Rating: 5 🌈
I’ve been thinking about this book, it’s elements, and my review.
Why? Because it contains that one element guaranteed to bring me back to a basic argument I have, as a reviewer and for myself as a reader. Simply put, it is how do I feel about the cliffhanger?
Yes, Tide of Tricks, book 2 of Shadows of London, a fantastic tale of magic and mystery, has the most outrageous of all cliffhangers and THE key series/story revelation all at the same moment. Right at the end of the story! DO NOT READ the ending first. You won’t even understand it anyway.
This is a heartbreaking, mindblast of a problem for several reasons, at least for me. I trust it will be for you all as well.
And I can tell you , if we were talking over tea or coffee? The expletives would be flying!
So let me dive into the why this cliffhanger is going to be so mind boggling awful.
It starts with Ariana Nash’s character of John “Dom” Domenici. His character, his personality and background is so densely layered, like a “bloom in’ onion’ as it were. The author has crafted Dom’s past with bagged filled hidden years that get revealed only through times of immense stress or threatened violence, that the reader and his associates never know what’s coming. Dom is a man who’s means of escaping his crime-filled East End childhood was to join the Army. That also turned out to be something far more torturous and disturbing (I’ll leave that to the book). Tragically from his start in Pretty Twisted Things , we now watch a man we’ve come to greatly care about, slowly destabilize. With devastating results. And someone has planned this.
Nash has written a terrifying authentic example of a man being driven almost to the brink by forces unknown. We will feel every bit as helpless as Dom is to stop the events around him.
The people who work with him who we “think” care for him realize the dangers but there’s multiple targets. No one knows who’s the mastermind. And those who are acting on the mastermind’s orders?
A shock or two there.
This is a veritable Minotaur’s labyrinth of a plot and series arc. Bodies are falling, shadows are everywhere, magical objects of destruction of appearing all over London to destabilize people like Dom, and revelations about the primary characters start to pop like narrative gun fire. Nothing can be counted on except that everyone is in danger. And we have no real idea who everyone truly is.
Cliffhanger. In a beautifully written, outstandingly executed and almost flawless book.
Second stories are almost always a bridge book. They carry the plot and characters safely over from the foundation novel to the third book, which might be the end or even penultimate story in the series. Here Nash not only shoots out the lanterns our characters are carrying to light the way across the bridge but Nash is stranding them there before they reach the end. The bridge is going to break and all is darkness.
The third book in the series? Trial by Fire? Doesn’t come out until next May 2022. Ffs. Yup. Next year.
So back to my ongoing dilemma. When it comes to series and cliffhangers, do you (if given advance notice, clearly not here) wait until you have the entire series and read right through?
Or do what I’ve done, repeatedly, give in and read the book 1 in series after series, hopefully not to see a cliffhanger, and just go with it.
Knowing full well that come next May I’ll have to reread books 1 & 2 before diving back into this series, because the author has made it just that involved and convoluted. My mind will just not be able to hold onto all the details of this arc and plot and multiple characters until May 2022.
Sigh. It’s a old argument. I’ll probably still plow onwards. This author has me so hooked it’s unreal.
So yes… absolutely read this book and series. You decide when. If you want to wait until the series is complete, then read all the stories go for it. Read them as they come, waiting along with me? Ok we’ll suffer together.
Either way, put it on your TBR list. I’m highly recommending it.
Shadows of London series:
◦ Twisted Pretty Things #1
◦ Tide of Tricks #2
◦ Trial by Fire #3- coming May 31st, 2022 argh! The wait will kill me!
A darkness runs deep beneath London …
Reeling from recent revelations and forced to lie for Kempthorne, the unthinkable happens: Dom fails the latent competency test. One more strike and he’ll be deemed unstable, have his registration stripped, and the life he’s come to love at Kempthorne & Co will be over.
If that weren’t bad enough, someone is stalking him, taunting him. Someone who knows what Dom did all those years ago.
While Dom juggles Kempthorne’s lies and his own shady past, latents are being murdered. The police won’t help, so it’s up to Dom, Kempthorne & new-recruit Kage (Hollywood) to find the killer, before they strike too close to home.
Dom soon finds himself at the heart of it all with his control slipping, his trick breaking free, and the shadows rising.
He’s coming undone. And for unstable latents, there’s only one way out…..
Please note, this is an adult urban fantasy, so there are multiple swears, some darker themes and scenes, and on-page sex.