Having already read the first book in the trilogy, Few are Chosen, I was interested to see what the Pan of Hamgee would be up to next. In this book he kicks off by rescuing the Chosen One, Ruth and whisking her away to safety. She's not particularly impressed though, especially when he then leaves her on top of a high rise building and within the grasp of Lord Vernon. This book really progresses the story of the mysterious Candidate and their Chosen One, who will potentially save K'Barth from the governance of Lord Vernon. While looking for a safe refuge from Lord Vernon, and the Police who are keen to question them, they find help from the resistance but still have a lot of frustratingly unanswered questions. By the end the future of K'Barth hangs in the balance and the Pan still has more to go through before he has any chance of a happy ending.
While there is a lot of action and drama throughout the book, with car chases, plotting and murder, there is plenty of development of the characters. We aren't flooded with a large number of new characters, instead the author allows us to become better acquainted with those who were introduced in the first book. The Pan is as appealing as ever, so self-deprecating but well meaning. There is a definite Will they Won't they scenario with him and Ruth, with circumstances constantly getting in their way. Swamp Thing Big Merv was the revelation for me, going from the sort of gangland boss who dispatches victims to the bottom of deep rivers with concrete boots to secret softie.
I'm not a big fantasy or sci-fi reader, partly because I find some authors' creations very off-putting, but the different species we are introduced to in the series are all very familiar but with a twist. It makes it easy to visualise the weird and wonderful characters we're introduced to. Swamp Thing Big Merv once disguised with a hat sounds not dissimilar to a member of the cast of TOWIE (ie he looks like he has a bad fake tan) and other than his flamboyant dress sense the Pan isn't immediately out of place on the streets of London. Another reason I've really enjoyed this series is because it is a bit tongue in cheek with plenty of puns thrown in. This is in the same vein as the likes of Grant Naylor's Red Dwarf series, and as that is one of my favourites it's probably no surprise this hits the mark with me.
I found it interesting when I re-read my review of the first book that I mentioned I thought it was good for a YA audience but had enjoyed it myself, as this book didn't feel YA at all. Not because of any amount of bad language, sex or graphic violence, it just felt like a fantasy book with a comic bent. I'll be looking out for Book 3.
Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*