You can’t get blood from a stone… not even when killing rocks. Let’s drill into Killing Rocks, by D. D. Barant.
FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s ticket home from the twisted parallel universe where she’s been called to duty hinges on the capture of serial killer Aristotle Stoker—and an alliance with a sorcerer known as Asher. The problem: Asher has joined forces with some of the most dangerous creatures Jace has ever encountered. The solution: There is none, without Asher’s help…
Jace’s goal seems simple enough—to get her man, like always. But just hours after she arrives in Vegas, she’s abducted…and she isn’t even sure who the real enemy is. Now Jace has to wonder if she’s the predator or the prey in a very dangerous game that could change not only her fate, but the world’s…Meanwhile, a serial killer is still on the loose. And time has already run out…
I think I can safely say that this is the best book yet in The Bloodhound Files.
One the one hand: finally, some long-needed explanation of the setting’s multiverse. There’s the introduction of a third parallel world alongside Jace’s Earth and the other Earth, one with its own rich history and society and magic. Plus, the worlds get convenient nicknames; so from now on, instead of having to say things like “Jace’s Earth and the other Earth”, I can more clearly refer to them as Earth, Thropirelem, and Nightshadow. And that’s not all: there’s also an explanation for why, out of all the people on Earth, it was Jace Valchek in particular who was chosen to be brought to Thropirelem. Good stuff: it makes the narrative seem so much less random and more cohesive.
On the other hand: it’s not just one long exposition-fest. There’s plenty of action as well, with a golem uprising occurring that pits Jace against Charlie Aleph. I was honestly on tenterhooks as to that would turn out: this is the midpoint of the series, and I’ve noticed that the titles of the books in the second half start following a different naming pattern which strongly hints that a major change to the status quo is imminent, so nothing was out of the question. The final climax brought up a little too much wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff for my taste (damn that misbegotten Midnight Sword for turning the standoff between Aristotle and Jace into a scene from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) but ended up being satisfyingly thrilling.
Finally, I just want to say that Azura was the best favorite character in this book. She’s smart, funny, and awesome, and I definitely hope to see her in action again in future stories.
Final Rating: 4/5