Friday, May 24, 2013

Shadows of Falling Night by S. M. Stirling

 This third installment in the Shadowspawn series doesn't seem to quite have the (pardon the expression) bite of the first one. It's as if Stirling has gotten everyone hooked on the series, and now can settle in to make it as long as possible, selling more books along the way. I remember something similar happening with the Left Behind series towards the end, when one day's worth of events would fill and entire volume, putting us no closer to the resolution of Revelations.

The Shadow Council is on the move, coalescing to a gathering in Tblisi, where they will vote on which option to take with regards to "thinning the herd" of humans; EMP to destroy technology, or plague to kill the masses without spoiling the fruits of industry. Harvey Ledbetter, of the Brotherhood, is also moving towards that dark reunion, with a nuclear weapon in his back pocket, figuratively speaking. He hopes to detonate it near the conference, killing a large portion of the Shadowspawn and making the Brotherhood's overall mission of defeating the remainder much simpler.

Adrienne Breze wants Harvey to succeed in his plot for her own reasons. If the old discorporeal leaders are killed by the radiation from the nuclear blast, she can assume leadership of the council and have her own reign of terror when she releases the plague. Adrian Breze and his wife, Ellen, are trying to foil both Harvey and Adrienne's schemes, while behaving reasonably politely towards the rest of his relatives. Adrienne's minions attempt to kidnap back hers and Adrian's children, which prompts a nightmare flight by Eric (the former detective), Peter (former renfield and physicist who has discovered a way to mask humans from the power wielded by the Shadowspawn), and Chiba (peasant girl who wants vengeance on Adrienne) across the face of Europe, trying to reunite the children with their father before another assassin gets to them first.

Some good twisty plot elements and a very surprising ending which should twist things in an interesting direction in the next book, which I trust will be forthcoming when Stirling needs some more money.

1 comment:

S.M. Stirling said...

Actually, this is the last one.