But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.
As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
HOLY Mother of Pearl! Carolyn Crane is one helluva storyteller! This was a completely kick-awesome sequel in a completely original series. To put into perspective how much I loved this book…I re-read it immediately following the first read despite my super high pile of books that I needed to tackle. I kid you not. I was so into the story that I felt like I was living every word right along with the characters. Amazing.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Justine Jones could be my bestfriend. In fact the similarities between the character and one of my old friends is uncanny…from the paranoia right down to the dashboard Gumby-for reals. But, the main reason I love this character is because she is unique. She is a hypochondriac that is not overly whiny or psychotic about her hang-ups which makes her quirky and likable. She struggles with choices and consequences from said choices that endear her to the reader because we all can relate to those inner conflicts. Plus, she screws up time and time again, and what impresses me the most about Justine Jones is that she isn’t overly prideful and can admit her mistakes…that’s not something we see often in Urban Fantasy. Many times these kick-butt heroines are too stubborn and proud to actually see their flaws let alone admit to them and that is simply not the case with Justine Jones especially in Double Cross. Or, maybe its not the protagonist but the whole freaking fantastic world Crane has crafted that draws me in like a magnet. Her blend of X-men meets X-files meets Gotham City with characters that could be people we know, is sheer genius. It really is a fabulously created world that plays in my head like a graphic novel or movie but with these multi-dimensional characters that have far more depth and layers than your typical urban fantasy (that’s my opinion anyway) and Double Cross is a prime example of win.
Let’s talk about those depths and multi-dimensions for a second. There are so many significant character developments that are made and MAJOR revelations that will impact the next book. Every character grew leaps and bounds whether it be deciding what cost freedom is worth for them personally or what they value most in their lives. Each individual was dealing with something, and it only fueled my desire to stay inside the authors crazy Midcity universe…despite the awful things going on. What awful things you ask? Let me try to lay it out for you without spoiling this book, because I really think it’s important to go into this story minus any preconceived notions.
First, there is a dream invader that can influence your mind by infiltrating your dreams and she manages to have a connection with both Justine and Packard. What this means kiddies, is that now Justine has an inside line to Packard’s most hidden secrets and his past (which by default is also Otto’s). But, it goes both ways…and Packard is able to see into Justine’s dreams as well. This storyline with the dream invader, Ezmeralda, is significant throughout and introduces some scary things into the mix like a sleepwalking cannibal army that break into peoples homes then breaks those peoples limbs and proceeds to feast on their victims innards that she (Ez) may be responsible for. It’s so creepy and I loved every minute of it!
The second awful thing is that Highcaps are being targeted by a group of people who somehow have immunity to being “whammied” by the various powers of the Highcap community. Without the use of their abilities the Highcaps are incredibly vulnerable to a sniper attack. This poses a threat for many of Justine’s friends and both the men in her life that she has feelings for. But, these are just the outside problems going on inside Midcity. Trust me, there are many personal demons being flushed out in this book.
Double Cross is the most exciting new Urban Fantasy I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a while. It is unique, thrilling, dark, and humorous all at the same time…it’s brilliant! I couldn’t get to sleep after reading it because my mind was so involved in the intensity of everything that happened…and the cliffhanger, SHEESH!!! I felt like the guy in the Dirty Harry movie that Harry bluffs to about not knowing whether or not he fired 5 or 6 shots, but before Harry leaves the scene the crook looks up at him and pleads to Dirty Harry, “I gots ta know!” (go ahead click on the link and watch the video)
I GOTS TA KNOW! However will I make it till the next release? *sigh* I will be obsessing about the third book in similar ways that I did to the Sookie Stackhouse series, only if I am completely honest…I think I am more into this series than that one and I may even love Packard and Otto more than Eric and Bill. What I am getting at folks is that Carolyn Crane has surprised me with this amazing sequel and impressed me so much with this series that I don’t think I’ll be shutting up my gushing any time soon. And, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this may be my favorite new book this year.
So there. I declared it. *said in my best Dirty Harry voice* I know what your thinking…your wondering if I am seriously this in love with Double Cross. To tell ya the truth in all the excitement of reading it twice this week I’m not actually sure myself. But since I already told you I’m a busy woman and I neglected the world and all my responsibilities so I could read and re-read this book …you gotta ask yourself one question…Can I stand to miss out on this awesome series? Well, can ya PUNK? 🙂
Check out our Interview with Carolyn Crane HERE
Learn about the author’s inspiration for Midcity HERE
Check out this review of the Mind Games HERE
This book was given to PBD for review. (And Day is most grateful;))
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