Sometimes I think it would be better if I reviewed everything I read 6 months later, when I had time to sort it all out and see what sticks and what doesn't, some time to run in circles and hoowwwll. But is time-lapse me a better judge? I have no idea. Current me had a damn fine time shirking almost every responsibility she had and rushing headlong to the ending on this series on a beautiful spring Sunday and reading reading reading on a sunlit porch. Maybe that's enough? A beautiful Sunday read? Maybe that's worth a star or two? Does that have anything to do with anything? Will I remember in 6 months that that's how I read, hunched and sunburning, on the back steps, the elm seeds raining down audibly?
I had my usual problems with Moning's writing: shifting povs that sucked to all get out - seriously, I may hate Mac sometimes, but I hate the Dani voice so much worse; or the single page bit in Barrons's voice, which is like OMG, couldn't you figure out how to get that information across any other way? Fail. The beginning drags, and Mac's choices don't make much sense for a while, clearly made to heighten narrative tension, not out of a grounding in character, which sticks a little. But when this story gets going, it freaking cooks, and it cooks with the page turning force I've enjoyed in this series no end.
I've always had problems with the Scottish characters - the McKeltars - because mostly they seem unnecessary and superfluous, and the ending here really showed how pointless the sturm und drang around them was. Their whole plot should have been excised, in my arrogant opinion. I had figured out the identity of spoiler spoiler midbook, which is a small victory for me, because I tend to be really stupid when it comes to figuring out spoiler spoilers. I don't think this is a fail, because I'm just as likely to hiss when the identity of spoiler spoiler is something that can't be worked out by human readers, based only on whatnot that I'm not privy to.
Anyway, speaking of spoiler spoilers, I have some problems with Barrons's backstory, gaping holes that open as the narrative seeks to plug the gaps, questions that come out of answers that aren't enough. Bitching aside, I thought the parts where Mac and Barrons deal with the aftermath of the spoiler spoiler of the third book and the beginning of the fourth - you know what I'm talking about *winks* - were genuinely interesting. I'm not comfortable with all of it, but I'm sure I'm supposed to be. I like that current me can't get it all together in time to shout out a hard yay or nay either way. I like how this ends.
Mac has always been exasperating to me, but she's been herself, and once we get past the early pointlessly confounding sections, she behaves like herself. I value that; I think that's cool. Certain people get stabbed that needed stabbing. Certain other people are forgiven for things that were not their fault to begin with. The world goes on. What the freaking bloody hell am I going to do next Sunday?