Darkness Returns (The Lockman Chronicles Book 4) Kindle Edition
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In the mean time, though, I have to admit that I didn't think that Cornell had the juices to keep the mojo at a high pitch the fourth time around. But I'm happy to admit that not only does he match anything that came before, he knocks this twisted tidbit out of the park.
If you haven't read the first three books in the Lockman Chronicles, then for Pete's sake don't start with Darkness Returns. It's not that you'd be lost; you'd have forsaken the appetizer and entrée to get to the desert, and although it would be tasty, it wouldn't come close to being entirely satisfying. It's a terrific installment to this meal and even now I'm savoring it, reminiscing over bits of action and dialogue with the toothpick of delightful recall.
However, if you indeed have read the other three books, and you're waiting to read this because - oh I don't know, maybe because you're an idiot - get off your ass and dig right in like one of Cornells' werewolves chomping down on a savory limb.
I'm not going to rehash the plot. That's a waste of my time, as well as yours. But I am going to propose that the characters in Cornell's toolbox have become more finely tuned, to the point where embracing them and their foibles and strengths is a reader's joy. Particularly that daughter character. Yeah, I'm back to that. Jesse's a piss in a handbag if there ever was one and I can't wait to see where RC takes her in this continuing saga. At least, it better be a continuing saga or some accidental nomad author should have his balls sawed off.
Yes, Lockman is our focal point for a good part of the book but Jesse comes into her own this time around. We get to see what Lockman sees, but through her eyes; experience what Lockman experiences, but with the vision of a teenager wise beyond her years; and we witness as she gains not only a greater respect for the man she calls Dad, but emotes a sincerity in the love she feels for him.
Then there's Theresa. Sister May Francis what an f'd up, gun toting, egocentric, single-goal oriented banshee. Which is why I love her so much. There's great writing here featuring all kinds of crazy but it's Theresa and her antics that provide the very successful catalyst to move the story forward.
And then there's Lockman. If ever there was a character with a stick of dynamite up his stern ready to explode, it's Lockman. But it's great to see him embrace the skills and strengths of his daughter and begin to work with her as a teammate, not just as a kid that he needs to protect. As such, we can empathize with him even more in his conflicting role of Daddy Warrior.
There aren't many series out there that make me long for the next bite. But you've probably guessed that this is one of them. The ending not only leaves you wanting more, but wondering, "Oh crap! Now what Cornell? Are you screwing with us or are you serious?" But then again, these are Chronicles, and if you've read your Bible, Chronicles can take you all over the place, cover a lot of ground, and introduce you to all kinds of heroes and villains. My bet is on the new hero. My bet is on the daughter.
The twists are unexpected and exciting, although I say that somewhat hesitantly because there is a degree of sadness at the roller-coaster this series has put me on, but it's definitely unputdownable and you the ability to captivate me enough to lose track of time.
Bring on #5
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