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The Dark Tide Paperback – February 7, 2010
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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About the Author
A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The fifth and final book of the Adrien English Mystery Series *SOB*. It is always hard when a series ends for me, especially one so beloved as this one. It was exciting to read the final book to see where Adrien and Jake end up, and to reflect on their journey in the series and Josh Lanyon gave them a goodbye that they much deserved.
I picked up Fatal Shadows, the first book in this series, on a whim one day. It is only 150 pages and I read it all in one sitting. I still remember reading it and thinking, who is this Josh Lanyon person and how did he write this amazing Adrien English character? I have really only had that feeling twice - the other time with Moon Called by Patricia Briggs.
At the very end of Fatal Shadows, after the murder investigation is over, Jake turns to Adrien and says:
"You know, this won't be an easy thing, Adrien."
"The investigation, you mean?"
Jake says - "No. No, I don't mean that."
And was Jake so right. If any two people have worked hard to be together, it has been Jake and Adrien. Prime example, Jake gets married - to a female, during this series. It was worth it though - the heart ache, the waiting between books - Adrien is one of my all time favorite characters, and Jake - he more than makes up for his past behavior in The Dark Tide.
Adrien's life is going through many changes. He is recovering from heart surgery, correcting a faulty valve that has plagued him most of his adult life. He is also recovering from being shot, refer to drama in book four. His on/off again lover, Jake Riordan has divorced his wife, retired from the police force and has come out to his family (Jake was very deep in the closet). Adrien has been through a lot with Jake - A LOT. He is tired and truly scared that if he puts himself into Jake's arms again, he will be hurt....again.
Professionally, Adrien is remodeling his bookstore, The Cloak and Dagger to encompass a much bigger space. This would not be a proper Adrien English Mystery book without a dead body, and this time we discover a very dead body, dead for fifty years hidden under the floorboards, found during the renovations. Adrien has been through the wringer with dead bodies, so when questions arise to the skeleton's history and break-ins start occurring at the The Cloak and Dagger, Adrien's suspicions go on high alert. Adrien is not up to his normal sleuthing skills since recovering from heart surgery has him exhausted. Now that Jake is not on the police force he has started his own private investigation firm. Adrien hires him to track down clues and it gives Adrien an excuse to stay in contact with Jake.
First and foremost, The Dark Tide is the perfect ending to this series. The mystery in this one is great because after the drama in the fourth book, and with Adrien so weak after his surgery, he really couldn't be running from murdering bad guys again. Finding a fifty year old skeleton in his shop, with the mystery surrounding it, is a perfect way for him to still sleuth while recovering from surgery.
Let's face it though - what I really wanted to see was the path Jake and Adrien would take in this book. While I loved to hate Jake in previous books, I loved Jake in this book. He is out now - to everyone. I was worried how he would be able to handle it - oh, and Adrien was worried about it too :) Jake was completely understanding in all aspects of Adrien's life. He was there to make sure Adrien took care of himself after the surgery, he was there to make sure Adrien didn't get any ideas about running after leads in the investigation, and he was there to give Adrien breathing room to decide how he wanted to proceed in their relationship. We see a tender, sweet side of Jake - who knew he was so romantic? Jake's admission of love is one of my favorite lines - I'm not going to quote it here because it is more fun to read it when you are swept up in the book, but it is such a Jake thing to say.
The Dark Tide wraps up the series, and although I am sad that it is done, I feel very satisfied in the events that take place and I have many rereads of the series to come.
I don't want to review the books as such, but to comment on my feelings. By the middle of Fatal Shadows, I was in love with Adrien and Jake. By the end of A Dangerous Thing, I was delighted with where we were heading. At the end of The Hell You Say, I was devasted. Just about all the way through Pirate King, my heart was in my throat. I had to rush through The Dark Tide, to make sure they were going to be OK. Of course I could have just read the ending first to make it easy on myself, but why deny myself the delightful torture of taking the slow road.
I have read many books that I've loved, and characters that I have cared about and related to. But I have never before woken in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, worried about two fictional characters.
That Josh Lanyon was able to create two characters that I came to care about more than some of my family,
is testament to his incredible talent. In my opinion there is no award available now, that is good enough for him.
I don't know why these books struck such a chord in my heart, and obviously they won't affect everyone in the same way, but I'm sure that everyone that reads them will enjoy them. I'm not sure that I will ever get over them, or be the same again.
I'm going back now to read Dark Side at a more leisurely pace and thouroughly savour every page.
The story is interesting enough. For the first time in this series, I was actually more invested in the romance aspect of Adrien and Jake's relationship than I was about the mystery. I can't really put my finger on it, but the whodunnit got a little wrapped up in the "technical" details about who people were and who they were to each other. Too much so for me to really care about a decades old body found in Adrien's newly purchased building.
Adrien's bookstore is doing well, and Adrien bought the other half of the building in the hopes of expanding his bookstore. During construction, the construction crew happened upon a dead body in the unused third floor of that side of the building. The body was shoved underneath the floorboards and whoever it was that died, died a long time ago.
Interestingly enough, Adrien is the target of multiple break-ins. It's as if someone wants to break into the building where the body was located. There was always a rumor about the place that a musician vanished and was never heard from again after living in the seedy hotel Adrien's bookstore had once been, and the locals think he was murdered. Interesting side note. I mentioned in the review for the last book that having two Paul's were confusing? Well, enter another character named Paulie St. Cyr. There's a lot of Paul's in this series.
Adrien is still uncertain about his and Jake's relationship. It's a rocky one. Although undeniable at this point that Jake does feel something for Adrien, he had no problem leaving Adrien behind before. And it's that line of thinking that leave Adrien doubting himself. Adrien is also dealing with recovery after open-heart surgery. He's spent most of his life believing that he'll never grow old before dying, that now the realization of his mortality is quite a shock to him.
There's one hilarious bit in this book is that Adrien is suddenly the hot young stud in this book. While Adrien has a lot on his mind about life in general, all his exes decided to come back into town, vying for his affections. Granted, it's not like he has a lot of exes. But there is his first boyfriend from college (Mel), his boyfriend after the fiasco with Jake (Guy), and Jake himself who knows he screwed everything up with Adrien. It's a bit of levity in an otherwise dark series with gruesome murders.
I do love Adrien's relationship with his sisters. I find it odd though that his youngest stepsister, Emma, is fourteen, because she reads way younger. If her age was never stated, I would have guessed seven or eight to be honest. I'm not entirely sure I still know of any 14-year-olds playing with Barbies? The first edition of this book was written almost ten years ago, but it hasn't been that long. So, that was odd to me, but I do love Adrien's stepsisters, and even his overprotective mother.
Jake has gone up in brownie points in this book. BUT. He's still kinda awful. He does apologize to Adrien a lot in this book. And he does try to make it up to Adrien for his past. *shrugs* As a fictional character, I guess I like Jake well enough now. Much more than two books ago, that's for sure.
The ending is terribly abrupt. Again. It's kind of ridiculous how each of the books end, because it's like the characters are in the middle of a conversation and there should be so much more to say, but nope. That's it. The end. I've gotten used to it at this point, but I can't say I'm happy about it. The mystery aspect of the story gets solved literally at the very end of this book, and in dramatic fashion.
Most recent customer reviews
If you are looking for your typical romance novel you won't find it in this series.Read more