And there was LESS sex. Still a lot of sex, but less. I was actually glad of this, I’ve always said that Anya Bast actually has a great world and a great story if she’d only cut down on all the excessive shagging. But without the endless shagging other annoyances became apparent - the tropes were annoying – big strong man must tell you what to do to protect you, oh delicate petal of womanhood. But there’s some other stuff that bugs me, worst of all – the plot doesn’t work.
I thought book 3 was bad, with them deciding that the best way to keep Claire safe was to take her on a road trip to avoid the teleporting demons who can travel anywhere in the world in a second rather than using the coven’s overwhelming numbers, magic and copper weapons. But book 4? Ugh.
For reasons unknown our fire witch Sarafina gets a “feeling” that something important is somewhere and goes wandering and *gasp* so there is! Can there be a weaker, more pathetic way to move the plot forward than to have the character do random crap because “they got a feeling”? NB in no way shape or form are fire witches psychic… so why? How?
She twice has the same feeling above this underground room which has a tunnel which she uses to enter the warlock hideout and she only follows it up the second time thereby Saving The Day. Yes the whole plot relies on a completely unexplained “feeling” which she decides to pursue RATHER THAN fleeing from/finishing off an Atrika demon that wants to turn her into a sex slave and brood mare.. Seriously it’s like “I must run for my life! I must kill my attacker! Oh my true love is fighting for his very existence! Ooooh, wait, a cave! Time out for some random spelunking! Yay!”
Oh and bonus points – the coven took control of this building and searched it for several days. And didn’t find this HUGE OBVIOUS THING despite USING this tunnel to gain entry to the building.
And worse, y’know 99% of everything that happens to the coven is THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT. Honestly these guys are not that bright.
Take the Duskoff. The warlocks have been a thorn in their sides for decades and they have one leader – Stefan – with NO second in command. The old boss died in book 1 and Stefan took over - all he has are vague aides, no-one to take over. Seriously, kill Stefan and the Duskoff lose their whole organisation. The Coven has Stefan at their mercy… oh… 4 times? And not ONCE do they just think “screw this, stab the bastard and be done with it.”
And book 4 just takes all this stupid to the next level. In book 3, with Claire, Stefan was rescued from Gribben by an Atrika demon. Worse, the coven discovers that Gribben is the WORST place to fight demons since witch powers don’t work while demon powers do – so you end up fighting magicly powerful demons with nothing more than your hands and copper swords. Fighting demons in Gribbenis like hunters trying to kill a bear by to throwing away their guns, rubbing themselves in salmon and going grizzly wrestling naked in sub-zero temperatures
So in book 4 when they subdue Stefan after discovering he has an ARMY of Atrika drmons at his beck and call, what do they do? TAKE HIM TO GRIBBEN! And *gasp* he is rescued and witches die!? My gods, who saw THAT coming?! It’s at this point I literally threw my kindle down and decided that Thomas must actually be a Duskoff mole, because there’s NO WAY he can be this foolish and have lead the coven as long as he has.
The problem then follows that the rest of the book is INVALID. All the dead witches and trauma and sadness only happens because the coven is lead by a man with all the intelligence of a drug addled lemur. If just one of them had decided that rather than leave Stefan in the demon rescue are they’d actually PROPERLY imprison him or just KILL the damn bastard the whole book would have ended in victory.
In fact the problem is that this whole damn BOOK is invalid. The ONLY way the plot holds together is if you accept that Sarafina has unknown and unexplained psychic powers AND that the entire coven is lead by people with the same decision making skills as Clary! This book is literally held together by gross incompetence, abject stupidity and ridiculous foolishness.