A serial killer strikes every twelve hours. A vampire takes lives at random. At first glance, these tragic incidents seem unrelated. But Special Investigations Unit agents Sam Ryan and Gabriel Stern trace them both back to a military base known as Hopeworth. Is the murder spree part of a cover-up? And are the vampire killings less by chance and more methodical?
The investigation takes an eerie, personal turn when Sam discovers a connection between herself and the victims—and a clue to her own mysterious origins. With the violence escalating and the danger drawing closer to home, the stakes are raised and the mission changes from seeking justice to ensuring Sam and Gabriel’s own survival. And the one person who seems to hold all the answers—about Hopeworth, about Sam’s past—is a mystery man she isn’t sure she can trust. They share a psychic link through her dreams, and he once saved her life, but he may just be the greatest enemy humankind has ever known.
My thoughts on the book:
Generation 18, the follow-up to Spook Squad, is full of suspense. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more. As the secrets of Sam's past unraveled, I became more and more engrossed in finding out exactly what she is. Arthur did an excellent job of further describing the world she's created, and I could easily picture the settings and situations that the characters found themselves in. Speaking of characters, they all evolved as the novel progressed, and I really enjoyed learning more about Stephan and the rest of Gabriel's family. Sam and Gabriel's relationship irritated me a bit, but not half as much as it irritated them, I'm sure. The plot was fast-paced, and I never got bored. This was an excellent sequel.
Sam really started to take charge of her life in this book, and I admired her for it. She began the process of becoming an extremely active and dynamic character. She was a bit passive in the first novel, being more a victim of her circumstances than a proactive participant in her own life. I liked that she wanted more out of life and decided to try and build the life she felt she deserved. Gabriel's stubbornness annoyed the living crap out of me. He was really dense about things quite often, but it was obvious that he had a good heart... I still wanted to smack him, though. I hope he comes around in the next book. Stephan was a bit harsher than I expected. He's a cold and calculating character, and I'm not sure how I feel about him yet. I'm also interested in learning more about Joshua and what his role was in Sam's life.
The plot was complex and mysterious. I enjoyed every page of this book because Arthur kept me on my toes. The introduction of Hopeworth and the shady government plots and secret weapons was a welcome change. Many Urban Fantasy novels follow the exact same formula and never delve too deeply into political workings, but this series definitely looks at how corrupt the government can be. I also liked that the author added a bit of a sci-fi twist to the paranormal by bringing up gene splicing and genetic coding. I can't wait to see where Arthur goes with that idea. The ending tied things up nicely, but left room for the sequel. There wasn't a cliffhanger, though, thankfully.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to fans of Keri Arthur's other novels and to people who are looking for an Urban Fantasy novel that's a bit different. These books are chockfull of action, mystery, and adventure. They're light on romance, like a lot of UF, but they more than make up for it with the intricate plot and vivid world-building. Give this series a try. You won't be sorry.
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