Sarita, the Water Amazon, is often considered the weakest of the four and certainly the least likely to be sent out on a mission alone. So she’s surprised when Ganga insists she goes on a mission that would normally be Becca’s field of expertise.
That’s not the first surprise – from falling into the hands of Ian who has been plaguing her dreams for weeks, but has his own plans to her – to then actually falling in love in the most unlikely circumstances, things change very quickly for her.
But they need to change – including her powers – as Helen advances her plots and becomes ever closer to destroying the Amazons – and the world with them.
Putting the romance to one side, there’s a lot to say about story and character development in this book.
This feels like the last book in the series and would be appropriate as such since each Amazon has had a book of her own. The book was perfectly written to close their ongoing story arc, deal with the big bad and end in a grand epic conflict. All the Amazons have their HEA, and the future is decided. It’s closed neatly and nicely with no unresolved threads. At the same time we have a careful nudging of that door ajar should future stories in the same world happen – along with cameo or even full appearances of the Amazons and their families. There’s a couple of storylines that could be pursued but don’t need to be –it’s a nice way to wrap up a series while still leaving the option of picking it up again.
The story also had a wonderful sense of epic. The consequences of failure were grand, emotional and extremely clear, the menace was well maintained and the fight scenes were action packed, excellently written and great fun
I also liked a lot of the character development. The goddesses have frequently been presented as vain, fickle, egotistical, petty, selfish and generally unpleasant and incapable of getting anything done. All of this is true. But this book also underscores that they do care – in their self-absorbed way – they care about humanity or they wouldn’t have created the Amazons at all. We have this displayed wonderfully and it adds some great depth to the four goddesses – and even Frejyr.
Sarita also grew well, going from a woman plagued by her insecurities about her scar and being the weakest Amazon to growing in her power and confidence, determined to be treated as an equal and be firmly respected by everyone, resisting any attempts to infantilise her. It was good to see – but unfortunately the whole “Volatile” element meant Sarita had a lot of temper tantrums storming out of the room. Even when they were justified, they were childish and not the way I would have expected her to resolve her issues, especially since we’ve seen no sign of it to date. But often her sisters had a point and their input should have been respected. It was annoying.
I do like that Sarita’s power growth was pushed by goodness. Sheer, pure hearted, goodness. I know that sounds twee, but it’s nice to see a character who is empowered through tweeness rather than being super dangerous or the child of a god or other source of immense power – Sarita is powerful because she is just such a good person. Good enough to use dark magic without being corrupted. Good enough to become the very opposite of a dark practitioner.
Those are the good. The bad is that I just didn’t get the story. Parts of it were unbelievable, parts of it didn’t make sense and parts of it were too damn vague.
Where and when did Helen get her massive world wide cult from? How? And why can she actually put a hit on the Amazons, on television and the internet, without having to explain herself to some irritated police? What did she do for this cult that was so special that they were willing to perform human sacrifices for her? And if they were that devoted, why did things like age and physical attraction completely transform how devoted they were?