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A Whisper of Southern Lights (The Assassins Series) Kindle Edition
|Length: 112 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Gabriel and Temple are basically immortals, and their personal battles have allowed Lebbon to play in some interesting settings. We’ve gotten a weird western and a bit of high seas pirating adventure, and now Lebbon takes us to Singapore circa World War II (personal note: Lebbon teases an Antarctic expedition as another setting in their worldwide struggles through time, and I’d pay good money to read that story, because I’m just a sucker for stories set in that region). Both Gabriel and Temple are hunting for a man named Jack Sykes, which never bodes well for the dude unwittingly falling into the middle of their bloody, violence-fueled triangles.
I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful vacation in Singapore a while ago, so I had no trouble imagining the sweaty treks through the rain forest, and war-time is always an interesting period to explore some supernatural shenanigans. I dug those elements the most here. I fell in love almost immediately with Singapore, and hope to go back one of these day. Books set in this region at least provide enough of a mental sojourn until I can physically head there again. It’s also a bit of a reminder that I need to seek out more Singaporean literature… Yeah, I know, I’m digressing here.
A Whisper of Southern Lights is a short novella, which makes for a brisk read. Lebbon gives us enough sketches of life on the front lines in the Pacific Theater, but I wouldn’t have minded more details. Gabriel’s relationship with Temple has always been one of the strongest elements of this series, and that remains true here, as well. The ending felt a little bit rushed, but there’s a marvelously macabre display where our characters confront one another before the requisite cliffhanger.
Yeah, another cliffhanger and little in the way of resolution. The last line of the book, though, does actually have me antsy for another entry, so kudos to the author! I feel much more invested in this series after this particular entry than I did with Pieces of Hate.
[Note: I received an advanced review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.]
But I am finding with this series of short stories he cannot apply enough nuance or balance out this ongoing battle between the main character and his nemesis. Instead I find it too lopsided and too forgone. In trying to convey an evil so dominate and so pervasive, I feel the author drains the story of any real tension or investment for me. I simply find myself not thinking there is any conclusion early on other than the one I end up with here and I find that in turn robs me of caring one wit for the outcome. Third time (counting the first two re-printed as one) is not the charm for me I guess.