Serpent’s Storm (Amber Benson)

Serpent’s Storm is the third book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones Series by Amber Benson. [Here are my reviews of the other two books.]

Plot:
Callie should be completely happy. She’s recently had some successes and she’s finally with Daniel. But things aren’t going too well in the relationship department. And there is still the matter of the unresolved promise she gave to go to Heaven and talk to God. Everything really goes to shit, though, when the Ender of Death – or Marcel, as Callie likes to call him – attacks Callie and her family. It all somehow connects back to her sister Thalia, who already tried to topple the leadership of Death Inc. once. Callie really has to step it up this time.

Serpent’s Storm is not a good book, but neither were the first two and I’m still reading the series – I can’t explain why. It’s not particularly well written, I’m not invested in any of the characters or the plot, but it is still perfect bathroom reading material.

benson_serpentsstorm

Callie never was particularly likeable, but at least there is a bit of character development there in this book. It does make her a bit less narcissistic, shallow or immature, but far from enough so that I can honestly say that I like her. Maybe it’s Daniel’s influence, but since the issues she has with their relationship go from “yeah, I totally get that” to “what the fuck is wrong with you people” within about 10 pages, I doubt it.

The plot was a little jumpy. I fully admit that this might be due to my disjointed reading of the book – always one or two pages at a time, but that’s not the first time I did that and I don’t always feel like the plot takes twists and turns. But not in the good “holy shit, I should have seen that coming 10 chapters ago, why didn’t I see this coming?” way, more in the “what the hell, when was it ever explained that things work that way???” way.

That starts with the wish-fulfiment jewel: I didn’t realize at first that it was one, I thought it was a jewel that will turn you into a sea serpent. Took me a while to realize my error. But it also concerns Callie’s weakness that is revealed here in a completely offhanded way. Callie always thought it was cat, then it turned out it wasn’t cat and suddenly it was clear what it was – without much discussion of it.

So, Serpent’s Storm is not a good book, but neither were the first two and I’m still reading the series. Just don’t ask me why. It certainly not the characters, plot or the prose.

Summarizing: I can’t recommend it with a good conscience, but I’m still there.

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