NB: I received a gratis copy of this book, but that has not affected the content of my review. This is a fact which you will quickly believe once you read the review. Thanks for my free copy, publishers!!!!
I’ve been trying to write this review for a little while now, just staring at the blank screen, but I’m on some drugs right now that are making me diiiizzy*, so I apologize in advance if this review doesn’t come out as coherent as I’m thinking it is.
*Yesterday while waiting for the results of a CT scan which I was sure would show that I had cancer all up in me everywhere and I was about five minutes from death’s door, I read a large chunk of this book. I’m sure that helped with the paranoid atmosphere Jo was going for here. (P.S. I do not have cancer. They just gave me antibiotics and told me to stop thinking I had cancer all the time.)
Well, it was nothing like the wait between Harry Potter books four and five (which was only three years, but felt like three billion), the wait in between Career of Evil and its terrible cliffhanger, and this book, also felt very, very long (no more cliffhangers, Jo!!!). While some might argue that is because they are the exact same period of time, some might be wrong. The wait between Harry Potter books also must factor in things like the agony of being alive without the next Harry Potter book in your hand, which is at least a factor of 1.578977. Now keep in mind I know absolutely almost nothing about mathematics anymore, but I’m pretty sure all of this makes perfect sense. Also, another thing to keep in mind is that time lasts FOREVER when you are between the ages of ten and eighteen, which adds more math to the equation, at least another 0.2777777, because people reading the Strike books are adults, and time for us goes much quicker, like what the fuck are all these fucking grey hairs on my head you fucking sons of benches.
So that’s how three years is actually three billion years in one instance, and in another (this one), is only maybe about five years, comparatively.
OKAY BUT THE BOOK. Which I really liked! It’s not my favorite of the series, because I overall found the mystery the least engaging of the four, and found that I didn’t care one way or another about what was happening with it, but what was happening with Robin and Strike more than made up for it. The prologue thoughtfully clears up the whole cliffhanger wedding incident from last book, and sets the stage for the rest of the book, which takes place one year later. I wasn’t happy with a lot of the decisions Robin was making RE: Matthew, but they all made sense 100% in context. She needed time emotionally to disentangle herself from him, and get some perspective. (In case you are wondering, spoilers, Matthew remains THE WORST. In fact, he’s the worst with mold growing on top, and the mold is growing feelers and starting to develop sentience. I despise him.)
I could probably talk about the mystery some more (Jo takes on the political sphere this time); or how there are multiple dysfunctional pairs of people peppered throughout, commenting on each other; or about all the new secondary characters, all of whom I loved (Barclay and Vanessa, basically); or about how the book successfully pulls off one of my least favorite tropes SPOILERS the two main characters having a misunderstanding and not clearing it up, causing most of the tension END SPOILERS, but as previously discussed, I am loopy and wish now to be done with this review.
I fully plan on revisiting the audio for my eventual re-read, so perhaps my thoughts at that time will be more useful and coherent.