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Canyons of Night (Looking Glass Trilogy #3) Mass Market Paperback – August 30, 2011
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About the Author
Jayne Castle is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She writes futuristic romance novels under the Castle name, contemporary romantic suspense novels under the Krentz name, and historical romance novels under the pseudonym Amanda Quick. There are more than 35 million copies of her books in print.
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She kind of phoned this one in. There were sections of the book where Castle (aka Krentz) couldn't be bothered with a believable back-and-forth conversation between the lead characters. One would ask a question (What did you do?), and the other would then just lecture for a page or two. And then they would do it all over again: a leading question with paragraphs of monologue. No sense of people actually interacting or communicating with each other.
Why else do we read her?
The plots are completely predictable; doesn't bother me. The blathering about the various types of energy and ability to view or manipulate same, I just ignore. The fact that the villain is going to spill everything at the climax - in chronological order, no less - and laugh maniacally while doing so, no worries.
I read her books for the characters and their conversations. The romantic leads are always people that are involved with others, take care of their responsibilities, don't whine, never use tragedies of the past as an excuse not to live: in other words, adults with whom I like spending time. Their conversations with each other (and the occasional pet or dust bunny) are why I read her, and have for years.
And why I will buy the next book, even though I was disappointed with this one.
I highly suggest all three books but they are not a trilogy in the traditional sense. At best they are loosely connected so feel free to read each as a separate stand-alone novel.
When reading a 'Jayne Castle' book you know you can expect a fantasy/sci-fi (alternative fiction) genre book combined with romance. This is no different. The cover is a bit mis-leading. I don't remember anyone ever dressing like that, much less the leading character, who is an antique dealer.
The story takes place on Jayne Castle's colony world of Harmony, named after the harmonic vibes given off by the ruins and artifacts of a long since departed alien society. The heroine has come back to her aunt's small island town, and plans to run her successful antique business from this more relaxed resort environment. She has a strong, if seemingly useless, para-psy talent.
The hero, the object of our heroine's long time school girl crush, has been a big time lawman using his extremely powerful and important psy talent to catch the world's most dangerous bad guys. Unfortunately an incident forces him to retire from that position when experts concur that he is going psy-blind. He takes a job as police chief in the whopping 3 person-run police station on the island. It's supposed to be a temporary, easy, job whilst he solidifies what he's going to do with the rest of his life. Of course that was before the murder, thefts, freaky antiques, and being adopted by the world's most adorable feral dustbunny.
Jayne Castle is a pioneer in the modern Romance/Alternative fiction genre. Someone may (possibly) pre-date her, but I think she's the first to make the mixed Romance genre popular and financially successful. I would not be surprised to find out that in the future some of her novels become required collegiate reading for that very reason.
I had a Jayne Ann Krentz weekend - going through three books and working on a fourth now (under her various pen names). As always, I find her an odd mix of "phoning in" a story and writing a story that pulls you in. Sometimes the story grips you and sometimes you go "my, aren't we trying to be clever."
I find the weakest of her pen names is "Jayne Castle" with the Harmony sci-fi/fantasy world. The new world just can't be as completely built as the modern real world of her Jayne Krentz and the Victorian/Regency historical real world of Amanda Quick - and the author doesn't try too hard.
The Looking Glass Trilogy is actually three separate novels with a similar theme set in the author's three formats/pen names. Not so much a story in three parts, but three stand-alone stories with a similar problem to be solved.
Example of poor world building really comes through as you read all the books from different eras - the characters in all three stories use the same terms for psych powers, whether they were raised in the Arcane Society or not. You would expect the Victorian society to have somewhat different interpretations AND scientific development than a colony settled on an alien planet - but the psych levels and understanding of how they work is the same throughout all the books. Also why does everyone in all three "universes" know about the secret Arcane Society?
As a stand-alone book, Canyons of Night breaks the rule of "show don't tell". Too many times we get talking heads instead of unfolding action.
I read the book to the end. The author is good enough to make the journey worth it. But I think the journey could have been better because the author has provided better journeys in the past.
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Could not wait to turn the next page. Would love a Island like this one