Shimmer is a blue dragon, exiled from the Dragon Reaches after a very ill-advised theft, she now has to live Earthside with most of her powers stripped from her.
She only been on Earth for a short time - but when she starts acting very out of character, Carter, her lover calls on the D’Artigo sisters to try and find some answers and try and find Shimmer herself, who has vanished
Menolly quickly uncovers a connection between Shimmer’s odd behaviour and a new threat in town – a vampire sorcerer looking for revenge.
I have issues with this novella. Mainly the same issues I have with the Otherworld Series in general, but exacerbated by this being a shorter story. There is just such a lot of recap and reminder of previous stories, so much hammering home who everyone is, what everyone has done, what has happened before and why and how that wasn’t really needed here which would clutter up even a full length novel, let alone a novella
This novella has been bogged down with all the litter of the last story. Menolly being Roman’s consort, Smoky and Shadow’s existence, Camille’s relationship, Delila’s dead twin, Menolly’s past and scars, the previous vampire serial killer, what Iris is currently up to, chase and his elven heritage, the magical storm in Otherworld – all of this is completely unnecessary to the plot and has been added in almost as padding
This adds to some other elements of over-descriptiveness – like a lecture on the merits of locking your car from Menolly. Or detailed descriptions of Carter’s cats. We really don’t need this – we don’t need this in a full length book, in a novella this is overwhelming the short plot line we have. It also makes elements that would have worked – like following up a dead end in the investigation with Wilbur – not work because it felt like more padding. When you have so many excess story elements, every new dead end or red herring, even for plot purposes, just adds to this padding
This excess padding contributes to another major problem – this isn’t a book in the Otherworld Series. It’s set in the same world, but it’s supposed to be the first book in the Fly By Night Series following Shimmer, Ralph and Alex. And in that it failed epicly.
Every part of this story was told almost entirely from Menolly’s point of view – one of the main characters from the Otherworld Series. All the relevant action was performed by the three D’Artigo sisters who are the protagonists in the Otherworld Series. Alex just follows the sisters around really adding a great deal or doing an awful lot to establish his character. We have some, but he’s so overwhelmed by the sisters. Ralph is barely even there, I completely forgot about him repeatedly and thought he was an excess character. And Shimmer? We get a little from her at the beginning of the book and enough of her back story and culture to make her interesting enough as an outcast from her society with strong class parallels. I think her story could be interesting. But this isn’t her story. This is the story where she is the object – she exists in this story to be rescued and that’s about it. The background we’re given could easily have been the background for someone the sisters are investigating – she’s nearly completely absent as a character in this book.