Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Circle of the Moon

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Circle of the Moon (2019) Faith Hunter

This book is set after the last Jane Yellowrock book, Dark Queen, but I’m not 100% clear on the time-line, which was problematic. As best I can tell, this is far enough after the big events that Jane has gone to ground to heal, which is why neither she nor the Youngers are accessible. One also needs to remember that since Nell works for PsyLED, Jane can’t fully trust her. Which makes sense, but took a bit to remember.

Nell and Occam are recovering from the events of the previous book, although Occam is still scarred and Nell has to work to look human.

The farm had seemingly figured out that if I was a tree, there would be no one to work the soil and it liked me around. Now, as I worked, the leaves on my neck and hands broke off and the vines fell free, a calming sacrifice to the land, not bloody and violent as other kinds.

Nell is also working to get custody of her true-sib, Mud. Mud will go to public school and avoid both a church marriage and being burned at the stake.

“That’s very Machiavellian of you, sister mine.”

“That sounds like a dirty word, but if’n I get a greenhouse outta that, then I’m okay with it.”

The major problems is that at 12, Mud is seen as marriageable by the church, but is still a child, and definitely too young to be left on her own, what with the danger from both the church and Nell’s job.

One of the things I especially like about this series is that it constantly reminds us that law enforcement is a lot of drudge work.

Ninety-nine percent of my job was paperwork.

And throughout the story we see Nell writing reports, reading reports, working on reports, etc. Yes, there is lots of action, but we’re regularly reminded that there are a lot of rules and regulations Nell has to follow. (Which makes her situation very different from Jane’s.)

I also appreciated that Nell had to worry about child-care for Mud–although I think there were solutions that were ignored.

There are interwoven story arcs in this book–the black witch circles, which bring PsyLED into the story, but also the issue of Rick’s spelled tats finally comes to a head. And Nell learning to deal with her expanded powers. Plus the issues with the European vamps spilling over from NOLA. Plus the discovery that Jane’s brother works for PsyLED.

I’ll be honest, I still have issues with that last one. Jane had been dealing with PsyLED (and Soul) for years. We should have at least heard mention of Firewind years ago. Especially on the part of Soul, who should have recognized the connection between the two, and at LEAST dropped hints.

That’s an issue not with this book, but with the series. But there’s also nothing to be done about it at this point, other than for it to bug me in the back of my mind.

Another positive, however, (and I use the term positive loosely) is the issue of hate groups. Our current world has made it quite clear that hate groups will exist, and seemingly smart individuals can be drawn into stupidity, and those prejudices will cause problems on all levels.

“One of the local ‘humans only’ hate groups has promised lethal retribution to the local vamps. Other right-wing wack-job hate groups are joining in. It ain’t pretty. Seems (police officer) was a member in good standing with one. His face was plastered all over social media today, attending a meeting.

Now, to how I feel about the story.

The honest answer is, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I’ve slept on it, and remain undecided.

Rick’s problems had been getting worse, and needed resolved, and DID make him a security risk (kudos for noting that repeatedly). So that story arc made sense. But the confluence of bad guys? I felt a bit that the European vamps were shoehorned into this story, and never quite fit logically for me. Yeah, the Naturaleza vamps would have tried to move on what they felt to be the weaker cities in the Americas. But I just don’t see them teeming up with the bad guy in the story.

It was an interesting story, and I’m glad to see Rick’s problems resolved (including his romantic issues) but I’m not sure about how realistic all the parts were, taken together.

One last positive–I do love these covers. So pretty!

Publisher: Ace
Rating: Undecided


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