I have to confess I feel a bit guilty to have read and reviewed Episode 3 so soon after Episode 2 when I have so many other books in The Stack. I'll point out here that I've never met the author and don't know him any better than any of the other authors I've traded posts with on various forums, or who have done a Q&A with me. However I have realised that a) I really want to know how the series is going to end and b) that these short stories (or novellas, not entirely sure of the word count to know which they are technically) are ideal for reading when the Monkey is having a nap.
This episode picks up the two threads from the last book - in LA Book is still in the company of Jacob, his wife Trudie and Molly, hiding out. Back in the 13th Century Broussard continues the journey started in Episode 2 and with Khali, Shahin and his fellow Templars is racing away from a mysterious Mongol and his unlikely allies to try and protect a secret.
Molly has started to discover a much greater clarity about the position she finds herself in and is able to enlighten Book and the reader as to the nature of the King's X to a greater degree than before. Book remains uncertain about whether she and the others are enjoying some sort of group delusion or whether there is a massive secret hidden from the world at large. A revelation about his father comes as a shock but seems to fit with what he remembers from his childhood and makes their story more credible.
It seems that all the main characters are destined to live their lives on the run and this book is again a mix of action and reflection. We learn a lot more about the shadowy Shepherd previously encountered by Molly and Book and although I am still not entirely clear about exactly what the King's X does I certainly feel like I am closer to understanding. This book also reveals certain links between the two time periods which brought a new dimension to the story for me.
This book is pretty plot driven with the characters now pretty well established, although it was interesting to see Molly veering between scared teen and newly enlightened woman who feels responsible for what she has brought upon Book. There really isn't much let up in this series, with new revelations and more information to further illuminate the bigger picture round every corner. I don't think it'll be long before I find an excuse to read Episode 4.
Format: Kindle, review copy
My rating: 4*