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The Shadow of the Soul: The Forgotten Gods: Book Two (The Forgotten Gods Trilogy) Paperback – August 6, 2013
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Praise for The Forgotten Gods trilogy:
“A pitch-black thriller with a fierce emotional payload—gritty, authentic and compelling.”—Michael Marshall, New York Times bestselling author of Killer Move
“Gritty and twisty…It grins as it lures you into reality’s unsettled corners.” —F. Paul Wilson
“Few writers blend mystery and the supernatural as well as Sarah Pinborough, but there are none who do it better. Quite, quite brilliant.” —John Connolly, #1 international bestselling author of The Wrath of Angels
"Pinborough's fiction moves at a breakneck pace. Once you start, you can't stop. More importantly, her stories have resonance. She understands how people tick. I always trust the ride, because I know I'll wind up someplace good." —Sarah Langan, author of The Keeper
About the Author
Sarah Pinborough is a British author of dark fantasy, horror, thrillers, and young adult. She lives in London.
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As The Shadow of the Soul by Sarah Pinborough opens, Cass Jones has been through six months of interviews, arrests, statements and the backlash from his discovery of rampant corruption among his fellow police officers (as set forth in the first book of the FORGOTTEN GODS trilogy, A Matter of Blood), and it isn’t even close to over. It’s hard for him to care about anyone thinks about him, though, because all he has to do is remember the sight of his dead partner’s body at the bottom of the stairs of the Paddington Green station to feel that they all had it coming.
There’s a shortage of personnel now, worse than ever, because of all the officers who have been relieved of duty, so Cass is kept busier than ever. His latest case is a suicide that doesn’t seem quite right. It’s definitely suicide, not murder in any ordinary sense, but the dead college-age girl said something very strange just before she died: “Chaos in the darkness.” Soon this suicide is not the only one on his docket; a number of college kids have died with the same words on their lips or written in their own blood on a nearby wall.
Cass is also still dealing with the deaths of his brother and his family, and the odd news that his brother’s son Luke was switched at birth with another baby, and that Luke is out there somewhere, very possibly in danger from The Bank and Mr. Bright, villains familiar to us from A Matter of Blood. It isn’t long before Cass begins to think there is a connection between The Bank and the suicides, and he sets out to discover what it is despite massive resistance by his superiors and a distinct lack of evidence.
But the cases on which Cass is working are only a small part of the chaos that has gripped London. Terrorism is on the rise; a bus, a car and a shop have just been blown up at Ealing Broadway, and there have been at least three large explosions in the Underground. The injuries, death, smoke, damage and confusion have caused enormous fear among the population. And the CCTV tapes show the very same man present at all the explosions, which is impossible as they all took place at the same time. Alison McDonnell, the Prime Minister, is losing control of the situation, and one of her bodyguards, Abigail Porter, is charged with keeping her safe regardless of the circumstances. But Abigail isn’t a typical woman, and her conduct as the terrorism investigation unfolds is puzzling and then frightening. When her path crosses Cass’s, one begins to perceive of the wheels within wheels behind what is happening in their world.
This perception is accelerated when we get our next view of Mr. Bright and his cohorts. They’re dying of eminently human diseases — pancreatic cancer, for instance — and that isn’t supposed to happen to them. We don’t yet know who these people are, but it is obvious by now that they have their fingers in almost all human events of national or global significance. They are desperately looking for a way home, whatever that might mean, and if humans must die for them to find the way, that’s a price they are willing to pay.
It’s a complicated, suspenseful tale; Pinborough keeps an enormous number of balls in the air without losing any of the detailed characterization or philosophical and religious musing that this tale requires. Given that this is the second book in a trilogy, Pinborough’s job is to muddy the waters further, and place her hero in jeopardy, and she does both excellently. Yet at the same time, she provides a satisfying conclusion to some of the subplots — for instance, explaining the “chaos in the darkness” suicides — so that the novel does not read like mere filler between the beginning and the end of the trilogy. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that this is one of the most skillful middle books to a trilogy I’ve ever read.
I unreservedly recommend this trilogy to anyone who enjoys horror fiction. It is deftly plotted, written with assurance in clear, compelling prose, and offers a puzzle as complicated as any horror novel or series I’ve ever read. The sense of impending doom permeates the novel and gets into your bones. Don’t miss this one.
the-shadow-of-the-soul-the-forgotten-gods-sarah-pinboroughCassius Jones is dealing with life after his run in with Mr. Bright and The Bank. It's hard being the pariah of the police department now that he's taken down the majority of Paddington Green when he discovered their drug running operation. The key players are still awaiting their trials, but for Cass, life goes on. He was cleared of the murder charges and he still works at Paddington, but now he has a new partner, Armstrong. Together they are investigating a rash of teen suicides that appear to be anything but. All the teens leave behind a message: Chaos in the Darkness. What does it mean? And, how are these kids that have never even met before connected?
And, if that wasn't bad enough Cass's brother's lawyer tracks him down to deliver a package Christian had left in the event of his death. It was a note with one chilling message: THEY took Luke! Cass's nephew was taken at birth and he will stop at nothing to unravel the truth and find out where he is. He knows this will mean facing off with THE Bank once again, but what else does Cass have to lose?
I really enjoyed the first installment of the series, A Matter of Blood, so I was anxious to dive in for another helping! But sadly I found myself having a hard time understanding what was going on, especially in the beginning. There is no recap of what happened in the previous book and there was a lot that I had forgotten about, most importantly, the glow. I knew Cass had learned something important about it in the last book, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. At one point I even picked the previous book back up to try to find it! The other thing I found confusing was all the different narrators, characters we had never even met before like Abigail Porter. I eventually was able to get past all the confusion and focus on the story, but it was hard initially. I thought this book was okay, but not nearly as good as its predecessor.
This story dragged for quite some time for me, although the suicide case was an interesting one, and brought to the surface several bad guys. But once everything starts closing in on Cass is where the book gets really intriguing! We find out even more injustices that were done to Christian as Cass fights to discover the truth behind Luke's kidnapping. I was really surprised to see who was behind it.
There is no clear-cut ending to this book, which I was a little bummed about. We have to wait for the third and I believe final book of the series, The Chosen Seed, which is due out in December. I have no doubt that it will be a pulse pumping, keep you on the edge of your seat adventure that you won't want to miss!
This review and more at openbooksociety dot com