Title: Hope of the Spirit (Pembroke Eve Chronicles #5)
Author: Mark Alders
Publisher: Extasy Books
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M/M/M science fiction romance
Length: 227 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
The fun, frolics, scares and bodily fluids continue in this fifth, and final, book in The Pembroke Eve Chronicles.
Jacob, Callum and Zane are desperate to rescue Mr. Barnaby from the eternal realm and possible possession by one of the time vampires. That means traveling through a portal once more… something that didn’t go all that well the first time.
Unfortunately for Jacob and all of his friends, the only key to Mr. Barnaby’s saviour is in the haunted lighthouse far out in the rough waters of Pembroke Bay. A place where legend says those who venture never come back. What’s more, not only is the town of Pembroke Eve at stake, but the lives of every person on the planet hang in the balance as the eternals put into place their plan to take over the human realm. Yes, the eternals want power, but they’re pissed off as well, having lost hope of taking over the dragon realm, thanks to Jacob and his friends.
Meanwhile, Aloysius and Suzy must hold the fort at home, looking after both the General store and the Food Emporium. After all, a shipment of noodles at a bargain price has just hit town and who else will hold back the crowd in Mr. Barnaby’s absence while Jacob, Callum and Zane go rescue him?
Sure, Jacob may be a king and the younger brother of powerful dragon, but can he and those he loves survive long enough in the lighthouse to discover the key they need? Or will they become the next victims of the curse of the lighthouse?
The gang are in for the fight of their lives this time…with unexpected results.
Pembroke Eve Chronicles
In many ways I’m going to be preaching to the choir with this review because if you have managed to stick with The Pembroke Eve Chronicles all the way to book 5, then there must be something about either Mark Alders’ bizarre humour and imagination, or the characters which have kept you coming back for more! For me it’s been the character of Zane, plus a growing affection for the first person narrator Jacob, and whilst I did have a couple of niggles with this book, on the whole it was a rollicking good read.
The story begins as Jakey, Zane and Callum all head off to the ‘haunted’ lighthouse. They are on their way to save the hapless Mr Barnaby from the Eternals and need a key which is supposedly to be found in the lighthouse. Things never go according to plan with this threesome and it isn’t long before they are all naked again and thrown headlong into danger.
With my tongue firmly tucked into my cheek I began reading Hope of the Spirit. It begins well with lots of creepy goings-on at the lighthouse causing Callum to lose control of his bladder, once again (actually I lost count of the number of times this happens to Callum in the book). This section was genuinely quite frightening and disorientating for our heroes and I thought the author did a good job setting up the chilling atmosphere.
During the book there is a good balance of different situations and themes. The beginning is all horror, then we move onto science fiction and action as the men arrive on the planet of the Eternals in order to save Mr Barnaby. Mixed in with this is the obvious lust and affection that the men feel for each other – which I have to admit was a little sweet for me at times. They continue to have sex at all opportunities, in various groupings, with lots of bodily fluids (I’ve given up worrying about that, and the fact that they never bathe) and if I have any complaints about the book it was that the middle of the book, where many of the sex scenes occur, was a little slow moving when compared to the swiftly paced and tense action scenes which happen at the beginning and end of the book. I loved some of the imaginative ideas, especially in the descriptions of the space ships and the alien technology. I also thought that all the different strands of the previous book are brought together and dealt with effectively in this final book – not an easy thing to do, given the breadth of the series.
I was pleased to see more character growth in Callum. Despite the bladder control, he becomes a bit less of a wuss in this book and I liked the way that Jakey’s admiration for Callum grew as a result of his actions. I also liked that this was more of an ensemble piece as, rather than it just being Jakey saving the day, the whole team each contribute to the rescue of Mr Barnaby. The addition of a fourth character also changes the dynamics of the group and eventually leads to a satisfying conclusion to the series.
Overall this was a decent end to what has been a very imaginative and unusual science fiction/fantasy series. The series does have to be read in order to really understand what is happening and to understand the progression of ideas and those who are looking for a new erotic SF series can’t go wrong with The Pembroke Eve Chronicles.