A guest review by Kassa
This review is likely to contain spoilers about past books in the series.
The Rifter is a ten-part serialized novel by award-winning author, Ginn Hale. The first episode, The Shattered Gates, was published on March 8, 2011.
When John opens a letter addressed to his missing roommate, Kyle, he expects to find a house key, but instead he is swept into a strange realm of magic, mysticism, revolutionaries and assassins. Though he struggles to escape, John is drawn steadily closer to a fate he share with Kyle—to wake the destroyer god, the Rifter, and shatter a world.
Rifter Book Eight: The Silent City continues to piece together the long reaching and rather complicated plot. This is one of the better installments from my perspective because I’m an unabashed John/Jath’ibaye fan so the fact that he’s the narrator and main focus works very well for me. Here the story picks up after Ravishan and John left the Holy Road and are hiding in the woods. John, as the Rifter, is unleashing a hellish storm to help his healing but he can’t control the storm. A group of revolutionaries, the Fai’daum, find and take in both John and Ravishan as John learns to control his power. Their relationship deepens and takes on more significance with even a rare on page sex scene (don’t miss it!).
Once again Hale delivers an excellent installment in this epic series. For those following along we learn more about how John became Jath’ibaye and how he learned to harness and control his Rifter powers. Since we’ve already seen the future in previous books, Book Eight fills in the gaps in how that future came to be. It’s a much needed and well-written edition that offers great details and an enthralling narrative. I didn’t want the story to end and never even noticed the pages flying by. John is such an engaging voice and the story is so rich and fascinating that even the quiet times, such as this book, offer considerable entertainment and information.
The link between John and the Fai’daum was desperately needed – I was wondering when we’d find out how that happened – and the addition of seeing Ravishan and John’s relationship grow and develop is a definite plus. In fact this installment offered the precise elements that I was missing from previous books. It gave me exactly what I wanted and from John’s perspective so really I’m a happy reader. If you’re not such a John fan, don’t worry. There are numerous other characters that move in and out of the pages with importance and interest. This includes Ravishan who is a prominent character in this series. His interactions with John are somewhat limited to romantic entanglements but I’m sure this won’t bother anyone.
The various details and important elements are coming together and clearly setting up for the big finale. I’m eagerly awaiting the showdown and how the book will all come together. This installment is similar to the last one in that it’s quiet and shows more character development while filling in the plot than action. It’s much needed though and I’ve no doubt the final two books will have enough action to please any fans.
At the same time this series is so complicated, so epic, and so intricate that I wish there was more time just to enjoy the story. Each book has a purpose in furthering the plot, the phenomenal world building, the complicated characters, the interwoven relationships, and the action but each book also reveals important twists and necessary information you can’t miss. There is very little time to just sit back and enjoy the process and journey the characters are on. Essential twists will likely be revealed up to the very end of the story so you’re constantly working to put together the various pieces to the fuller puzzle. This isn’t bad at all, and in fact quite enjoyable and part of the entertainment aspect of the series, but it also lacks the ability to just let the story flow and the reader to sit back and enjoy.
That’s a minor compliant, if it even is one, and doesn’t stand a chance in the face of such a great series. This book in particular is very good and definitely one of my favorites. I loved watching how Ravishan and John’s relationship deepened while John truly comes to understand his power and the hard choices he has to make. I’m both excited for the last two books and sad this series is coming to an end. Too bad it can’t go on forever.