Eden Moore - Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest
|Eden Moore - Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: This, the second book in the Eden Moore supernatural thriller trilogy, is every bit as good as (and possibly even better than) the first, but differently so (milder horror, more action). An entertaining edge-of-the-seat ride for all, except, perhaps, those who need to walk through wooded areas after dark.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: May 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
Dead soldiers from the American Civil War have been seen wandering around the Chickamauga National Park in Georgia, site of a notable Confederate victory in 1863. They don't speak, just point forlornly as locals turn and flee in the opposite direction. Eden Moore would rather ignore it completely, especially as show business psychics Tripp and Diana Marshall have already started investigating, complete with camera crew and full entourage. However, eventually her curiosity (and her friends' unstinting nagging) gets to her and she agrees to trespass after dark, quickly discovering that the gesticulating dead are a minor problem compared to the reason they've awoken.
Eden Moore, the medium who declines the label, is back following her debut in award winning Cherie Priest's Eden Moore – Four and Twenty Blackbirds, some six years after its American publication. Eden is no longer the scared child and cantankerous teen, having evolved into a slightly more tactful young adult who by the end of the book begins to see that she may have a few things to learn. She still lives with her Uncle David and Aunt Lu, but is only ever home long enough to be warned of the dangers of staying out late and getting into trouble. (It's an age thing!) It could be argued that her guardians aren't as fully fleshed this time around, but they were expanded as much as required in Blackbirds and, to be honest, how much time do you devote considering custodial adults in your life when you're young, have people to see and things to do?
Although a stand-alone novel, another facet of Eden's former life also follows her to book two: her murderous half brother Malachi. He's not as dead as people think and not in an undead ghost way either. Eden has made him comfortable and invisible in a monastery. There's also an added bonus: they've reached an understanding which means Malachi doesn't want to kill her anymore, seemingly a healthier option all round. Malachi is indeed more docile here in Wings but as intellectually challenged as ever and in need of Eden's help. The newer, tamer Malachi may seem too much of a character conversion, but Cherie Priest has this one covered, ensuring an air of unease permeates Eden's thoughts whenever he's around. You get the feeling that she wants him back at the monastery for more than his own good.
For me, this time around, Eden's competitors for centre stage are friends and amateur ghost hunters Benny and James. Their enthusiasm for the fables floating off the battlefields provides part of the enjoyable humour we've come to expect from Ms Priest. Then the manner in which this enthusiasm disintegrates into fear as the lads are faced with the actual apparitions brings a 'real life' dimension to the story. In a way, Benny and James are 'Scooby Doo' characters for adults, but that's not meant as disparagement.
There's another marked difference between Blackbirds and Wings apart from the type of terrain (though both remain in the author's home state). Cherie Priest attempts a risky strategy. This is a multi-threaded adventure, which isn't unusual. However one thread is the answer to the mystery of another, running side by side and allowing the reader to indentify a large jigsaw piece before the hero does. A writer needs skill in order to supply their own spoiler while maintaining interest and therefore this one manages it admirably. In fact not only does Priest successfully supply her own spoiler, she also manages to insert more twists into that side bar story, providing also a greater insight into that character's motivation. There are those who would argue that it may have been better to reveal the identity at the principals' discovery, but then she would have had to find a way to back track over his story, possibly losing momentum.
Wings has a slightly different feel, being more action packed than scary (though just as atmospheric) compared to the previous novel but different isn't necessarily bad. There are a couple of belief suspension moments, but I didn't realise till the novel was over and enjoyed so feel they aren't worth mentioning. This novel may be based on a real place, but it's still fictional entertainment.
What next for Eden? Book 3, Not Flesh Nor Feathers, arrives later in 2012, after initial US publication in 2007. Cherie has moved on since those days though, having written (amongst other things) a vampire series as well as a collection of celebrated steampunk novels. Nothing's been said, but perhaps one day she'll return to Eden as I can't help thinking that global publication will fuel a demand, and I for one won't complain.
I would like to thank Titan for providing Bookbag with a copy of this book for review.
If you've enjoyed this and would like to try another supernatural thriller, then we recommend Thicker Than Water (Felix Castor) by Mike Carey.
You can read more book reviews or buy Eden Moore - Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Eden Moore - Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest at Amazon.com.
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