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Series: Game of Shadows #2
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Second in the Game of Shadows urban fantasy series and revolving around Mary, Michael, and Astra. Based in Michigan.
The story picks up where Rising Darkness, 1, left off with the battle in the woods at Michael’s cabin.
I think this is the end of this part of the series, and it seems that Harrison will be embarking on a new spin-off from it. We’ll see.
Essentially, this is a good plot line, but I’m not impressed. Harrison’s writing is half-baked with little finesse — superficial is a good word. She makes a good stab at creating various levels of tension — the Deceiver’s chasing Mary and Michael is very good, but the bit with Astra was good and too obvious at the same time. Harrison introduces possibilities for tension and goes nowhere with it. The crises that begin to bring Mary’s memories back are convenient.
It’s the age-old story of the search for eternal youth on the Deceiver’s part, his desire to live life as he chooses. Only Harrison has stressed the most awful aspects, enough to terrify anyone, and it’s so one-sided. There is no complexity to him. The Lake Michigan entity was the opposite to the Deceiver and was quite handy — and completely lacking in real tension.
It was more of a cartoon characterization, much as the Deceiver and Astra were. Astra is too quick to choose to kill, another one-sided character. And I suspect it’s because she’s tired of living. She wants it over. Okay, I’m being mean. Astra is more complex than that. She does have some warmth — look at her care for the island and the little fox. But when you dig into her…
The point Astra makes about soulmates not always equating with romantic love was a good one and turns out to be a bit of foretelling.
I do like the chance Mary gives Nicholas. It’ll be interesting to see what Harrison/Nicholas do in the next story. I really liked Harrison’s metaphor for the Entity, what I think is meant to represent Gaia with a truly gruesome description of what we’re doing to our environment.
As smart as these people are supposed to be, why would they let Jerry and Jamie leave?
I enjoyed the sound of Astra’s island, her home, and her food(!). The bits of history Harrison weaves in with the alien twins and how the Deceiver destroys them is interesting.
Still, it’s Saturday-afternoon-at-the-movies without the fun.
It’s a battle between recovering from their injuries and escaping the Deceiver. Of eluding the manhunt focused on Mary and Michael as they seek out Astra, for they’ll need her aid in what they hope will be the final battle.
Along the way they’ll learn about each other’s talents and abilities. They’ll remember their pasts…
Mary was Michael’s soulmate for millennia, but they haven’t reunited for nine hundred years until Mary was healed from the damage the Deceiver did to her. Now she’s Dr. Mary Byrne, an ER doctor, on the run from a very bad man.
Michael “Mr. Enigmatic” has been training to go up against the Deceiver most of this lifetime while hunting for his soulmate who has been missing for nine hundred years.
Astra is Michael’s old childhood mentor. She chose not to be reborn and has been alive for millennia. It has allowed her to forge close ties with the people of the First Nations: they call her PtesanWi, White Buffalo Calf Woman. She was also the leader of the original seven who left their world six thousand years ago to chase after the Deceiver.
Jerry Crow is an Ojibwa elder who’s dying. Nicholas is Jerry’s son and has been murdered. So many hopes had been pinned on him: a Green Beret, part of the president’s Secret Service detail and intended to protect the president from the Deceiver’s touch. Jamie is one of Jerry’s grandsons. Sara is Jamie’s mother.
I think the Entity is meant to be Gaia. Or, it’s meant to be Lake Michigan?? The dragon, the Honored One, of whom Mary speaks, healed her in Rising Darkness and is a supernatural creature she met in her previous life.
Charlotte and Jim are the worried couple at the rest stop.
The Deceiver, a.k.a., Lucifer, a.k.a., his oldest name, the Morning Star, a.k.a., Light Bearer, has been wreaking havoc on earth since he arrived six thousand years ago.
The sixty-some victims included:
Justin Byrne, Mary’s ex-husband, had been one of the bodies the Deceiver took in Rising Darkness. Steven Ellis was reported missing by his wife, Vicki. The diner massacre consisted of Ruth Tandy, Jackie Parsons, Emilio Gonzales, Greg and Jeffrey Macomb, Beau Chambers, Dickey Boxleitner, Bobby Jackson, Cherry Tandy, and Sue Evans. James and Christine Atkins along with their son, Robert, and Christine’s mother, Gina Barclay, were at the TGI Friday’s; Christine’s father, Ray Barclay, didn’t survive the news.
Drones are servants to the Deceiver, turned with one handshake. Without a will of their own, they obey his every order and are everywhere: Martin, Ryan, and Allison are some of his drones at the FBI.
A Haokah is a sacred clown which teaches life lessons.
The Cover and Title
The cover is greens and yellows and a slash of brown. It’s Michael’s face, determined, a sword in hand, emblazoned across the sky against a beam of yellow light, hovering above the lake and an old wooden pier.
The title is the Deceiver, the Falling Light that has destroyed so many.