Nikki is joining the Circle after all of her conflicts with Michael over her safety – but already her safety is at risk with the Circle itself being targeted
But she isn’t the one their enemies are focused on – it’s Michael and Selene, targets of an elaborate revenge plot from their distant past.
With Michael kidnapped, his memory heavily erased and him replaying the events of over a 100 years ago, only Nikki can enter this ghost town full of mind controlled hostages to try and save Michael and bring him back to himself
And stop a sorcerer from bringing one of the Circle’s worst enemies back to life.
I did have a lot of concern about this book rehashing a lot of what happened in Dancing with the Devil,
since Michael has his magical amnesia, it sets us up perfectly to replay all those love at first sight tropes, all of Michael’s “but I can’t get close to anyone” clichés and the endless “but she’s so sexy I just can’t resist her” mental rambles that were annoying the first time round and no better going back to the same tropes with the same characters for another visit.
And I wasn’t wrong. We do spend a lot of the earlier part of book replaying these same tropes interspaced with lots of “zomg she’s so sexy” commentary. But it is only the earlier part of the book (and, yes, it was every bit as annoying as I imagined). We spend far more time with Nikki plotting to try and get Michael’s memory back and trying to defeat Dunleavy than she does on sex or even on how much she loves him. In fact, there was a shocking lack of angst considering the set up – I expected Nikki to be upset that Michael has forgotten her, to be sad, to lament that their future together is now over. But she doesn’t – she is confident in their victory, she is confident that Dunleavy’s magic can’t possibly permanently erase their love. She is confident in the strength of their relationship. She is confident in her own sexual attractiveness. She is confident in her abilities and their combined abilities.
Nikki is gloriously, refreshingly free from lots of doubt and self-recrimination and angst that I would so have expected from this set up. Her main concerns are less “how will I get Michael back” and more “how will I save all these people?”
Which follows for most of the book – it’s far more mission focused than any of the previous books in the series. Relationship issues have, in the past, completely overwhelmed the plot and distracted both Nikki and Michael to a horrendous extent (as I have complained about at length
). With the amnesia and, more importantly, the long term relationship behind them both Nikki and Michael are free to focus on the mission at hand rather than their relationship issues.
This made the story a generally good read (once we’re past the initial problems and a rather excessive wordiness in the beginning). The plot is exciting, has plenty of action, lots of detective work and lots of brainstorming. Both characters think, both characters explore, both characters use intelligence and combat skills. They face many obstacles, they have to pick a delicate path to keep everyone alive and the difficulty of finding Dunleavy as well, all with the loss of Michael’s memory. It’s well written and a fun plot to read without it being constantly distracted
And I like how the amnesia was handled. Michael is a younger version of himself but bits of his memory bleeds through. I*t’s really well done – and not just solely focused on his relationship with Nikki, but also to how he thinks of himself, how he reacts, what he has learned in the hundred or so years since the events he’s now flashing back to. The spell degrades and his memory comes back in several pieces in a very gradual but very natural and understandable fashion – I really liked it.