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Godless: Feathers and Fire Book 7 Paperback – June 25, 2019
"Honeysuckle Season" by Mary Ellen Taylor
From author Mary Ellen Taylor comes a story about profound loss, hard truths, and an overgrown greenhouse full of old secrets. | Learn more
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- Item Weight : 12.9 ounces
- Paperback : 246 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1947709275
- ISBN-13 : 978-1947709270
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.62 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Argento Publishing (June 25, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #880,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Game of Thrones exists in their pop culture, yet not through eleven main books or any one of FOURTEEN possible cameo opportunities in two other attached series does one single Mother of Dragons joke drop from the mouth of Nate Temple towards everyone's favorite adopted red dragon mom.
Disappointment is too frail a concept for this one, Shayne. I had such hopes for you.
Callie's latest endeavor picking up right off a cliffhanger does and doesn't do it many favors. While it keeps some of the kinetic narrative from the prior book and lets things drop into motion without the need for full recanting of things, it also does have a bit of that rushed feel that has been pervading Silvers and O'Connell's prose in most of the Phantom Queen Diaries books. And while the ability to roll with the punches has always been one of Callie's strengths, it does continue somewhat with the pervading feel of revelation burn-out that has been cropping up in recent installments all around the three main series. Huge upheavals that used to be pretty considerable escalation for the series' status quo start getting glazed over a bit more and more with how they hit at times, and there is little time to absorb or reorient to them.
The immersion thankfully works with the pacing well enough to make it feel like a race against the doomsday clock that could strike midnight at any unexpected moment, and Callie's usual repertoire being rendered null and void to force her to focus on her resourcefulness and re-examine her development with the new, extraordinarily complex mantle of power the last installment placed on her shoulders works well to further her character development organically. That she also remains keeping to the bare bones (ha) of her usual roster of allies and has to stand even more on her own two feet than usual helps her character progress feel more rightfully earned, and maintains a good balance of action and outward engagement along with the inward introspection that becomes more characteristic of her nature with each new book.
The cloistered, overwhelming ambiance also helps quite significantly with the tone of the story. An imaginative, otherworldly feel to the dark, dreary encapsulated world that Dracula's Castle occupies unto itself rendered in noticeably attentive detail. While it hasn't reduced my enjoyment of the books in question, prior works by Silvers in otherworldly realms have at some points been a bit sparse on the details for the environments and the creatures inhabiting them, so its nice to see more of a spotlight put onto such things to show how far outside her usual norms Callie has been tossed.
And of course the drastic revelations do abound, some discreet and more being rather blunt in execution. Its one of the times I feel Silvers could use some leeway to expand himself a bit in his pacing; where its generally a given to want to see more out of a book in terms of length, Silvers usually has a good balance on how his big twists and climaxes fit to the size and placement of the overall prose. This one does feel a bit back-loaded more than usual, possibly in how the book overall relies so heavily on its narrative momentum being directly linked to the previous book, Black Sheep. The twists and reveals are as usual big and brazen and engaging, but stacked on top of eachother so closely can rub the shine off of them a bit, so to speak.
Overall however it is as always a strong, unique standing installment that gives more life to the world and more developed depth to Callie's character, hitting on a few tropes of the Dracula mythos squarely and twisting others around completely along the way. As always I am looking forwards to whatever mischief Silvers intends to wreak next.
Maybe the author has lost his mojo and needs to start something fresh? This may well be the beginning of the end for the Templeverse, as books so weak (and maybe ghost-written?) will NOT sell well, if at all. Three stars is generous, and if not for Mr. S. Silver's history of truly outstanding books, I would rate it lower. NOT, REPEAT, NOT RECOMMENDED. SAVE YOUR MONEY, YOU AREN'T MISSING ANYTHING WORTHWHILE.
Callie thought, as we all did that Dracula had died ‘way back, at the end of Bram Stoker’s book by the same name. She also thought that Castle Dracula had been burned in the end (although I don’t remember that from the earlier book; of course, it has been years since I read Dracula, so I might have forgotten). Then, in her own previous book, she was told by the demon Samael that that wasn’t so; that Dracula was alive and well and living in Castle Dracula. Also, that he was a Master – one of those magical beings who were in cahoots to run the world – and that he was the secret power behind the Sanguine Council which was in charge of all vampires. So, Callie and Samael set out to take the vampire Master down.
No sooner do they get there, though, than Samael becomes all buddy-buddy with Dracula, branding Callie with the mark of the Beast, which renders her magic inaccessible to her, and setting her up with this strange game of finding people wearing amulets that she is to kill and steal their amulets to get her powers back. But if she succeeds in doing that, she is to become his servant forever anyway. It’s all very strange.
Dracula also allows Callie one of his skeleton servants to help her find her way around the castle – a servant who has no particular fighting skill, or so he claims, and who has been the butt of all kinds of abuse from Dracula and his other skeleton guards for hundreds of years. He proves to be the best asset Callie could have.
It takes a while for the situation to become clear. But finally, Callie figures out what Samael is up to. With the help of a female demon and the Beast of Castle Dracula (the castle has its own Beast just like Chateau Falco), along with her skeleton, whom she has named Xylo, Callie is able to figure out the secrets of Castle Dracula.