Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Black Tide (Outcast #3) by Keri Arthur

Tiger has finally taken the first steps against the sinister forces experimenting on children for their own dark aims. But more children are missing - and those experiments are gaining ground: the some vampires are walking in sunlight

To finally stop this she needs to bring down Ciara the sinister architect behind this. But Ciara can change her shape to look like anyone and apparently has influence at the very top of government.

This book is action packed - we open with Tiger charging into battle against these sinister facilities and it doesn’t let up from there

And it’s really satisfying to follow with this book of concrete action and results after the sometimes confusion of the previous books. We had a lot of random events before and a whole lot of confusion from the large scale, highly convoluted and multiple levels of conspiracy that was exposed but still pretty hard to follow in the last two books

Now we have answers. Now Tiger knows what she is up against and what needs to be done. And this born weapon is going to charge into battle and kill everyone she needs to do to bring this world ending conspiracy to an end. She knows who is responsible, she knows their sinister plans - now the investigation has finished and it’s time to blow it all up.

And can I say now that I was pretty wary of Tiger for a while - the fact that she was designed to be a seductive assassin made me think of a lot of terrible tropes: but we dodge that. She is a lethal trained commando and warrior: we have no lethal seduction, but a lot of guns and explosions.

This does come with some interesting moral quandaries: especially in relation to the experiments here. I.e. the people these illicit labs have created, the babies, what they are, whether they can be saved, whether they should be saved, whether they’re acceptable collateral damage. All of this is extra poignant to Tiger, an artificially created being herself who saw so many of her people, especially the children whose ghosts she still treasures, were destroyed as being unfit to live.

She and Jonas have also reached an interesting level. Their romance has been on the cards for some time and, no, I’m not a fan. But I do like that they are addressing their ancestral problems, their fighting on differing sides of the war, both being party to atrocities for their own side… it isn’t just ignored. It is addressed, they do talk about it.

And I love that Tiger is also taking her very controversial species and involvement to the centre of government itself for some really epic confrontations. I love that this series is being so well capped off with so much drama, truly epic scenes and some really excellent, exciting, blood fizzing scenes. There’s something so joyful to cheer

We do have a number of POC among the shifter packs and in government though they’re not exactly in prominent roles, they are there. In terms of other women… the main presence is  a powerful witch who is an incredible leader and power in the city who defends them in the great final battle. But she’s more a powerful force of nature than a person - she there isn’t really a human, female presence in Tiger’s life.

LGBTQ characters… there are none, again. There is a flip moment of Tiger in the government recognising a man who is a child predator - which is conflated a lot with him being bisexual and both are also conflated with fetishes. Considering this is a throwaway character she little spends 2 seconds talking two, please return to erasure, no-one wants this.

This whole series has always had an excellent setting and world building. It has always had an intriguing main character with some interesting powers and some ghostly companions. But it also had a highly complicated and involved plot line that was, perhaps, somewhat confusing between the wraiths and the vampires and sinister agencies and labs and kidnapped children and… it was confusing. But now it’s all come together in an epic finale that is deeply satisfying