Friday, December 6, 2013

HIS SACRED BONES


Review of HIS SACRED BONES by GINN HALE
(third in THE RIFTER trilogy, based on a review copy)

Ginn Hale’s high up on my favorite authors list and I already adored the first two books in this trilogy. THE HOLY ROAD, book two, left off on a gut-twisting ending, so I started HIS SACRED BONES eager to discover what happens next. Of course, that cliffhanger isn’t addressed until halfway through the book, since Hale has been dividing these novels into two parts - kind of a before and after. An agonizing wait, but she makes it all enjoyable.

Speaking of the structure, this series is wonderfully plotted. Many elements simply wouldn’t work in the hands of a different author. The first half of each book tells John's story while the second half jumps far into the future. I'm impressed that Hale makes me care so much about John's part after glimpses into the future reveal some "spoilers." I'm nevertheless riveted to know how he gets from point A to point B and mourn tragedies despite being warned they would happen.

I normally feel mildly irritated by books opening with summaries (because I remember and feel insulted), but in this case I'm grateful for this technique given the complicated nature of the plot structure. With the help of that brief "reminder" I slipped easily back into the story with my investment in the characters effortlessly revived.

My only criticism of the trilogy is the slightly rushed ending in this final book. There's so much buildup throughout the series and then a somewhat abrupt final showdown that left me wondering why it couldn't have happened earlier and saved everyone a lot of trouble. Of course, let me emphasize “only criticism.”

THE RIFTER series presents top-notch writing, plotting, and character development. I can't wait to see what Hale writes next!

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