The Hot Zone
by Jayne Castle
Book 11 of Harmony
-- Book 3 of Rainshadow
Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.
And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow….
I've always liked how the Harmony and Arcane Society books will often interweave with each other. And it feels like now that we have alien catacombs and ghost hunters back in the story, we've returned to the main story line of the Harmony series. Previously, in an earlier installment's review, I'd mentioned how I sometimes would forget that these Rainshadow books were part of the futuristic Harmony world. Because even in spite of having the alien created Preserve on the island, the first couple Rainshadow installments really just felt like a bunch of psychics on an island, during present day.
But with the discovery of the alien catacombs leading into the dangerous Preserve, as well as some discoveries of psychically evolved beasts, we're starting to feel more like the futuristic non-Earth world of Harmony once again. And to top it off, we're bringing back the Joneses and including a descendant of Arizona Snow--a character we met briefly in two previous Arcane Society books--who was known to be a bit eccentric with some conspiracy theories.
And... for some reason, while we continue moving forward with our new Rainshadow discoveries, I also found that this book felt a little suspiciously like a mish-mash of ideas. There's the Halloween setting, and then the small town "we take care of our own" dialogue. Then there's the strange, crystal blue alien Jurassic Park in an unknown sector of the alien catacombs, with singing predators and a lead-in to our next book in the Rainshadow series, Siren's Call. Because now we want to explore this unknown territory, but it'll be hard to do so when alien bio-engineered dinosaurs can sing you to your death.
Once again, I always love the inclusion of the dust bunnies, and am glad that we get to see more of them, and that Sedona's dust bunny companion, Lyle, gets to save the day a few times.
I'm so ready to move onto the next book to see what develops next... and also a little concerned that the series seems to be coming to its end. Unless, of course, Ms. Castle still has some ideas in the works and we've just yet to see another published book yet... pretty please?