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My Need to Read

I love to explore genre fiction, and while I usually go for books with a romantic thread running through it, I just love great character and world building. And since I can hardly stand to let go of my favorite characters, I like series.

Tracking the Tempest (Jane True) - Nicole Peeler Rating: 4.5, I think. (Certainly in the 4-4.5 range)Quick Take: This book gets of to a fun start and continues with great pacing, hilarious characters, and engaging situations. I wasn't completely sold on some of the developments near the end, but overall I adored this book.(Note: Got what's sort of a spoiler later in the text below. A spoiler-free version of this review can be found here at mi' blog.)Hello again, Jane True! I'm so glad to have rejoined your adventures. I was tentatively a fan of yours, and this book has proved that though you took a while to get through to me, I'm now all yours!The pacing of this installment is great, not stilted even though there is a variety of activities along the plotline; moments of high tension and action seamlessly segue into others of contemplation and investigation. The former were exhilarating, and the latter were chilling or touching (or both). All told it made for a well-rounded and book, in my opinion.It's no surprise that this book had a lot to love by way of its characters. As in book one, the cast provides a great deal of amusement and charm from their interactions and singular quirks. Even a seeming antagonist, Conleth, was as intriguing and multi-dimensional as he was disturbing.Newly presented in this book is a series of very tough, morally ambiguous situations that aren't easy to process and don't allow for simple judgment. I actually enjoyed this aspect, as it gave me pause for reflection. It'd make for a good discussion amongst fans, whom I know will be split or undecided on how they feel.Now, I was admittedly underwhelmed with some occurrences near the end of the book; not so much with the resulting situation but with the fact that it didn't quite convince me. I felt like there was much more "telling" than there was "showing" (which I now realize is what bothered me so much in the beginning of book one). Want me to be more specific? Well, here goes:***Spoilah, baby!***So much time was spent slowly building up the connection between Jane and Ryu. The sweet developments were convincing and natural. Then in a few rhetorical questions near book's end, one is meant to be convinced that it was a horrible idea. I'm talking about questions like: "was Ryu just using me as a snack?" or "was I just one more example of Ryu's boundary issues [involving Anyan]?"...and a few others. It just seemed so sudden and forced, incongruent with the developments that preceded. Now, I'm not saying there weren't seeds of doubt planted in the story earlier, because there were some eye-brow raising moments between the two. But the level of Jane's reaction (and to an extent, Ryu's behavior at the tail end) just didn't resonate with me as believable. It felt mostly like an easy write-out of a character. I'd be fine bidding Ryu bye-bye as a love interest--in fact, I've been an Anyan gal from the get-go...but it just bugged me a bit, the "because Jane's narration says it, it is now so" vibe.***End of the spoilah, baby!***My minor disappointments aside, I vastly enjoyed this book. It was such a ride, always engaging even though it was not all happy-go-lucky. This book puts this series on auto-buy status, I'd say!