For reasons entirely unrelated to the book itself, it took me a week to read Fire & Water, the third episode of Kate “not Batwoman” Kane’s adventures by Alexis Hall. A novel that length, I usually read in one sitting, two days at the most. It’s a testament to the author’s sense of pacing and overall talent that I never had any trouble going back straight and deep into the story whenever I managed to sit down and read.
Fire & Water picks up six months after Shadows & Dreams. Kate is once again looking for the Tears of Hypnos. If you remember, these were what brought all the mayhem in the previous episode. Every wizard and his brother is looking for them because they’re the stuff dreams are made of. Literally. Whoever owns them can have power over the whole world. Or the whole world that matters to them. I got a bit discombobulated about the details when Julian (the sexy Vampire Prince Kate has been shagging since Iron & Velvet) mentioned she didn’t feel concerned. But hey, everyone else in Kate’s environment is, so Kate’s on a mission to find the Tears and hand them over to the least dangerous supernatural being.
One of the things I enjoyed about the previous books was their lightness even though they were about death and war. The humour made me smile and snort and snicker. This third one is darker. The characters are still great and I uber-love Kate Kane, but it doesn’t read as easily. It’s more intense. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. And it’s as sarcastic and as snicker-worthy as ever. I mean, even in the direst circumstances, Kate is so deliciously snarky.
It didn’t strike me before but Kate Kane (still not Batwoman) reminds me a lot of Jessica Jones if Jessica Jones was into paranormal. You know, more than superpowers and terrifying villains. Also, as I’ve said above, I love Kate, but for the first time, I also found Elise, the magically animated statue, incredibly interesting. Watching her become, in a way, is captivating. Like the first time your child reads a whole sentence by themselves.
One word of warning, however: despite Carina Press’s promise of HEA / HFN, Fire & Water definitely doesn’t end well. Nor is it a romance, really. But please don’t let that stop you from reading it. It is so very good, like a more mature sequel to the previous instalments.