This is the third instalment in the “Agamemnon Frost” series, and I realise that I didn’t say anything about the writing, which is unforgivable since it is a strong asset of this series :
I thought I’d give you a glimpse:
“The familiar smells of the library hit his sharpened senses. Dried paper and the old leather binding the books that filled the mahogany shelves. The stink of brass cleaner and black from the fireplace, cutting through the hint of ash, coal and wood from the morning fire. Another smooth breath brought the lingering touch of Theodora’s floral perfume blending in the warmed air with the scents of sandalwood, vanilla and macassar oil that marked out Agamemnon Frost.”
I closed the second instalment feeling impatient with Mason’s and Frost’s relationship, complaining about not seeing the end of the need-want-frustration plot; it is still drawn out here, still torturing Mason, but it seems that I only needed a slight shift in the dynamic to renew my interest!
Theodora is now a permanent obstacle, and there is renunciation where there was expectation, bitterness, guilt and jealousy where there was frustration, yet still so much need and want. Think sweet torture and bitter pleasure. Hmmm!
The insights into Frost show a tired, almost defeated soldier and a man who is more than the sum of his masks. Finally!
The man/machine thread is progressing toward its accomplishment while Frost and Mason are still playing a game where they try to outwit and outrun the puppet master. Playing and being played, leading all the plot lines to their climax (he he!).
My major complaint is the author’s tendency to fall into repetitiveness when she is a the very end of a string that it would be better to drop or knot to another one. The pace falters sometimes and my mind went gallivanting, pulling me out of the story, but Mason and Frost never failed to bring me back.
So, a third instalment and a satisfying conclusion to a series that I found overall pretty good. It seems that “Martian” is not a glamorous word or concept and could very well rebuff readers but once passed the first shock of the Martian Alien invasion, I really enjoyed this story that has the merit to be creative and well written.
Be adventurous and give it a try!