Simon & Schuster, out now
Peter Octavian doesn’t have time to grieve the loss of his love as demonic incursions begin around the world…
The penultimate novel in Golden’s Shadow Saga continues to make Peter Octavian face the consequences of his actions in the earlier novels. Friends have died at his side, innocents have been collateral damage, and others have tried to target him by attacking those who care for him. On a larger scale – as is forcibly pointed out to him – his revelation of the truth about the Shadows and the Church has had some unexpected and potentially catastrophic side-effects, and, for all that he is much more now than just a man, he still is capable of self-delusion about what he is doing.
Golden throws the reader into the action, not holding back on the horrific elements when the story justifies it, but never allowing it to feel gratuitous – indeed at times, it almost becomes clinical. He never allows you to forget that everyone involved has their own agenda, and there’s a very clever sleight of hand that I won’t spoil that leads to the events of the final chapters.
After the concentration on Massachusetts in Waking Nightmares, this is a story with a global canvas, with events in France, Italy, India and a Central American country whose name most appropriately comes from the phrase “place of many trees”. And it’s a global perspective that the participants need as the full scale of the threats becomes clear.
Verdict: An assured and gripping tale. 8/10