Note: This is Book 2 in the series and you really need Book 1 before enjoying this book.
Book 1 left me confused across the board. I wasn’t sure about the setting, I didn’t really get the main character, and the plot had so many little plots within it that I wasn’t sure that what I got was what the author intended. I did like this book better as it explained more of what was going on for all areas even if it didn’t clear everything up.
So I finally understand why Jacqui is going on about Joseph, who didn’t really put in an appearance in Book 1. Although that can easily lead to some silly love triangle….. Also the setting is much clearer. Alcatraz Island is mentioned more than once and also we learn there are other domed cities (which everyone knows about but somehow I missed in Book 1). There’s also references to an uprising and a collapse so I think we have a fallen human civilization where only domed cities can support large numbers of humans. Yet I’m still a bit confused about the time. The story reads like it’s set in Victorian times but with the collapse and references to a few pieces of tech, I feel like it’s set in a future time.
Anyhoo, the plot was a little more straight forward this time. Jacqui is still dealing with the fall out from the previous book. She conquered one villain but a second is untouchable. She has pressure from every corner. Her husband, Tony Spadros, truly cares about her but she doesn’t have the same intensity of feelings. Roy, Tony’s dad, is a sadistic control freak who enjoys hurting others. Then there are those that need her help. Anastasia has fallen on tough financial times and Jacqui agrees to help her. Toss in some child abuse, a few secrets, and a lost love or two and you have plenty to keep Jacqui busy.
There’s a lot of cloak and dagger in this tale and some of it is well laid out and some of it reads like it was tossed in spur of the moment. When things were well laid out, I felt like it was a good episode of Peaky Blinders with the organized crime, family on the rise, secrets, and occasional violence. At other times, I just rolled my eyes a little because it felt like some deceptions or secrets were tossed in just to add drama, like that big do about Jacqui being trained to fire a gun. It was part of her training in Book 1 but now in Book 2 her husband isn’t suppose to know that she’s ever fired a gun. It just came off as silly.
I think I know who Jacqui is now but I am still sometimes confused on her timeline. In fact, I haven’t even figured out why Roy Spadros had her dragged up from the Pot (poor man’s neighborhood), cleaned up, educated, and engaged to Tony so many years ago. It’s not a secret she comes from the Pot but it’s suppose to be a secret that she was forced by Roy to marry Tony. She had some of the best tutors but lacks even passing Italian (apparently, that’s the classy language of choice) and knowledge of the basic politics of who to invite to dinner (which can have political implications for the entire Spadros family). Again, it seemed a matter of convenience for the plot or for drama as to what Jacqui knew or didn’t know.
This tale ends with a wrap up to several questions even as it leaves the door open for the next book. This story felt more polished than the first book but still needs a bit here and there. 3.75/5 stars.
The Narration: Machelle Williams did an OK job. Her voices were clearer this time, each character being distinct and most of the male voices being masculine. Her pacing is still quite slow. She does do some regional accents for some of the characters, which I liked. There were no issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Patricia Loofbourrow. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.