Title: Pack of Lies (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Series Book 3)
Author: Annie Bellet
Published: Oct 14, 2014
The third installment in this series does not shirk on the action. There’s plenty of death, magic, and political infighting among the magical community. Prejudice isn’t just for us normal humans, so grab your Lucky Charms and strap in for a wild ride. (Yeah. Leprechaun alert.)
Characterization and badassery
Jade’s powers have continued to grow. She’s able to throw down some pretty coolio stuff. Cause she’s been practicing. She spends her free time these days sitting at the bottom of a pool doing stuff like breathing water and throwing ice lances. Not too shabby for the girl who had trouble throwing up a simple shield in book one.
Alek’s character is a bit rounder in this book, which is good. Instead of standing around mostly being judgmental, he spends a lot of time roaring and running around as a gigantic, badass were-tiger. Killing stuff and tearing it apart and being kind of awesome. Yay for giant Russian were-tiger badassery.
Plot and pacing
This short book is action-packed. It can be tough to get to a point where you can put the book down and go make dinner or something, because you say, “Well, I need to finish this action scene, then I’ll go do x, y, z thing that I should have done an hour ago.” But when it’s one action scene after another, a break-point is hard to find. If that sounds like a complaint, it’s not. A book should make you feel like you can’t put it down. And because it’s short, you could finish this off in a sitting or two, really, if you’re dedicated.
Prose and editing
A few more errors than the previous books. Not so heinous I want to punch anyone in the face or anything, but there were a couple times when I made the Face of Disapproval. Kind of looks like I bit into a lemon when I was expecting an orange. I do not look cute this way.
Some mild humor, but not a lot. This is mostly a serious book.
“This was my third session in the pool. The first time had been a total fail, with some hilarious in retrospective almost-suffocation.”
This is a good successor to the previous two books. I like to see Alek becoming a bit more of a sympathetic character. I feel like this is the first time we really see him, as opposed to seeing an Alek-shaped placeholder. Likewise for some of the other secondary characters, which are so important for the roundness of a book. I liked the teaser for the next book. Previously, I thought #4 would be the faceoff with Samir, but now I’m thinking Jade might be gaining an ally in her fight with Samir, which would be even better. I should have asked Annie Bellet how many books she had planned in this series when I interviewed her! (PS, if you haven’t read the interview yet, take a look.)