Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
So, book four of the Phantom Queens (listed book 3 of 4, book 4 to be out July 10th in the intro, by the by, Shayne) starts off subtle yet wastes no time rolling into high gear at the first opportunity to show the next series of jumps in the status quo. Quinn Mackenna is thrown further out of her element as she learns the trek into the land of the Fae is only the shallow end of her pool of problems and finally getting there only gives her more questions instead of answers, though the answers she does find give her no peace for them.
The pacing is a bit slower for this one, still breakneck by most standards but O'Connell seems to have hammered out all he needs to for the series to finally give it just a smidge of breathing room between each event. Quinn spends her time torn between reacting physically and reacting mentally to everything thrown her way, and despite the relatively shoehorned manner of their meeting in the previous book, Alucard makes the transition between his role in the Nate Temple books to this series seamlessly, his chemistry with Quinn realistic despite their limited engagement and already foreshadowing further bumps in the road later on.
The big twist (like an ogre trying to hide behind a wire fence, honestly man) takes the already pin-balling situation and adds a whole lot of torque to it. Everything Quinn thought of herself and her origins ended up being wrong, and she's not given a moment to process it before St.Louis level weather patterns of mild Armageddon with scattered Great Floods expected in the latter half of the day sweep over Boston. It plays out exactly as one would expect a sudden apocalyptic war to go, though of course not without being solved by way of a pressured deal being made that can only lead to sunshine and roses for Quinn later on, and if she keeps telling herself that maybe she'll even believe it.
All in all, this installment had the most bombshells packed into it thus far, even shedding a little extra light on the utter chaos that the Temple name is capable of wreaking all across existence whether intentional or otherwise. Pretty much everything is a smoldering heap of a fresh start, unwelcome as it is, and the big question is where Quinn will go next with it all. Looking forward to it as always.