Krentz, Jayne Ann. In Too Deep. New York: Putnam, 2010. Hardcover. +339 pages. $25.95
Quick, Amanda. Quicksilver. New York: Putnam, 2011. Hardcover. +342 pages. No price.
So I've been meaning to review these for a week or so, and so today, I'm finally going to get around to the first two books in Jayne Ann Krentz's new Looking Glass trilogy. She does keep coming up with new powers for people in her Arcane Society series--glasslight is something completely new, and to be honest, it doesn't make a terrible lot of sense. I understand that she's had objects imbued with power before, but mirrors apparently just soak up psychic energy and there are some who can read this glasslight.
So, let's start with the first book in the trilogy: In Too Deep. It really wasn't a bad book, but I was a little disappointed. Fallon Jones has been part of the Arcane Society since Krentz began writing about it, and really, it was his turn to find a girl. Isabella was raised to be paranoid, her grandmother is missing, and she's been set up as the seller of psychic weapons. The plot basically revolves around catching a serial killer using glasslight and some Victorian era curiosities made by a Mrs. Bridewell, as well as finding and taking care of a cache of these kinds of weapons that have been hiding in town for years.
The story is good enough, but what stuck out to me was the fact that there wasn't a lot of backstory. It seemed like Fallon and Isabella just flat out jumped into bed with each other without any kind of thought whatsoever. I could even understand it if there was some explanation that their psychic abilities told them that they were perfect for each other or something like that, but there isn't any of that. Fallon and Isabella are just suddenly, inextricably, in love. Bang. There's no buildup to the romance, and there's no real crisis in their relationship. As a romance novel, it wasn't Krentz's best.
Quicksilver, on the other hand, was really good. First of all, we get to meet one of the Sweetwater family, the family that takes on the job of doing what no one else can and putting down the truly dangerous arcade talents. Owen Sweetwater rescues Virginia Dean, a glasslight talent, from being framed for murder, as he's tracking down who might be responsible for killing a number of other glasslight talents around London. This is, of course, set in Victorian era England, so the relationship necessarily has to go more slowly than it did in In Too Deep. They end up finding the Quicksilver Mirror, a powerful psychic weapon, and it turns out that the murderer has been killing glasslight talents in order to make some mirrors more powerful.
The one thing that did disappoint me about Quicksilver was that we got to meet Mrs. Bridewell, just briefly, but then she disappeared. I have a feeling that a lot could be done with her as a character--why is she making psychic weapons? She's not doing it to terrify people--she lets people rent them to take care of small matters, like a cheating husband. The person who has out and out bought the last few of her curiosities worries even her, and I would have liked to have read more of that.
The final book in this trilogy, Canyons of the Night, comes out 30 August and is set in Krentz's futuristic world of Harmony, and I'm desperately looking forward to it.
In Too Deep: C
AND TOMORROW IS GHOST STORY!