Alright, so in a caffiene charged fit of wakefullness I finished the book tonight. I have to say, my assessments of the middle section played out pretty well. But that said, the twist at the end of this one was one I liked more than from the previous book.
I called Cale turning into a shade almost as soon as I found out that that's what Vraggen was trying to do in Twilight Falling. But Riven betraying the party at the end of Dawn of Night...I guess I'm not surprised (he is a right bastard) but not somewhere I thought we were going.
As Mr. Kemp explained in the interview we did with him for our first book club episode (thetome.podbean.com/2011/07/15/tome-book...
) Riven and Jak sort of act like the devil and angel on Cale's shoulders. Sure, Jak became a bit darker as a result of book one, but Riven was someone I always thought wasn't as bad as he appeared (I mean, he's a dog-lover, how bad could he be) much like Artemis Entreri from the Drizzt books. I thought he at least had some sense of honor and loyalty. So I figured the balance between Jak and Riven left Cale just on the good side of neutral. Turns out Riven is badder than I thought, and I'm not sure what that means for Cale.
As I write this, I also notice the clear formula for the stories...
Act 1: Explain how you survived your last situation/establish your (new) status quo (who are the characters for book 1, Cale is a shade in book 2).
Act 2: Go somewhere after your real goal (Fane of Shadows, Skullport) before your enemies do...what they're doing (becoming a shade, planting the seed of the Weave Tap).
Act 3: Finally catch up, fail* at the last minute (*okay, they stopped Vraggen, but didn't realize there was more at stake and failed to stop the slaad from taking the Weave Tap), and be left in an impossible situation where they are certainly going to die...enter Act 1 of the next book to explain how they didn't.
I'll be curious to see if/how book 3 holds up to this forumla. I suspect the end could work out differently...of course I also happen to know that Cale's story doesn't end with this trilogy. So perhaps it could follow the forumula exactly since there are future books to explain a miraculous survival.
What did you guys think? What did you like? What did you not like? Is Riven really going to work for the Sojourner? Or did he actually join up with the evil team with the intention of using it as a chance to strike at the heart of the problem. Right before the betrayal Cale realized that Riven cared more about working for Mask than doing the right thing...is this part of Mask's plan?
Remember when Mask was a more active player in Cale/Riven's life (book 1 and the short story before that)? What happened to that?