Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Charlie Madigan series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This was the third book in the Charlie Madigan series by Gay. It was an excellent addition to the series and I really enjoyed reading it. There was a lot more character development in this novel and a bit less action, but it still made for a wonderful story.
Something is making Ash victims commit suicide. No one knows if they are being possessed or if it is just part of the Ash addiction, but Charlie is very worried about her sister Bryn who was accidentally exposed to Ash during the big battle in the first book. In order to figure out what’s going on Charlie is forced to make a deal with some Charbydon creatures and has to venture into Hell itself. Not all is lost though; she has Hank and Rex at her side and will hopefully solve the mystery of her sister’s Ash addiction before it is too late.
Charlie grows more as a character in this book than in any other previous book in this series. In fact more page space is dedicated to character/character interaction than the previous books and this leads to less action but a lot of growth in the characters we already know and love. Charlie has to take on a lot of responsibility in this book and she is finally learning how to handle that responsibility. She also grows a lot emotionally as she deals with her daughter, her possessed sister, and her partner in crime, Hank. I liked her more in this book than I have in the previous books.
The best character of the book though is Hank. We learn a ton about Hank’s mysterious past and it was a lot of fun to read about. The tension between Hank and Charlie is wonderfully done in this book; there were parts where you couldn’t have pried this book out of my hands…I just had to know what would happen next.
I continue to love the interesting world building and also love watching Charlie grow into her new powers. We get to meet some new types of creatures and get to watch Em’s Hellhound in his natural environment.
There wasn’t as much action, but I still found the book incredibly engaging. The book does end with a horrible cliffhanger and I am dying to find out what is going to happen in book 4, Shadows Before the Sun.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It is one of the strongest in this series. I continue to love this world. I also loved how much the characters grew and changed throughout this book. Hank is by far one of my favorite characters and learning his mysterious past was awesome. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Recommended for fans of urban fantasy; especially for those who like complex world-building in their urban fantasy.