Labyrinth by Kat Richardson

Have I mentioned some of this Grey stuff is getting a little convoluted? Because it’s getting a little out of hand.

Harper lands back in Seattle and gets pretty much no time to rest before the plot kicks back in. Instead of going home to rest, she immediately goes to see Edward, which I assume is for plot reasons because she’s apparently already exhausted and has decided this is a good idea instead of sleeping. In doing so, she trips over some plot and we end up moving along really quickly after that.

The fact that stuff just keeps happening and the pace of this book is a lot faster than the other ones is explained as a way to keep Harper off balance. She’s out of her apartment pretty quickly and crashing in the Dazinger’s basement soon after. She’s falling deeper into the Grey, which means she’s hearing voices and  She’s also worried about being followed but appears to still be driving her own car around, but I can let that slide. Maybe the astem are as bad with identifying cars as I am as another one of their weaknesses.

The progressive falling into the Grey over the book is really nicely handled. It’s both slow and alarming, coming in waves at sometimes too plot-relevant moments, but these moments all work well. We need her capable, after all, to continue going through the story and having her own agency and desire to stop the plan of the Pharaohn1 and her slowly losing her grip is fantastic.

The plot is now made clear once Harper eventually gets into the labyrinth of the Grey and manages to speak to the ghost of her father who has been trapped by Wygan2 for all eternity for failing him before. Apparently this whole thing is a setup, with Harper being pushed into the Grey so that Wygan can somehow unleash the Grey into reality and cause chaos. I think.

My favourite scene in the whole book happens related to this. There’s a point where Harper just can’t take the voices anymore and she’s falling into the Grey and thrashing around. Quinton needs to stop her because she’s hurting herself so he ends up using a stunner to electrocute her. It works and she’s out for a few minutes, waking to quiet, but Quinton is just scarred from ever having to do that to her. It’s fantastic.

Oh, and also Will is back. He’s suffering from the effects of being kidnapped and tortured by vampires in London and I still don’t care about him, even though he insists on continuing to be part of this story. His eventual arc ends in what feels like a way to just get rid of him while letting the other characters not have to suffer. Also he’s been beating up his brother probably, but we never actually touch on that.

There’s also Bryson Goodall, whose arc doesn’t make much sense to me. He’s a human who was later turned into a thing by Wygan to essentially be his servant. Bryson had some abilities or powers of his own before he started, which Harper realizes and is curious about for all of two chapters before that’s no longer important, but he’s supposed to serve Wygan’s purposes. In the end you find out that he doesn’t actually do that. He’s supposed to bring Harper to Wygan, but in the end you find out he was trying to murder her instead. That, and he murdered her father before he could serve Wygan’s purposes.3 The fact that he was murdering everyone seems like such a strange thing to throw in at the end and it’s not resolved by the end, so what the hell?

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

You know, it’s 2009 and you have a guy with mysterious powers in this Bryson Goodall. You could probably hop on the internet, check to see if he has a Facebook account with family connected since this was back before privacy settings were a convoluted mess, and maybe call up his estranged sibling and ask if he ever maybe ever did anything weird as a kid? Might help you out a little? No? Internet still doesn’t exist? Okay then. I’ll be graduating from my technology degree right across the border from you, then.

And then Quinton goes and Googles something and I am ecstatic. I’ve mentally replaced every instance of “Palmtop” with “Netbook” and Quinton has become my technological salvation.4 Harper even mentions email. I am so happy.

Back to our regularly scheduled book talk.

There was a lot of plot in this book and a lot of old threads being wrapped up. Much of this book took elements established in previous ones and brought them back and finished it off. Some of it seemed a little convoluted, but in the end it all felt like it fit together well. Not entirely cleanly, but well. If this book were the one to finish off the series, I’d be happy about it.

But it’s not. And that is great.

Of course, a word on the ending. That ending was fantastic in regards to characters suffering and I can’t wait for the next one. This is the last book I’ve read and, now that this has been written, I’m off to the next one. Downpour, here I come!

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  1. That stupid n. Ugh, why?! []
  2. I can’t keep doing the Pharaohn thing. I just can’t. His name is Wygan. []
  3. Which is brushed aside, but there’s good reason for that, so that’s fine. []
  4. Thank you for probably rigging up Harper’s apartment with internet while she was in London. I OWE YOU, QUESTIONABLY HOMED INTERNET JESUS. []