A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Fun characters still having an action packed time but this episode’s plot felt a touch heavy handed to me.
Blurb: Caleb Jansen’s old life is in ruins after being possessed by the vampire spirit Gray. Now all Caleb wants is for Gray to be exorcised so he can adjust to living as a registered paranormal. Instead, District Chief Kaniyar of SPECTR offers him a new choice: be locked away for public safety, or come work for the very agency he’s spent years trying to avoid. The only good thing to come from Caleb’s possession is his relationship with federal exorcist John Starkweather, but even that seems doomed to end before it can really begin.
John’s newest case is a nightmare: someone is summoning demons and forcing them to possess women and boys snatched from the streets of Charleston. If his team can’t find the summoner soon enough, the possessions will become permanent, transforming the victims into ghouls. To make matters worse, he barely prevents Gray from feeding on their only lead.
Can John shield his heart from Caleb, who only seems interested in a temporary hook-up? Can Caleb keep Gray under control while they hunt for the summoner? Or will the cost of solving the case be higher than any of them could have guessed?
Because the master of ghouls has set his sights on a new target: Gray.
This second instalment of the Spectr series fell a little short for me. I reviewed the first book here. This time round the plot occasionally had all the grace of a Scooby-Doo episode; mad villain orchestrating mayhem. This type of character is referenced within the story as a James Bond mastermind, but the humorous acknowledgement wasn’t enough to make this work for me. However I think the characters are great fun and I enjoyed their growing relationship.
I must say that in contrast to the plot, the rather subtle threesome that is being developed is giving me pleasure. I love Gray’s interactions with Caleb as he tries to understand the vagaries of human thoughts and worries. The way he is sometimes described in fluid feline terms gives another element to his naturally insubstantial personality. I was less keen on John and Caleb’s somewhat manufactured insecurities about where the relationship was going.
The intermingling of the break neck paced action scenes with the growing relationship between the three of them works well as they learn about each others strengths and weaknesses under extreme pressure. Gray and Caleb in particular seem to be evolving within the structure of the possession which is very interesting. I just wish Caleb would accept, like I do, that Gray is the best thing in this book and stop fussing about the future, but I suppose he is having to share his previously vegetarian body with a blood sucking drakul…….
The book’s title starring villain was basically revealed about forty percent into the book with a clumsily constructed sentence that signposted the Master of the Ghoul’s identity. This was a bit of a shame. However I admit my main interest is really all about the guys. The longer term plot development seems to be going for an organisation conspiracy theory but only time and the next July episode will tell. I will be there.