So here we are, on book three, The Bands of Mourning, and it looks like we have a bona fide series, not a trilogy.
Unfortunately, I also feel the story went a little off the rails here. See the first two books were clearly a steampunky, Western theme. And it worked.
This book… well, it’s odd. The steampunky, Western stuff is still there, but it’s run smack into future tech. Like way, way advanced future tech.
And I dunno, I’m not sure I dig the Atlantis-esque hidden society with future tech. It feels like we morphed into a new genre. And usually I’d be punching the air in triumph because I love experimentation with genre, but this just felt off.
We’ll have to see how the next book plays out.
So, on to the good stuff. Character arcs!
So last week I complained about the potential hinkiness in my darling Wayne. Well, hinkiness averted!
And averted hilariously. After Wax ruins a wedding (we’ll get into it below), he and Marasi have a heart to heart. Where in she introduces Wax to the idea that hopelessly pining over someone is stupid, and you should just move on.
And he does! And it is glorious! And I was right last week when I shipped it!
And Marasi, Masrasi got a love interest, and I am meh about it.
It’s a rescue romance, and the guy didn’t seem to have much of a personality. I didn’t care to see them together. I didn’t hate it, because those two drove the plot… but meh. There are hints he’s a more intriguing character, but I dunno. This particular arc didn’t do much for me. I was more intrigued by Marasi being even more of an independent agent, and working closer with Steris.
Those two were delightful. Marasi began using Steris’s over preparedness mush sooner than anybody else, and the two actually seem to have a foundation for a friendship. See, characters moving on logically with relationships is a good thing!
Now Steris and Wax. My gods. The character development here. They spend most of the book recovering from a series of misunderstandings, all of which are actually understandable.
Starting with their failed fist wedding (dammit Wayne!) and ongoing. For once, characters’ reluctance to just talk makes sense. Wax is still recovering from the last adventure, and Steris knows that better than anyone.
See, no tropes are bad. They just have to be earned!
But overall, this book is a mixed bag for me. I feel like the main plot was the weakest of the three books, while the characters were at their strongest. Overall, it’s still a good book, and I will be reading it again, and the one that comes after it.