Book two of the Darkwar trilogy, which I plan to read all of this year, just not in a row. A middle book, according to common wisdom, often has issues. I’m not sure if all of the issues I had with this story are the standard ones projected for a middle book, but they make me hope for an exciting conclusion to the trilogy, mostly to make up for the first two books.
I said that Flight of the Nighthawks wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped. Into a Dark Realm is even less so. I’d actually go so far as to say boring.
First, the standard middle book issues: there are characters and storylines that don’t appear to matter in a wider context, there’s a whole new storyline added that doesn’t mesh up with the primary one until late in the book, and there are more questions asked than answered.
And then I have other issues.
The Dasati, who start out as the supposed big bad but who get humanized (to a degree) through this new plotline, are wasteful. I have a really hard time believing that a species who slaughters each other so well, so few of the elite making it to adulthood and then most of those not surviving their first year before the survivors turn to hunting down their own children and the children’s mothers, could manage to effectively populate one world much less a dozen. Sure, the ones who make it are going to be the biggest badasses you’ve ever met, but there aren’t going to be that many of them.
And everything is still Macros’ fault. Remember Macros the Black? Pug’s occasional mentor and frequent manipulator, and also father-in-law, he’s set everything up, manipulated whole worlds, whole dimensions, to bring things together at the right time and place to fix the universe. Again.
Not that he remembers all of it. Or even much of it, if we’re to believe him, and I don’t.
I’m also still not thrilled with Bek as a character. He’s not just completely amoral, he’s aggressively amoral, and the author takes great pains to make sure we see him pointing that out again and again. I have to be honest in saying that drives me a little crazy. I don’t mind hating a character, but I hate finding one I want to skip over every time they’re in a scene.
Overall rating: 2 stars. At this point, I’m only going to read the third book in the trilogy because I want to have all of the background moving towards the end of the series. I don’t know if I can quite answer why I want to read the entire series when I’ve abandoned several others from my teenage years that I enjoyed just as much back then. Maybe I’ll find the answer along the way.by