It had to happen eventually, I did not care for this book, the first one in the series that I would describe in this manner. Why? The titular character, Dorothea MacDonald. All of the previous books, including the ones set in the Pliocene, are focused on the Remillard family. The abrupt shift to another character, and one who is not terribly sympathetic early on, is jarring.
Diamond Mask is placed in danger from an early age by Hydra and Fury, and it honestly does not resonate with me at all. I had no emotional investment with the character so, while I can be concerned about a child facing down killers, if I don’t know them I find it difficult to care that much. There was a huge difference when Jack was being menaced as the reader had grown to know him over the course of the story. Also, the Hydra members, especially as they grow older are completely unbelievable. 1 of them is borderline psychotic, another is dumb as a bag of rocks, with only 2 of them seeming to be worthy antagonists. Yet we are supposed to believe that these people are able to evade authorities across the galaxy? Sorry, just don’t see it.
The growth of Jack Remillard was a welcome and surprising development. He had been called a saint and was revered across the galaxy from the first time he was mentioned, but what I did not expect was that he is portrayed as being really funny. Yes, Jack has mental powers that exceed virtually every other creature in the entire galaxy yet he is down to earth, self effacing and has a strong case of hero worship towards his older brother Marc.
Marc has a much smaller part to play in this book, but plays a central role in the final conflict where Jack and Dorothea attempt to save Dorothea’s planet using psychic powers.
I know middle chapters of a book can be difficult but I think the emphasis on a character and her family who had barely been previously mentioned just felt like a major misstep. Perhaps if she had been woven into the stories earlier it might have been different, but as it is written the story just did not work for me.