“Blood Calls” (this was the books previous title) is the story of a man-child, Corbin, and his sarcastic dragon, Blood. Both face prejudice because of their outsider status, and thus use drinking and a healthy dose of withering sarcasm to survive. And they aren’t afraid to fight back against bullies. Which means that Corbin’s war hero uncle can only protect Corbin for so long before his antics and womanizing cause more trouble than his uncle can fix. He ships his nephew off to a sleepy country as the nation’s junior ambassador, where Corbin doesn’t necessarily abandon his drinking, but at least the people there don’t automatically hate him and his red dragon, either. While there, Corbin is able to make friends for the first time in his life, and stand up for what’s right when his adopted country gets invaded, rather than just standing up for himself. He and Blood are able to show that the abilities they have, while considered evil, in the “right” hands, aren’t any more monstrous than any other weapon of war. Don’t let this book’s cover fool you, underneath is a really fun and funny story that never takes itself too seriously, even with the serious topics it tackles. Plus, who doesn’t love a telepathic, sarcastic dragon?
At its core, “The Cretin Gene” is a satirical look at how technology, junk food, and our current culture’s protest and counter protest mentality is making us, not just stupid, but violently stupid at that. It follows an aging cartoonist who is thrust into the limelight when someone looking to disrupt the world order commandeers one of his benign vegetable characters and assassinates someone. The assassination is a front for the true villain to inject society with the actual cretin gene, which has been supplied to the populace via their phones and their food. They essentially go crazy, and can be defeated when you read literature to them, or show them real books. See? Satire. Kind of. Satire is very hard to pull off in the best of circumstances, and maybe this ended up just not being for me, but the satire never really got to be the commentary it was supposed to be, and instead stalled out on caricature characters that got very difficult to read.
I was honestly ready to walk away from this series. This book was going to be the make or break point for me, and (thankfully?) I’ll be sticking around a bit longer. I guess I should have believed everyone that kept telling me the third book was when things really picked up and things started happening. Which isn’t to say that some of my issues from the start of this series weren’t present—they were—but they were easier to forgive with the introduction of my new favorite character(s), as well as the growth Celaena/Aelin undertook that finally started endearing her to me as a character.
This is the third and final book in the Roxanne Fosch Files series, so just a heads up that this review may contain mild spoilers for those previous books. But really, this is an excellent urban fantasy, new adult supernatural and paranormal series so you should definitely check out the first two books. “Heir of Fury” picks up about three years where the last book left off, though only about three weeks have passed back in the “real world”. In that time, Roxanne has become Remo’s most valuable asset, and as his familiar, Roxanne is powerless to go against his orders, bringing him person after person to become a vessel for his evil schemes toward world domination and destruction of the Seelie lands. Roxanne has to figure out what Remo’s plans to achieve his goals are, and how to thwart them, without telling anyone because the second Remo even suspects that she is going against him, he’ll force her to turn against her friends and the few people she holds dear. Roxanne has always been a tragic hero, and this final book really punishes poor Roxanne, a unique shifter even amongst her people, all the way to the bitter sweet end.
Well, that’s it, I finally finished this trilogy. I’ve loved this trilogy from the start. I loved the idea of the angels fabricating an apocalypse just because one of them wants to be the Messenger and was tired of waiting around. I loved the constant struggle Raffe has with wanting to be with Penryn, but also yearning to be back with his brothers, his kind. I love that Penryn is so aware of his struggle, that she doesn’t hold these desires against Raffe and takes the time to stop and think, if our positions were switched, wouldn’t I do the same? This final book had a lot of loose ends to tie up, between Raffe still needing his wings back, Paige starving because she refuses to eat her new food source due to the barbaric experiments done on her, and you know, saving mankind along the way. But for all the new, creepy and action filled areas and new locations Ee takes us to in this book, it took a while to get going, and then ended all too quickly.
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