I’m going to skip over the issues that arise from self-publishing, namely needing another editing run and awkward widows and orphans on various pages. Suffice to say, when this series is reprinted, those should be remedied.
I finished Sere from the Green in a single day because it’s short, just over two hundred pages. I finished Through Storm and Night in one day because while it’s not much longer than the first book, the action does begin to pick up. Lauren introduced us to a mystery in the opening chapter of her first book, and has yet to reveal all the answers. Our main characters get a bit more development, and we add a few more locations and wrinkles to the world and plot. Still rising action though.
Mostly I’m looking forward to the next book, where we get to the character that Lauren always talks about. But that can wait a bit while I reflect on book two. Book one brought us Isis, who thought she was an ordinary human until the night she photographed a body that disappeared. Since then she’s learned that she is one of only two shape-shifter/guardian hybrids, the other being the identical twin sister she never knew she had. Their mother is Passion, one of the emotional guardians, and their father an assassin shape-shifter whose body vanished years ago. Surprisingly, not the first time a shape-shifter’s body vanished either, something that’s brought up in Through Storm and Night.
Oh, and let’s not forget that guardian/shape-shifter relationships are taboo because of an ancient tragedy. Our immortal guardians and shape-shifters aren’t the only nonhumans in this world either, though we haven’t much to do with the others as of yet. Mostly they’re mentioned to exist and sometimes hang out at certain clubs.
THE REST OF THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Okay so, there is one more thing I want to talk about. Namely the “Fred must Die” rule of writing. This one may have lost some impact since George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire started getting big, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still important. Killing off your main character is a sure way to get a rise out of an invested reader. Not to mention that death carries a lot of symbology in addition to the emotional impact. I mentioned the disappearing bodies, so you can bet that most, if not all of those, were not quite as dead as they seemed,and someone wanted them for nefarious and sinister purposes. But that does lend itself to the symbolic return and ressurrection.
I put this under spoiler warnings because, well, it’s practically the climax of the book. And yet it’s still an essential part of the story, so I can’t not talk about it. There’s an anime from the nineties or early 2000s called YuYu Hakusho and in the first episode, the main character gets hit by a car and dies. So the first part of the series is about him earning his way back to life. But nothing would’ve happened at all if he’d just died and done nothing. He wouldn’t have been able to see spirits, wouldn’t have become a Spirit Detective, wouldn’t have entered a crazyass tournament, wouldn’t have died again and become a demon, etc. I don’t care if I just spoiled several of the major points of the series, I still enjoy it as a good shonen anime, even if there are a LOT of tournament-type things. My point is that none of it works if Yusuke doesn’t die in the first episode.
I’m going to cut this short now so I can start the third book where things really start catching my attention. Then again, I am such a sucker for tormenting characters.