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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Double Cross (Justine Jones Disillusionist Book 2) by Carolyn Crane


In my mind, the best Urban Fantasy books are those where there are mythological and/or supernatural beings, and that the general population is not aware of their existence. The Disillusionist series fits that definition, but it does it without vampires, werewolves, fairies, shapeshifters, or any of the usual supernaturals. I think it's safe to say this series is not like anything else in the genre.

Here's the blurb:


Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who gifts her with extraordinary mental powers—dooming her to fight Midcity’s shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

Without giving spoilers, I will say that at the end of Double Cross, I was sad, depressed, and perhaps even a bit disillusioned. The book was certainly a page turner, I'll give it that, but I wasn't happy at all with the ending.

As for the writing elements -- the plot was great, pacing had issues in the first book but was much better this time, prose and dialogue were fine, character development is okay, and world-building is well done.
It appears we are probably a year away from the third book, and I can't see that the author has even released the name yet. I want to say you can't end a book this way and not even tell us the name of the next book... but she did. If I had it to do over again I would wait until next year and read all three books together, when the third one comes out.

I'm conflicted about how to rate the book. Part of me wants to rate it high for the plot twists, and part of me wants to rate it really really low for the ending. It's not just that it's a cliffhanger, it's that it's... well... not nice. I'll split the difference and give it an 8.

  • Book Rating:Double Cross: 8 of 10
  • Series Rating: 8 of 10

1. Mind Games
2. Double Cross
3. Un-named final book, last half of 2011


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