Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Phantasm by Phaedra Weldon

I've been puttering along, enjoying this series bit by bit, until I bit into Phantasm. I found it confusing, with many twists inserted into the plot, for no apparent reason, and it turned into a bit of soap opera.

For example, Zoe has had a serious relationship building with Detective Daniel for the first two books, but he got seriously freaked out at the end of Spectre when he saw her, in her Wraith incarnation, releasing the ghost of a murdered policeman. Instead of dealing with this in a constructive fashion, Zoe and Daniel don't communicate at all, and she flirts with former undercover cop, Joe, who is a bit more sanguine about the supernatural, and then ends up having wild monkey sex with Dags (Darren) after a death-defying battle scene. Joe and Rhonda are apparently living (and sleeping?) together, but Rhonda has been in love with Dags all along, and Zoe's impulsive behavior sends all of the gang's personal relationships into a death spiral.

Various factions within the spiritual community are constantly trying to kill, capture, suborn, or influence Zoe in one way or another, and her erstwhile enemies become allies, for a time, then enemies again...It's just too much crazy stuff going on for me to follow.

Near the end, when Daniel has been driven insane by being overshadowed by The Horror (the main bogey man in this book), he ends up killing his supervisor in a street shootout, though Zoe was his real target, as he's become convinced that she's the devil incarnate. At that point, Zoe and TC (the spirit entity that's caused her so much grief from the beginning) team up to wipe Daniel's memories, so he will no longer remember what she has done. If they could do this, why didn't they do it right after they found out he was confined in a mental institution for his paranoia? Too much semi-convenient discovery of new abilities.

Deeply flawed, it leaves me wondering whether I'll bother reading the next book, Revenant.

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