There is a lot going on in this novel and it made for a hard read because of it. Its like everything was being thrown in to make it more interesting but what it did was keep me confused. There is science fiction with an automated Mall with robots and a central intelligence running things. Then we have a revisionist history which has figures alive and kicking who died in the original timeline, a paranormal leaning with psychic individuals and ghosts running around. With all of this I was still actually kind of bored while reading it. I never really felt anything much for any of the characters, though I did want them to survive if only because they were children. The mother was kind of unsympathetic and annoying for the most part. It felt like it was to long and could have been concluded sooner.
Lara is the mother of two children, Cora and Owen, the widow of Ben and not a great planner at all. She has been evicted from her home and finds herself homeless with her children and no backup plan. Lara is going to the one person she hoped not to have to ask for help, her mother-in-law who blames her for the death of her son. She lives in the residential section of the Mall, Lara hopes that she will allow the children to stay with her until she can make arrangements for a new place to live. But she wants to take the children and to brand Lara an unfit mother, so she leaves and decides to stay in the Mall.
Owen is ten years old and blames his mother for everything and anything. When she falls asleep in the movie he decides to sneak off and do something he wants, even though he is leaving his sister as well. Not surprisingly there is a power outage and he is cut off from his family, a killer is roaming the Mall, the robots are all offline, and Lara is panicking. There is an evil presence in the Mall and reuniting is more difficult than anyone could have expected.
When I read the blurb I was really excited about reading this book because it sounded good. I am not quite so enthusiastic about it now. It took me 8 days to read a book that should have only taken me three at the outside. This did not work for me but maybe it will for someone else. Just to much going on and not enough action or scares to keep me engaged. I finished it because I do not like to quit and find that I missed something.
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
My rating: 4.3 of 5 stars
This was another great entry in a series that I have come to love so much. The characters are ever-changing and yet still manage to allow time for characters which had been established in earlier books. The stories seem simple but have a complexity that makes them more interesting than if you had something just totally straight forward. The narrative flows very well though there are sometimes things that hold it back a little. The characters speak and act as you wold expect them to in most instances, though sometimes they seem to do things just to make the story progress.
Garron has been banned from his home-world, Pax because of his siding with his half-brother Truth when he had visited with his twin and mate. Garron is Rai’ku but his father was a twin Kindred who had lost his twin and mate. He is living on the mother ship and trying to come to terms with the new feelings that he has been having as well as the fact of his ‘other’ possibly coming out. Tess is running from an abusive spouse who could end her life and make it seem like an accident or something someone else did and has nowhere she can really hide. Her friend takes her to live at the Pairing House (pleasure-bots) for the unmated males where they figure her ex would never look for her. She has lived there for a week with no problems when Garron comes to choose one of the pairing bots and accidentally chooses her. Neither of their lives is ever the same after this.
I liked the story between Tess and Garron because they were both kind of lost. Tess because her ex had beaten her down so much she could not see the good in any man and Garron because he had loved and tried to protect someone he couldn’t and sought to punish himself forever. There was the requisite trip off-world which I have come to expect and look forward to since you never know what type of place it will be. I got to catch up with my girls from previous books to see what was happening in their lives. And we got to meet the next couple who will be brought together, and see what the malevolent entity in their midst will cause to happen. Really want that wrapped up because it just annoys me a bit.
Overall I would recommend this along with all the series as a must read!