Yancy continues to want very little from life. Ribs, whiskey, gambling and a drifter’s life. But he’s been dragged into an epic secret conflict no man with a conscience could walk away from
He also cannot walk away from angry Big Feet who need his help. Mainly because they’re super fast and willing to wreck his car and his skull to make him co-operate
Despite a less than auspicious introduction, Yancy finds that the same insidious evil he has been hunting has its tentacles here as well – and the future of more than the Big Feet rest in the balance.
We know the pattern of a series like this. With every book, the current plot will feed into the greater meta plot, we will have epic confrontations each feeding into more epic confrontations to come. Great powers will be raised, will be fought and our heroes will emerge bloodied and not entirely victorious – but they will have pushed back the dark for now and emerged a little stronger, a little more powerful, and, yes a little more epic than they were before
It’s a pattern I’ve seen repeated numerous times – and gods do I love it. I really really do – so long as you can walk that shining line between the epic and the Gary Stu/Mary Sue. So long as the plot is more than just a slug fest (which this series doesn’t do that well with) and so long as the world is one epic playground in which all the awesome can be displayed – which this book certainly does do.
We have an epic world, an ever more epic conflict, lots of blood-fizzing fight scenes all with a decidedly noir bent that it actually pulls off at least 80% of the time (hey, a well maintained Noir is a wonderful and rare thing to find – but usually they try too hard). Yancy manages to be just a bit too unlikeable (there’s the gruff rogue antihero and the outright arsehole and he flirts along that line just a bit too much), but in all, all the ingredients I love are right there and this series has gone from one I was relatively indifferent about to one I will be following to the bitter end.
It also has sufficient quirks to make it special as well – I kind of love Lady Luck, the entire concept of her, her influence that always helps so very much – but not nearly as much as you’d like. Because of course, she’s bound by rules. And equally of course, she breaks them. She is Lady Luck after all. Or maybe not break, but there’s a lady who likes her loopholes
On the third book in the series I find myself with the same old problem. I like the action. The action is good. The action is interesting. That action is well paced and well written and exciting and you can see all these epic fights raging across the book. They’re really really really well done and these action scenes dropped in any other book would be so very awesome in any other book
But not in this one because, again, there are just too many. Over and over and over we have fight scenes. We have struggles. And sometimes just wonder why is everything so hard? I mean the whole opening scene where Yancy meets the Chiye-tanke we have a battle. We have a long, unnecessary fight scene between Yancy and his upcoming allies and… why? Whyyyyy? And even if there was an initial misunderstanding why did we have to go full on war zone? Why is Chief Chankoowashtay the leader of his people and this incapable of communicating coherently and sensibly with people? And why in the name of all that is sensible does Yancy have to smart mouth his way through every encounter trying to provoke a fight ALL the times. We’ve said it before in relations to a lot of oh-so-strong female protagonists and it equally applies here: your character is not tougher or stronger because they can’t stop wise cracking and disrespecting everyone around them. It’s tiresome, it’s annoying, it slows down the plot and it makes me kind of dislike Yancy.