Dark Readers | 19 February 2015 | Stephen Haskins

This was a strange one for me. In many ways it was a build up, a slow burn book, that was focused more on the information than the action (until in typical Shan style the final dramatic blow) that’s left me hungry (for books not brains) for more and wondering what is going to happen next, especially this close to the end of the series!
What I do like about the series is that each book has a core central theme that is explored throughout and as unsubtle as the cover (which is amazing, lets just get that out there) suggests here we have Loooooove. Just not the overtly soppy kind, made particularly apparent when, as I was reading this someone turned to me and said “you wouldn't want her as a bride” which made me laugh, yet I’m inclined to agree. Its more the kind of ideas of Love and what we would do for love. And that doesn't just mean love love, but love for your family and love for others. And I've written the L work far too many times so I’m going to move on now!

Normally I’m not great with a slow burner book, instead wanting to get caught up in the action of it all. However here it worked. For ages I’d wanted an insight into the strange workings of Mr Dowling and here he invited you in and sits you in his dentist chair and gave you some of the answers you'd been craving. We also go to see another side of him, dare I say softer side, which jarred with me because of the way in which he’s previously been that character of mystery and all is unknown. Having his history gave him a context and more of a reason, and on the one hand I’m not sure how I feel about that, yet on the other it brings the idea of humanity, and how we made and deal with the choices we’re given. This character development wasn't one I expected and that added a new dynamic to proceedings. B was her traditionally feisty self; and she’s a character I've really come to enjoy journeying with.   

I don’t know if this was intentional, but I loved all the slight nods to his other work, with the inclusion of chess from the Deomnata series, and in some ways the babies remind me of the Little People from way back in the Saga days, so it was cool to have those memories again.

If you've been a fan of the series, you’ll enjoy this book, and it will tidy you over until No.11 and if this is the first time you've read about the series, then you’re probably confused, there were a number of spoilers, and I recommend you go grab yourself a copy of Zom-B and immerse yourself in a whole new version of London.  

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