Series: Otherkin, Book 4
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 380 Pages
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by HQN Books publisher Harlequin via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Satisfying Conclusion to the Lokan Arc
Lokan Krayl, soul reaper and fourth son of Sutekh, gave himself over to those who were conspiring to kill him in order to secure the safe release of his daughter - a daughter he wasn't supposed to be able to have. Just like, as a demigod, he wasn't supposed to be able to die. So much for supposed to be. He was murdered. Skinned, dismembered, his soul cast into a null zone in the Underworld. Betrayed by the lord he served, the most powerful Underworld lord. His father.
Sutekh murdered his own son.
But fortunately for Lokan, he is the fourth son, and since his murder, his three brothers have been scouring Topworld and Underworld both, for answers, for information, for hope...doing everything they could to recover his remains and bring him back. They were successful...more or less...but that is a story told elsewhere.
What's important, what's most significant, is that Lokan Krayl is alive...mostly...and he's stuck in Underworld. It is his challenge and his destiny to return to the land of the living. He must live again, because Sutekh's plan failed, but that does not mean he was defeated, and Lokan's daughter will be his next target.
To complete his journey back to life, Lokan will require yet more help, and that help will come from an unexpected, if not unwanted source. Bryn Carr, the bewitching woman who captivated him for an evening then disappeared from his life and bore his child, has been relegated to a safe corner of Lokan's mind. She is the mother of his child, and after tracking her down six years ago, Lokan has been comfortable keeping his thoughts for her contained to that. But when it is Bryn who joins him Underworld and tells him she is his guide through the Twelve Gates, walks with him on his treacherous journey, Lokan is going to have to deal with the fact that the feelings he has for Bryn are not so mild as he's always thought.
Lokan, though, may have realized too late all he had going for him before his murder. He's wants Bryn to be his, wants a future together as a family. He has no idea that Bryn's offer of guidance and assistance out of the Underworld hides a bitter truth and obscures the sacrifice she's made to give it.
Finally, Lokan! I swear, I can't remember any other series I've read where I spent so long focusing on a character who was not only not in the first three books beyond a few short pages here and there but was also dead. It was like three books of foreplay. And after its slightly disappointing predecessor, which provided answers but no real feeling of resolution or accomplishment, this fourth book was far more satisfying to me.
I felt like I already knew Lokan, but Bryn was new. I sorta love how Silver maintained continuity with the first book in the series and provided plausible explanation for the characterization differences. I also enjoyed getting insight into the origins of their relationship and seeing how their daughter came along. I wish, though, that both characters had been afforded a bit more development.
There were several wonderful moments in the book, in particular the conclusion, which I loved. I appreciated that the storyline was a little less linear and singularly focused than the first three books. Bryn's introduction and backstory, the history between her and Lokan, and the glimpses of Lokan's past added fresh breath into the series.
I loved the external plot thread and the action-adventure journey through Underworld, and once again I was impressed with the scope and originality of the diverse cultural and paranormal elements of the book. Silver has consistently done a great job blending the various religious deities and mythologies, the fantastical and the magical, all merging together into a surprisingly cohesive whole.
The romance between Lokan and Bryn was a little less appealing to me. I felt it lacked the touches of humor, intense physical chemistry, and fiery passion that defined the relationships between Dagan and Roxy and Alastor and Naphré in the first two books. And Bryn's character was a different sort of heroine - which isn't a bad thing on its own merits, but I prefer kick-ass warrior chicks like Roxy and Naphré over Bryn's desperate maternal fierceness and more internal personality. The evolution of the romance had some problems too. It was very two dimensional and heavily focused around the angst generated by Bryn's resigned hopelessness while Underworld.
The totally satisfying resolution and book conclusion were the high points for me. Though the journey to that conclusion was fraught with some of the same series-long issues I've had since the beginning, like a tendency toward repetition of information in the narrative (by the fourth book, I really don't need to be told that Sutekh is the über-lord of the Underworld every time his name is mentioned, but if I am, I'd appreciate at least having different wording or phraseology used), and had a few issues particular to this book and these characters, I liked the read. I would love to know what, if anything, Silver was planning on doing next with the Otherkin series.
Prequel Book 1 Book 2
Book 3 Book 4