Knowing that this series has a limited shelf life put me on the fence about whether I wanted to move forward reading it. Now that I have read this second installment, I am glad I stuck with it. I liked Memory Zero pretty well, but I liked this one better. Maybe because I already understood the world, but also because Keri Arthur really advances the bigger picture and gives me more elements toward a romance.
The story picks up just a few weeks after the event of Zero. Sam is now a member of the Special Investigations Unit and partnered with Gabriel. It’s not going well. Gabriel wants nothing to do with a partner. His last two died and he is not looking to go through that again. So he is freezing her out, burying her in paperwork, hoping she’ll quit. This only makes Sam more determined to stick it out.
Meanwhile, a serial killer is tearing through their domain, and it is slowly revealed to have ties with Sam’s mysterious history. I really enjoyed watching it unfold. The pace is fast, though not quite as breakneck as in the last book. And one of the things I liked about it, is how it all folds into the big picture. I find that I really like the world building. The further we get into the series, the more of it is revealed. Arthur manages to both answer questions and pose new ones, all while taking us deeper inside Sam and Gabriel’s characters.
And speaking of Sam and Gabriel… their prickly relationship is moving to a different level. No, we’re not crossing into romanceland, but we are getting acknowledgement of an attraction that works in both directions. Unfortunately, Gabriel’s issues keep all the yearning in the hands-off phase. At least we’re moving in the right direction, and in the meantime, the sexual tension is well done. I really like the bond between them! These two definitely have chemistry, but I am ready for Sam to knock some sense into her partner. Enough is enough.
I also have to give credit to Sam’s character. She is smart, loyal, and kickass. I love watching her evolve into… whatever she is evolving into. Bring on Penumbra! (I just hope that the ending manages to give us the answers –and the romance– I’ve been waiting for.)
*ARC provided by Dell
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Keri Arthur
Original Release Date: September 22, 2004
Re-Release Date: September 30, 2014