by Katherine Hurley
Everything is out of control before this story begins and the lines between who is right and who is wrong and how far the leadership on all sides is willing to go just blurs. I can't talk about this book without spoiling something in the previous two, so beware.
I thoroughly love this dive into the grey area of real power. The leader of a city or people group has big decisions to make that will effect so many others. There is no answer that is purely right or a choice that will result in no death, so who is willing to go the furthest for their cause? Who will be able to live with themselves afterwards?
Anyone who has had some authority has bumped into this, but the author expands the idea until thousands and hundreds of thousands are effected. The stakes are too high for anyone to back down. In fact, the one who is willing to risk the most seems like they will have the only chance at success.
Yet somehow Astarti and Logan maintain themselves with honor. In fact, they learn to let go of bitterness that could infect their decisions even though it is a painful process, like prying fingers one at a time off of the only control they feel they have. My favorite scenes are the ones where they open up to each other and allow themselves to trust and let go. I'm not sure I've seen bitterness and letting go of it so well portrayed anywhere.
Very realistically, the bad guy turns out to be human (or close enough) all along. The fathers who hold too much of the power are also vulnerable and I held my breath with the world waiting to see what they'll decide.
You shouldn't get to read this one until you've read the first two. It's only fair. And this one's worth reading, so... there you go.
If I found fault, it's only that everything explodes right off the edge of reality this story balances on. Somehow the author made me feel that zipping along energy lines or riding tree/wind currents was completely natural. My neighbor may be able to do it and I just didn't know it. But when it gets to the flow of time and creation of everything... that feel of "this is real" slipped through my fingers. I lost my personal grip and was left watching the big light show. Everything was grand and awe-inspiring enough, I just didn't feel as sold on all of it and I was quite committed, believe me. I don't want to take anything away from it because all the pieces were necessary for that scene, THAT scene... you'll know when you read it. There's one scene that is THAT ONE and it's only possible because of all the nearly-unbelievable other stuff. In the end, worth it, totally, but I do hope that Katherine will take the time to drag my emotions through all the dirt again in future books.
Oh, yes, I'll read anything Katherine Hurley writes, by golly. I'm sold.
4 Stars for this one and the series all together may stay at 4 or grow to 5 if I find I cannot help but return and re-read it. No doubt the reading experience would be completely different now that I know... just the way I like my library. Complex and satisfying.