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Inkspot Fancy

Comics and fantasy and sci-fi, oh my!

Currently reading

The House on the Borderland
William Hope Hodgson
Dust and Light: A Sanctuary Novel
Carol Berg
The Dead
Jen Hickman, Robert James Maddox
Deadlands: Dead Man's Hand
David Gallaher, Jeff Mariotte, Jimmy Palmiotti
Ghost Hunt 2
Shiho Inada, Fuyumi Ono
Devil Survivor 1
Satoru Matsuba

Winter wonderland

Poison Fruit: Agent of Hel - Jacqueline Carey

As winter settles over the town of Pemkowet, a new chill is in the air - that of the town's past actions coming back to haunt it. And the implications of that are more than hellspawn Daisy or any of her friends and allies could have guessed.


And I very much enjoyed this ride. :)


This is the final book in this series, something I did not realize when I started it. But the book does a good job just in itself of showing that things are coming to an end. Relationships progress, Daisy's fears are made more tangible and the question of her demonic heritage is brought more to the forefront. Questions about the nature of the gods and goddesses in this waning world for them are brought up.


In the aftermath of the debacle of Halloween, Daisy's faced with the appearance of a terrifying Night Hag who's scaring people in their nightmares, And honestly, I thought the reason the hag had come to Pemkowet was actually very clever. But while she's dealing with that, something far more sinister and evil is worming its way in. And that main plot actually brings together a lot of the disparate elements of the series in what I thought was a pretty great ending. And if that explanation makes it sound like this book had two different parts to it, yeah, that's kind of the case. It felt less like one cohesive plot than others, and more like the first third of the book was a novella set in the same universe that got attached to the rest to make length. It's not bad, but it is jarring.


Daisy, in her role as Hel's (Norse goddess of the underworld) liaison, has never felt like she was actually this active. This time it's not so much trying to work out a mystery. They know to an extent who the enemy is, even if the full extent takes a while to come to light. It's a matter of how to save themselves from what's coming for them.


That being said, a decent chunk of this book is taken up with a budding and not at all unexpected romance between Daisy and Stephan, one of the Outcast, or ghouls. Because of the particulars of both their lives, it's an interesting relationship, and I like that Daisy feels no shame about exploring and enjoying their connection. And as she still also has feelings for Cody the werewolf, I appreciated that the book never made either man out to be lesser, or an idiot.


As mentioned before, there's a really great ending (or at least I thought so, though YMMV especially based on how the conflict is written) and it gives a solid conclusion to a lot of the major outstanding plot threads, including Daisy's demonic heritage, the deal with werewolf clans and the question of the Outcasts.


In general, if you liked the earlier books, I think you'll probably enjoy this one, whether or not you find it to be a technical star. And if you haven't read the earlier ones, I'm not sure this would be a great place to come in. It assumes a lot of knowledge from earlier volumes, I think.