Warning: I’m going MIA tomorrow, having set aside A WHOLE DAY FOR WRITING if I’m slow replying to any comments, please forgive me.
Although I’m nominally on holiday, I’ve been working for the last 6 days (clients up here in Scotland still want to see me, thank goodness), and today I took a day out to go on a drive around and visit several of the sites that feature in Desprite Measures, giving me LOTS of photos and videos to sort through – so I thought I’d catch up with another of those ‘number 2 in series’ reviews I’ve been running.
This has been the best so far. I only awarded it 4*, and you’ll see why when you read the review below, but I must say it was a pleasure to delve into a #2 book and find it up to the standard of the first one.
So, without further ado:
Beka Yancy is a barely qualified Baba Yaga (turns out that’s a title, not a person, and there are 3 of them in the US, protecting the environment and dealing with bad guys), and for her first serious mission she finds herself faced with a tricky situation: something is poisoning the deepwater trench where the mers and selkies live, forcing them to move closer to human waters and risk discovery. There’s little to go on, and Beka can’t help but question her own competence, as her self-confidence was pretty much wiped out by her mentor during training.
Just to complicate things, the only way Beka can get out to the site to dive, is on a fishing boat with a grumpy old guy dying of cancer, and his impossibly stiff-shirted son, Marcus; an ex-marine who can’t abide Beka’s flaky surfer-girl persona. He’s not to know she’s a powerful witch, and he wouldn’t believe her anyway…
This is the second of Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series, and it was great to have a totally different character from Barbara Yager, the Baba in Wickedly Dangerous. The writing is clear and crisp, and the story holds together nicely although I did think Beka was a bit too trusting and forgiving, even if she is understandably naive.
I think I may be suffering from romance-reading burnout, as I found the plot structure of the romance aspect way too predictable: boy meets girl and they detest each other on sight. Through circumstances they gradually come to the point of developing a relationship, have sex, and then girl reveals big secret which boy can’t forgive, and suddenly it’s all doom and gloom and looks like it’s all over. But hey, guess what? It isn’t! Now there’s a surprise… Not.
To be fair, the characters are beautifully drawn, and totally true to their natures. I just think the predictability is rather dull, but you may thrive on it. After all, there are only so many stories out there to be told.
The villain is gloriously villainous, there is a little lead in to the next book with one of the Riders (the Baba Yaga’s traditional assistants) missing, and all the immediate plot threads are nicely tied up by the end, so a satisfying read on many levels. I look forward to the next one, and discovering yet another Baba and her individual quirks.
And here is my review of the first in the series: Wickedly Dangerous