By Rhodi Hawk Editions: ebook, paperback Published: October 30th 2012 by Tor Books (first published May 8th 2012) Genre: Adult Thriller / Southern Gothic Source: review copy
Psychologist Madeleine LeBlanc is desperate to escape the madness that has followed her family for a century. She’s struggling to adjust to her new-found power and to stick to the pact that protects her sanity.
But an innocent little boy is being hunted—by Madeleine’s half brother and her great-grandmother, Chloe, and by the demons they control. The boy is a threat to their bloodline, to their very nature, but Madeleine cannot let his young life be callously destroyed.
Thrust into an age-old battle of dark versus light, Madeleine dives deep into the history of her family and into the vast paranormal underworld of New Orleans, a world seemingly controlled by her great-grandmother.
The only way to stop Chloe lies past the tangled bridge that could lead to great power…or total destruction.
Bomy’s Flutter: complex and original, awesome sequel
After diving into the world of the Twisted Ladder last week, the journey grows darker and even more complex with The Tangled Bridge. This is book #2 in the The Twisted Ladder series, so in case you’re liking the concept I suggest you start with the first book, this is not one of those series where each book stands on its own. The world of the briar and characters involved need book #1 to make clear sense.
Now, I had a great time reading book #1, but I’ll admit I was left wishing for more of the briar world. And I certainly got my share of it through this lovely dark little darling (and when I say little, I don’t mean actual size since this is a 500+ pages read). In this book the world of the briar and its inhabitants play a much greater role and make a really memorable appearance. I loved the shadow and light play, the twisted sense of time, space and magic, the ambiguous nature of it all. A lot more of the action in this novel takes place in this original and charming world of river devils and magic, and it was entirely fascinating as it wrapped around me.
Madeleine and Ethan evolve and their relationship does as well. The mysterious and oddly fascinating Chloe becomes clearer in this book, her past and actions, her motives and MO-s became chillingly clear. It was tempting to see Zenon as the capital antagonist of the read, but I believe Chloe is a much more complex and frankly devious candidate for that position.
I was delighted by Bo’s presence and I felt he helped bring out sides of both Madeleine and Ethan that helped their relationship evolve, as well as themselves as individuals. In fact, as a result of it I liked Ethan more despite not being a fan of his since book 1. Not like I disliked him, he just got lost between other powerful presences.
Madeleine was confronted with choices and circumstances that, I’ll admit, became almost confusing at times. The book certainly demands your full attention, the briar world and everything about it is just so complex and layered that it can become confusing unless you’re there 100%. So I’d say this is not one of those easier reads, though not heavy either. But it does make you think and it keeps you wondering all the time.
As far as story goes, things evolve from where book #1 had left them to bring out a clearer sense of bad guys versus good guys. While the first one kept a nuance of not choosing a clear side maybe for some characters, the story here clearly forces them to take sides. The two timelines evolution keeps the formula and events and circumstances become clearer not on themselves but through the perspective of that other time, other place, other person. I felt the ’20-s timeline story was more complex and emotionally gripping, as Patrice takes more of a center stage and Chloe’s nature is truly revealed through her actions. I really liked how everything came together, though if you have trouble or dislike following more then one developed thread in a story, this is probably not the book for you.
Settings were more of the magic nature here, we run into adventure and the journey scenario as Madeleine ends up traveling through time and space to bring different parts of the story thus far together.
As far as curb appeal goes, with that dark cover, the blurb and the reading experience of the first book, I’d get this for when I’m in the mood for some gripping and complex reading. It wouldn’t be a compulsive buy as much as a I-wanna-work-that-brain-niche buy.
All in all, I loved the creativity and interactive history sort of vibe this novel had, and I enjoyed the entire journey it took me on. If you like complex stories that truly work your mind as you read them, then I say give these books a shot. I loved the reading experience.
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