So after a lot of manipulations from Lillith and some very bad decisions on James’s part – he is now Master of the City
And there’s a lot of people, not least of which the global vampire council. And while James would probably be willing to step down, there is no abdicating – just death. Which means, just as all of his friends have stepped back away from him, James finds himself defending his life by defending a title he didn’t ask for.
So Jimmy is now master of the city. And some of this I really like
I like how he walks the moral tightrope. After all, the last book saw Sabrina leave him because she couldn’t tolerate his ruthlessness, she refused to accept his willingness to fight, hurt and even kill people. She thought he had gone to the dark side.
To a degree she’s correct – he is much more ruthless than he was. He does fight and hurt and kill. He leaves a swath of destruction in his wake and it does worry him. He does worry about what he’s become
At the same time he isn’t apologetic because he knows he didn’t kill when he could have and it’s a bit more complicated than just descent into darkness
Especially when we look at his proposed replacement as Master of the city who is very much in favour of killing everyone who challenges him, not acknowledge humans as people and generally willing to leave a pile of bodies in his wake. Jimmy gives second chances, Jimmy enforces his rules and is even a strict, iron fisted ruler – but without killing and, if he can, without violence. Jimmy is certainly not a good guy in this book, but he’s way better than the alternative. This moral quandary is one of the best parts of the book
I’m less thrilled with him suddenly spawning major combat powers which allowed him to enforce his reign by simply beating any challengers. It felt like a too-easy cop-out. Equally, him inheriting a super-efficient, all knowing and loyal-from-the-get-go butler also feels like a lazy cop out. Let’s face it, Jimmy was grossly unqualified to become Master of the City – he’s fairly unqualified to become master of a relatively small gaming club. To have him assume the position and then just drop these two major crutches on him feels… too convenient. And, really, it’s a waste. Him being grossly underqualified and having to learn quickly, fail, struggle, appeal for help and succeed because people saw something worth following in him? Hey, that’s a plot line! That’s several books of content right there! Him stepping up, being unqualified and then getting super powers and an extremely useful sidekick is not.