Downpour by Kat Richardson

Downpour is odd in that it feels like there was a long break between writing this one and Labyrinth. I get no answers to the lingering questions that were left at the end Labyrinth. I have no idea what’s happening with the Seattle vampires, or if Edward is even still alive. Undead. The book answers little to nothing left behind, and I’m kind of okay with it.

More than that, though, there’s a lot more that feels different about this one. While there are callbacks to previous things from other books, such as the feather from Underground, the rest of the prose feels a bit like she was asked to continue the series after having completed it it and there’s a bit of a different direction being taken. She references an event I am actually familiar with in the shoes washing up on shore1 and an actual sex scene that I will get into later that does not cut away with a euphemism. Also, guess what time it is?

And now, Tanya complaining about the technology in the Greywalker series:

On the one hand, there’s technology at last that actually seems relevant to the era it’s taking place in. She has a laptop!2 She goes to a place that believably doesn’t have wifi and complains about old computers! She loses cell reception and gets it back!

She also tries to convince me that this technology was there all along, but no. I’m sorry. I read the previous books. You cannot convince me that Harper had the internet before she left for London. It is great that she’s updated and the technology is well integrated and fails in a believable way for the story, but you really can’t tell me that it was always there.

Back to our regularly scheduled book talk.

Rather than continuing from last time, we’re back to usual form. There’s a new case that brings Harper out of Seattle and into a long time mage feud in a summer tourist town that’s mostly abandoned for the colder months.The formula is back to normal as well: 50% setup, 48% rising action, climax in the last 15-20 pages, then an epilogue that is almost entirely told rather than shown.

There was some show in this epilogue, though, which is really nice. I’d prefer these ending wrap ups being exposited as dialogue instead of these info-dumps but it’s a step in a good direction. I care a lot more this way.

I knew pretty much immediately who did it. The story follows Harper trying to figure out which of these mages around the lake is supposed to be in charge and how to put the lines of the Grey back in place, essentially, and the person who did it was never in question for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m good at the murder mystery thing or because it wasn’t subtle.3

But since the last overarching plot is now finished, we need a new one, and I have a feeling I know what it will be relating to. See, there was a scene in this book. Quinton has cleaned up and looks like a stereotypical tech guy now. He comes by and tells Harper about how he turned himself over to the feds and had to do a little work for them. And that he called his father and he has living family he’s just never mentioned before. There’s a break where they fight zombies in the middle, but then it’s right back to talk about Quinton’s mysterious past.

And then they have plot-relevant sex. Like, immediately after. And by plot relevant, I mean that apparently having sex in the right spot makes you soul-bound to the person and that now Harper and Quinton can feel one another’s pain.4 And by sex, I mean there’s is a scene involving fluids and arching backs and everything. After all the euphemisms and cutaways, it was jarring and felt like it came out of a different series. But it was plot relevant!

I’m guessing the next arc is going to have to do with Quinton because of this. Otherwise, this whole bit was completely unnecessary. Not that there hasn’t been u necessary in the series, but with the change in everything else, it seems like it’s a lot narratively tighter and that there won’t be as much meandering as there might have been previously.

Oh. And the plot was nifty too. I would have liked a little more of the Chinese demons and a little less of the man with the fox bride, but it was fun.5

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  1. Because that happened here. Like, it was a thing that really happened here. []
  2. That I don’t think she ever uses. []
  3. I doubt the former. []
  4. Which doesn’t come up in this book, but I’m hoping for a future plot where Quinton gets mangled and Harper has to save him. []
  5. Also hella predictable. I get the feeling the mystery is no longer the important thing. And I am cool with that. []

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