Blood of a Phoenix
Hmm…this second book in the series is a bit uneven. It suffers from the malady of many Action/Urban Fantasy books searching for a macguffin (in this case Nix’s son Bear, who is revealed to still be alive): how do you draw out the story when your main character is a bad-ass, take no nonsense, powerful woman who basically just takes out anyone standing in her way in creative and bloody ways (i.e. feeds magical vampire people to their pet zombie crocodiles or sets people on fire with magical blood?)
You have to give them meaningless dead-end quests. I got a little bogged down in all the meaningless quests in this one. Don’t get me wrong, watching Simon and Nix head to the jungle where abnormals rule the roost and extract information is fun, but ultimately it didn’t further the plot or get her closer to her son in a meaningful way.
I also got a bit sad at all the ways they sacrificed Abe. I say “they” because in this story we get Nix’s son’s POV pretty frequently. He is like a mini-me of Nix in some ways, which is fine, but he also manages to sacrifice Abe like not once but three times! Yikes!
There is a bit of cleaning house in this book as well, in terms of a bunch of characters die or are killed and it narrows the focus quite nicely on Nix, her son, and Luca Romano as well as the last of his hell guardians. There are also some intriguing revelations about Nix’s awesome guns (who are still awesome, snarky, and fun in this book).
Not sure yet if I will go on to the last book right away. I might need to wait a while so my frustration over the dead ends Nix goes on (she also admits to herself a massive mistake in the story where she derails from her quest for finding her son that at the time I was like “why would you do that?” so its possible the author knew that felt inauthentic) thins out a bit.
Nix is still bad-ass, there are plenty of male sidekicks for her to use as tools and discard, and the author built in some intriguing mysteries, but this second book suffered a bit from mid-series doldrums.