10 November 2011
Book Banter -- Game of Cages
Author: Harry Connolly
Length: 338 pages
Genre: urban fantasy
Where Bethany's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Ray Lilly survived the events of Hammer Bay, but has since lost contact with the Twenty Palaces Society and his boss, Annalise. When a woman named Catherine comes to the store where he works with what feels like a mission, Ray drops everything to accompany her to a small town where an auction for a predator is set to take place. Ray and Catherine arrive too late and the predator has escaped his new owner and is terrorizing the small town of Washaway. They set out on desperate quest to stop the predator and the citizens of the town -- maddened by the predator's presence -- without the help of a peer.
Banter Points: Connolly's Twenty Palaces series is like a cross between Jack Reacher and Harry Dresden -- all the violence that Reacher can mete out with a hefty does of Dresden-esque magic. Ray Lilly reminds me a lot more of Reacher in his I-don't-want-to-hurt-anybody-but-gosh-darn-it-I'm-really-good-at-that persona. The magic elements are less classy than Dresden's magic, making them feel more rough-hewn and volatile.
Ray is a such a flawed main character, it's hard not to like him. It's great to see him grapple in this book with how much he wants to be a part of the Society and how much he likes to hurt things (OK, people) and why that's not bothering him as much as he wants it to.
Bummer Points: I was hoping for a little bit more of a reveal in this book about the whole Society. There is some, don't get me wrong, a few questions are answered, but I was hoping a lot more back story was filled in. Where Connolly did fill in the blanks, it was done deftly and not like an info dump.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Just like with Child of Fire, I have mixed feelings here, knowing that the series has been cancelled. Normally, I would say run right out and start reading, but... sigh... the writing is solid, but if you're looking for a long-term relationship with a series, know that you're going to be left hanging here.