| 14 July 2009 | ???
Last year Harper Collins blessed me with an advance edition of “Procession of the Dead”, the first in “The City” series, which ended up being one of my fave books of 08. I eagerly picked up the sequel when it came out this last week.The Plot: Al Jeery is a member of the Troops, a security force serving The Cardinal with equal footing as the police in the City. During an otherwise routine evening, Al is suddenly thrust into the middle of a suspicious murder investigation, under orders of the Cardinal. Soon Al is uncovering more than a simple murder mystery - he’s unravelling the mysteries of the city, its Incan heritage, and the part he plays within everything - including an interesting relationship with famed assassin Paucar Wami.The Good & The Bad: I will say, this book wasn’t as good as POTD - mostly because the events of that book are so inexplicable, once you know the truth, it makes reading this book a little bit less “WTF IS HAPPENING?” That being said, having read POTD, Shan actually throws in quite a few references that will give the reader some joy as they have “a-ha!” moments. Interestingly this book takes place simultaneously with the events of POTD, so there are several references to Capac, Ama, and the Ayuamarcans - and how Al fits in with them. While this was mostly interesting and fun, it was a bit irritating when Shan seriously reiterated the ending of POTD over 4-5 pages towards the end of HH.I suppose the other reason this book doesn’t quite live up to POTD is the fact it’s a more traditional format: the murder mystery. That being said, for a murder mystery it was very well done, with tons of twists, turns, and suspects throughout, and a relatively wholly ambitious yet ambiguous ending that certainly has me itching to read the final book in the trilogy. There are still some plot threads that don’t feel quite as connected as they could have, and the ‘killer’s’ ultimate motive was a bit lacking, but perhaps more will be revealed about them all in the final book.The Bottom Line: A solid follow-up to POTD, but not nearly as thrilling - or chilling.
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