personal library; bought from Amazon

First attention getter: adore the series already


From GoodReads:

A ghost princess and a woman with nothing but a name to her fortune might change the course of history.

By 1919 the Great War has ended, peace talks are under way in Paris, and the world has been forever changed. Delia Martin, apprentice practitioner of magical arts, and her husband, Police Captain Gabriel Ryan, face the greatest challenge of their lives when fragments from the war descend on San Francisco.

As Delia prepares to meet friends at a St. Patrick's Day parade, the strange ghost of a European princess appears in her mirror. Her pleasant outing becomes a nightmare as the ghost reappears moments after a riot starts, warning her as a rooftop gunman begins shooting into the crowd. Delia rushes to get her friends to safety, and Gabe struggles to stop the killing—and to save himself.

Delia and Gabe realize all the chaos and bloodshed had one purpose—to flush Alina from hiding, a young woman with no memory of anything but her name.

As Delia works to discover how the princess ghost's secrets connect to this mysterious young woman, and Gabe tracks a ruthless killer around his city, they find all the answers hinge on two questions: Who is Alina...and why can't she remember?

Against a Brightening Sky is the thrilling conclusion to Moyer's glittering historical fantasy series.

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 4

As another chapter in the saga of Delia Martin Ryan and family, this book excels. It’s a gripping story that doesn’t let you go. However, as a conclusion to the series? Dismal failure.

As usual, Moyer knows how to tell a gripping story. I loved all the new bits she included from the supernatural: how the ability to see ghosts manifested in a child, how the powers of a necromancer interacted with Delia’s and Dora’s abilities, and the strengthening of Delia overall in her abilities and confidence using them. Seeing her grow as a supernatural user and face off with a truly terrifying entity kept me enthralled.

I loved the historical background to the story as well as the crime fighting parts (though those were in lesser evidence than previous volumes). Using the Russian Revolution and the assassination of the tsar’s family tied in very well with the overall aura of the time period with the bubbling fervent feelings of revolution, anarchy, and change. The author also incorporates fantastic period details to make her setting come to life like the eerie San Francisco fog, period speedster cars, and the era’s fascination with Spiritualism.

Her characters also continue to shine. Delia’s growing confidence and courage in facing ghosts and supernatural entities, both enemies and allies, is always a treat. I love her with Gabe. His strengths in observance of details and putting all the pieces together continue to be a joy to read. His growing awareness of his own supernatural inclinations was also a nice change.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially the ones that were introduced in this volume. Jordan was a special favorite. I loved seeing how he didn’t let prejudice influence his sense of dignity and justice; he did what the job required so that the victims of crime could have justice. I loved the window that his character provided into the world of police and how people of color were treated back then.

The only problem I have with this book was it being touted as a “conclusion”. It in no way reads as such. This is just another chapter in the life of Delia and allies as they battle the evil supernatural influences that seem to gravitate to early 20th century San Francisco. There is no wrapping up of overall story threads; the author even introduces some such threads in this volume, the last book in the series.

So there is no real closure as we say goodbye to these characters. I’m going to be very sad to see Delia and company go. I enjoyed her adventures every October; it was one of the things I looked forward to for the past few years. I can only hope that maybe the author is going to pursue a series about Dora?? If that’s the case, sign me up for that waitlist!!! I’d love a series about her.

A great addition to the series, this volume will keep you engaged with a gripping story, great characters, and wonderful supernatural additions. While this doesn’t read as a conclusion, it still stands as a great book under its own merits. I’ll be sad to see this series go, but here’s hoping the author intends to write one about Dora, ‘cause I’ll be there with bells on. Still a recommends volume for those who love historical supernatural mysteries.

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