Release Date: July 3rd, 2018
“If I knew what evil lurked in the hearts of man, I’d have a better-paying job than this one.”
I was excited when I got approved to read the next book in The Last Oracle series because I enjoyed the first one considerably. It’s funny, I like to go back and read my previous reviews of a series before writing a review of a next book, and in doing that for this series I found that it kept that uniqueness of the series as a whole and really delivered on a lot of the things I was hoping for.
One of the things this book delivered on was the development of the characters, by the end of this book I was wholly invested in each of them and am enjoying their journeys together. Malcolm especially has developed as a favorite for me, his modern day chivalry and the cool, confidence he has every time he’s on the page is just amazingly charming. I would love for a short novella about his backstory, or something from his POV, that would be amazing! Helena really shone in this book to, becoming more protective and confident as a custodian. I like that as a heroine she’s not perfect and while she has her own strengths she can still be vulnerable and rely on others.
Plus, the friendships are such a cute and sweet part of this book. It was nice to get a glimpse at the other relationships people in this world have, plus the new ones that have started within the story. Like I enjoyed getting to see and know more about the friendship between Viv and Helena since they’re mostly opposites and their moments were some of the funnier and lighter ones in the book. Seeing Helena and Judy bond together was a great addition that I hadn’t really considered after the last book but liked a lot, her character was surprisingly enjoyable all around and I’m hoping to see more of her in the next book.
As far as romance goes I was overly thrilled with the direction this book went in. It was still such a mature and slow burn for the two of them, yet so cute at the same time. I think that the best part of the romance between Malcolm and Helena is that he respects her and knows she can stand on her own but at the same time still comes to her defense and protects her when needed while she lets down her guard and trusts him completely with the things that matter most to her. I’m so excited to see where they’re headed in the next book because their last moments together were just so emotional.
It was nice too that this book gave a lot more information on the custodians and Neutralities, with everything happening at Abernathy’s it was nice to see Helena be so attached to it and how she went about trying to discover what was wrong. Getting a bigger glimpse at all the fantastical elements that make up this series was great and I hope there’s going to be more included in the next one because it’s in the descriptions of the magical elements that McShane seems to really shine. I’ll admit to having a hard time putting down these books, the pacing is excellent with just enough action in-between the day-to-day things to keep the story moving.
I only had a couple gripes with this book. I did think the whole problem surrounding Chet needed to resolve differently, it kind of made Malcolm look bad in the end and I’m afraid that’s going to come back and bite the characters in the next book. The other was that I felt the overall conflict with Abernathy’s was built up so well but then ended so abruptly. I was excited to see some sort of confrontation or battle but the ending just sort of fizzled out. Plus I could’ve done without that very last part with Helena and Viv, I felt like that was out of character for Helena to do. Even feeling the way she did, that just didn’t seem right. Hopefully it’ll all work out for the better though.
Overall this book was a marvelous follow-up to the first book. The writing really just pulls you in until you feel like you’re experiencing the journey right alongside the characters. There’s still so many things I want to know, about the characters, the fantasy elements, everything! I’m looking forward to the next book, here’s to hoping it comes soon.
– I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book I received through NetGalley from Curiosity Quills Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own. –
Reviews of The Last Oracle series
#1 – The Book of Secrets
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Links: Goodreads / Amazon (will be updated when released)
Author: Melissa McShane
As the custodian of the oracular bookstore Abernathy’s, Helena has faced any number of challenges in learning her new role. But when the store begins giving out false prophecies, Helena comes up against her greatest challenge yet: how can she fix Abernathy’s when she doesn’t truly know how it works?
Armed only with a few special talents and her desire to protect her magical charge, and with the assistance of her best friend Viv, her reluctant assistant Judy, and the enigmatic and handsome Malcolm Campbell, Helena must navigate the treacherous depths of the magical world, where secret enemies lurk behind illusions capable of fooling even the most powerful of magical entities. Helena is the only one who can see past those illusions, but will her abilities prove strong enough to save the oracle?