Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Undone Deeds by Mark Del Franco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a real mixed bag for me. I've liked this series very much and I was really looking forward to this final book. Del Franco writes great characters and I was eager to see how they were doing and what was going to happen next. Not only Connor, but secondary characters are also well developed. There's conflicted cop Murdock, new to his Druidic skills, as are his bitter and angry brothers who are targeting Connor with their wrath. Smart forensic scientist Janey is a treat. Connor's mom was newly introduced but well-used element with her fun, fluttery, but very clever and deeply perceptive ways. Joe is always great, although I missed some of the humor this time, maybe he was just too familiar, but the loyalty was there. Eorla was gracious and charming, as was Ceridwen, who also had a splash of humor. And of course there's Meryl, brilliant, wise, sarcastic, cautiously loving, loyal, bold and sassy Meryl. And there were appearances by many more favorites including Tibbit, Keeva, Briallen, Dr. Gillen. The vivid and well developed characters helped make the story come to life.
But Del Franco did tend to repeat himself a lot, that got a bit irritating. For example, he mentions the abandoned and fire damaged buildings over and over again. It's nice to set a scene, but I got it the first few times it was mentioned. There were also infodumps about the past books, but the truth is that I did need them, there was a lot of detail that there was no way that I could have remembered. Maybe that means that things were just to complicated or confusing, considering how things turned out in the end, but I needed the reminders so I was glad they were there.
My biggest issue is what felt like a major change in Connor's direction and character. The series started out with Connor being a down on his luck PI because his abilities were not working. He was investigating cases with Leo Murdock. Then the long story arc kicked in with Vize and the budding war web Maeve, fine, but Connor was still involved as a representative of the government and a Druid. This book took things in a whole other direction with what Connor's roll in everything was. And there isn't much where I can look back and say, yeah, sure, he was laying the groundwork for that there. Things are just suddenly really different for Connor in this book, who he is, who he's been, what everyone else around him has known about it, and what he's going to have to do about it.
And frankly, I really didn't understand a lot of went on near the end of the book as well. We got answers, which was great. But I didn't always understand them or their implications very well. The mystical stuff was odd and confusing more than thrilling. And then there's what should have been a big emotional moment and I totally missed it. When I saw how characters were responding afterward I realized what must have happened and went back to read it and still missed it, not much of a killer climax after all.
I read a lot of urban fantasy. I like big cool trick-me endings. If he could have pulled something off that felt magical and wonderful I'd be the first to be telling everyone all about it. I really, really wanted to love this book. But I really just didn't understand a lot of the choices and then almost anything about what happened at the end.
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