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Hachette Book Group
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Eye of the Tempest (Jane True Series Book 4) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 342 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"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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First and foremost, were the radical and often unsavory personality shifts in the characters that frequently occurred. Everyone's favorite Barghest, Anyan, was perhaps the most unwanted, evincing a degradation from his strong, steadfast personality into a weaker distilled version. In "eye" he did very little fighting, even less leading, and really seemed content to spend most of his time trying to get into Jane's pants or tempt her into a tryst. Most of the traits that made Anyan such an intriguing character dissolve here into a sort of sappy, romance-spouting cliche. Jane's father is an even bigger surprise, finding out about every secret Jane has kept from him, the death of his wife, and a whole hidden world, and hardly even blinks an eye. He is suddenly healed, has no more health problems (basically an entire life change)yet acts like the whole adventure is simply a mundane everyday occurrence. The blase reaction is hard to swallow. Finally is the famous lesbian pair Tracy and Grizzie, who receive no character development and instead are treated like weak, unintelligent, helpless children; shunted off into the peripherals of the storyline. Their reaction and treatment is even harder to swallow.
Second and equally important are the issues with Jane herself, as her personality takes makes a disastrous shift from complex to trite. This new Jane does things like lust after Anyan only 3 hours after waking up from a coma, have nonchalant lesbian relations with an untrustworthy stranger, and completely ignores her hard-earned personal relationships with other characters in favor of a fevered obsession with sex. The change is to such a point that her "libido" becomes fully personified and makes decisions and judgments in the storyline that have nothing to do with lust or sexual relations. As if Jane's libido is her consciousness; one with very little originality or anything helpful to say. And in the end, Jane comes away from the story with the intention of using a giant battle ax as her new weapon. I mean, come on, comfortable, tiny little Jane with a battle ax?!
Third is the general feel to the book, which is rushed at best and unbelievable at worst. The entire plot takes place in a very short span of time, the events cramming into one another far too rapidly. There is no finesse or subtlety to the developments, as in previous books where Jane uses her head to reason out the situations. Magic and muscle are used in every situation until the events become predictable, and downright unbelievable. There is little "reality" or grounding here, which is a necessary element to any paranormal adventure. With the same predictable villains returning over and over again, and hardly any expansion to the world she created, Peeler unintentionally creates a sense of claustrophobia in this installment. Setting the story in much-loved Rockabill but adding no outside influences to make it shine. Off of her humor and her incredible, witty writing style that we so fell in love with, this book is simply not Nicole Peeler's best work. Clearly this is a sedgeway into the rest of her series, but in "Eye of the Tempest," Miss Jane True simple doesn't feel true.
Jane's humor is present as always, but at times it almost became flippant. The sense of humor of these books is its strong point, but I enjoy that Jane is usually a multi-dimensional character. In past books, we got to see her experience a spectrum of emotions, and it made her all the more relatable. Unfortunately, some of the humor felt a little out of place and forced in this book, at times becoming downright annoying.
The big disappointment, I think, is Jane's interactions with other characters in this book, and I don't mean that in a strictly romantic sense. In the past books, Jane values her connections to the people she loves, including her friends, her father, and of course, Anyan. (Ryu fans definitely shouldn't hold their breath, as he appears only briefly, and not in person.) Unfortunately, we don't actually see a whole lot of interacting with anybody other than Blondie, the character introduced at the end of the last book, making it that much more jarring at the end of the novel when Jane reflects over all the people she loves in her life and wants to protect.
This last point leads me to the biggest problem of the novel: Blondie. Blondie has a complicated and fascinating past, but Jane's relationship with her bothered me a lot. While Jane's relationship with Anyan has been built up practically since the first book, Anyan more or less gets shoved off to the side for Jane to have some sudo-lesbian experiences, at one point rolling around on the floor and groping each other. It took me awhile for figure out why (other than the obvious infidelity factor) this bothered me so much, until I put my finger on it: Jane's infidelity with Blondie is treated as something humorous, something that shouldn't matter because it's with another woman. Had Jane committed the same acts with Ryu, she likely would've felt guilt or shame, and we, as the reader, would expect her to. However, because it's with a woman, the author treats it as being funny and unimportant. Quite tellingly, it never even crosses Jane's mind that this is something she should confess to Anyan.
Plot-wise, the action really starts to heat up, and Jane is clearly being set up to be the headrunner of the coming war. Unfortunately, I found myself really irritated with the way the Jane/Blondie relationship was handled, so it's unlikely that I'll continue onto the next book. Considering how much I loved the earlier books, that's saying something.
However, Rockabill proves no respite when hired thugs attack them. Anyan barely survives and a raging Jane uses a new power to save their lives, but she falls into a life threatening coma. Her friend Blondie saves her life. When Jane awakens from her comatose state a month later, she finds Rockabill is not what it was when she fell into the coma. Blondie explains that a force that has been dormant has arisen turning the residents into mesmerized puppets; she must open the four locks before hell comes to Rockabill.
The fourth Jane True installment (see Tracking the Tempest) is an engaging urban fantasy as the beleaguered heroine has no time to catch her breath having one life threatening event after another assault her well-being. The story line is action-packed even with Jane's soliloquies while the loving bond between her and the barghest has strengthened. Series fans will enjoy the heroine's latest escapades as she seeks a short time out only to land in the Eye of the Tempest.