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The Dark Divide (Rift Runners Trilogy) (Volume 2) Paperback – September 13, 2013
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"A must for readers who love, Druids, faerie, alternate realities and Ninja Leprecahauns!"
The Dark Divide is, dare I say it, a more fulfilling read than The Undivided, which is incredibly rare in a sequel. It builds upon the world admirably, and lets readers explore new characters, new realities, while at the same time giving a deeper look at the characters we know and love. This series ... would especially appeal to readers familiar with urban fantasy who are looking for a different kind of novel, but is perfect for any reader to pick up. --Australian Women Writers
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The Dark Divide continues where The UnDivided ended. Ren and Darragh's attempt to return to their home dimension failed. Hayley Boyle, Ren's best friend and adopted cousin by marriage, made it safely through the inter-dimensional rift to the home dimension of Ren and Darragh. But the presence of iron tainted bullets in the rift injured Faerie Lord Marcroy, and sent Ren and the half human/half faerie niece (Trása) of Marcroy into a dimension where the Japanese were the dominant world power and rulers of Ireland.
Lord Marcroy takes Hayley to Tír Na nÓg, the magical realm of the faeries where human perception of time cannot be trusted. Hayley is housed with Marcroy's sister, Elimyer, who is a faerie that is a muse and also Trása's mother, in an attempt to stop Hayley from interfering from the politics of the human world.
Over the length of the novel, we learn more about the world of Ren and Darragh, where Druids rule Ireland, and control the magic transfer from the Tuatha Dé Dannan to the Druid practitioners. We also learn about the reality where Ren and Trása are stranded, where Imperial Japan rules the entire world and many practices from ritual honour suicide and ninjas are still practiced and personal and family honour is paramount. We learn about the various other realities and how they have dealt with the magic sharing.
At the end of The Undivided, Darragh and his warrior bodyguard Sorcha were stranded in our world. Darragh sprained his ankle during the escape attempt, and was unable to reach the rift home. The next morning, he and Sorcha are still hiding at the golf course where the rift was opened, as the police are still hunting Ren for charges Trása set Ren up on and trying to figure out where they disappeared to. Our reality's version of the regent is the chauffeur of Ren's adopted mother, who is a famous actress. The chauffeur initially helps Darragh, thinking he is Ren and co-operation may help in bringing is daughter Hayley back safe quicker, betrays Darragh and Sorcha at the first opportunity.
Darragh and Sorcha also get help from Ren's neighbour, an ex-IRA terrorist-cum-celebrity. Darragh gets arrested at the neighbour's home for the charges Ren is wanted for, and then more are added as other facts are brought to light. But the neighbour is eventually arrested as well, as Darragh was arrested on September 11, 2001, the day of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon. The detective who interviewed Ren when he was initially arrested, also interviews Darragh. Pete knows he is the identical twin of Ren, but struggles to convince anyone else of that fact, and believes Darragh's tales of other realities are a sign of mental illness. Darragh struggles to live in a world with no magic, after 19 years of being the human with the most magic. Darragh ends up in prison on murder and kidnapping charges. While Detective Pete has some revelations about his own family and his potential revealed. Sorcha also suffers from a lack of magic, but unlike Darragh, her suffering is physical.
Ren, having spent 16 years in a reality with no magic, takes a lot to adjust to a reality which is saturated in magic and he is mistaken for a faerie because of his access to magic. He is nearly killed, but then plays it up when he is mistaken as a messenger from another reality to teach the Undivided twins of the reality he is in how to ensure all the faeries are wiped out and that humans controlled all the magic. At the end of the novel, Ren and Darragh have survived the transfer of power to another pair of Undivided twins in their own reality, and the multi-reality plot created by women aiming to control all realities is in massive danger by the simple fact of the survival RónánDarragh and their alternate reality version from our reality. And there is a very good twist with a rather murderous nightmare/vision of the future, which Ren and Darragh have both had since childhood. Very good read. I highly recommend it.
I enjoyed the character development, though slow at times and a little frustrating, the evolution fits the evolving story line and enriches rather than detracts.
I eagerly await the conclusion.