Book – Hound (Haffling #3)
Author – Caleb James
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 200
Cover – Perfect!
POV – 3rd person, multi, omnipresent POV
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Series
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
I am so sad that this is the last book of the series. I went back, before reading this one, and recapped with a re-read of books 1 and 2, and there really is no better way to read this series than to binge it in one week. It's so intricate, so well crafted and full of all those small details that you don't realise are important until it all begins to make sense. I'm going to miss this series, but I'm eager to read more of this author, who has managed to capture the world of the Fey in such a unique way.
So, it's been a month from the end of book 2 to the start of book 3 and a lot has happened and a lot has been done. Once again, the omnipresent – but mostly dual POV – really helps us get all the pieces put together, without anything important going missing. The need for Marilyn and May's full scene POV's is made clear, while sometimes it's a more subtle need of omnipresent awareness within the dual POV chapters that helps us make sense of what's happening.
The story tackles some very deep issues, as did the previous books – 9/11, sacrifice, suicidal thoughts, drug addiction, depression, loss, unrequited love, and betrayal by loved ones – but it does so with sensitivity, honesty and by making the resolutions as realistic as possible. There is no pity, here, no judgement or pressure for the people to “get over it”, but an acceptance of the issue and a hope that things will change.
Redmond was an interesting character, because we'd heard about him before, but only in the most fleeting sense, and where we knew nothing about who he was or what kind of person he might be. Here, I was amazed at the depth of characterisation that was managed to seamlessly. I shouldn't have been surprised. James has this way of writing that sucks me in and makes me feel like I know all the characters personally. Redmond is no exception. His perceptions during his psychiatric meetings with May were astoundingly brilliant. I loved the way that little bits of the puzzle were let slip, just a little at a time, and in a way that let us figure it out as we went along. I loved the way that he exposed May to the hidden secrets in her memories and explains her two failed attempts to rule the three worlds, without making it sound too perfectly planned out.
I loved Finn, too. I really liked him in the previous book, where he was just a side character, but here he really was something magnificent. The man he is and the Hound he could be really blended seamlessly. At first, I was taken aback by the insta-love aspect of his connection with Redmond, but once things began to unravel, it all made sense. There was nothing to say that the Hound of old truly loved either of the Sisters, nor to say that his spirit/essence is strong enough out drown out who Finn is, at the core. I loved that there was no struggle between the two, just acceptance of the weird and wonderful thing that had happened and that gave Finn the ability to find what he'd always wanted.
It was, as always, really great to see all the original cast back again. I love that they all work together, that they need each other, that they all have their parts to play. It's so important to always keep them close, in a series like this. Alice had a bigger part than I'd expected, and Adam less, but it all balanced out and no one attempted to outshine the main cast of Redmond, Finn and May.
It's a little reassuring and very clever to have the Fey just as messed up as humans are. Not only with their addiction to dust, but also the concept of eating disorders, and a hospital/prison for the criminally insane. It perfectly shows that these are two worlds that once functioned as one. And that there's not all that much difference between Fey and Humans, after all.
While I can't say much more about the plot without giving it away, I will say that it was an emotional rollercoaster. Nimby killed me, Gran was hilarious, Katye and Lizbeta are devious witches, and I feel really sorry for Lance. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that the thing that wasn't written on the page – about Lance's fate and the ending – will mean that Alice might actually get her man, after all. One can only hope.
As I said before, I hate that it's over. But, I wouldn't say no to a spin-off or a revival at any point in the future. And I'll be keeping these on my re-read list for a long time.
“Finn tried to lighten things. “So, what’s today’s adventure? Vampires, werewolves, that Jewish clay monster that avenges the downtrodden?” It felt forced.
“Finn, we’ve got some shit to tell you, and then we’re heading out of town…. Out of this world, actually, and the punch line is, you need to come with us.””
““I think I broke this time.”
Liam turned and eyed him, from his booted feet to his peach-fuzz shorn head. “You are not broken, Finn Hulain. You are merely more of the creature you were meant to be.”
Aiming the truck through copses of trees and broad flower-filled meadows, Finn smelled and tasted the changing air. “Yes.” He chuckled. “I want to lick Redmond.”
“He will enjoy that,” Liam replied.”