Book Review: Cat’s Claw and Serpent’s Storm

After reading Death’s Daughter, I quickly checked out the other two books in Amber Benson’s series Calliope Reaper-Jones novels. I’m so far behind in my reviews that these are going to be quick and sweet.

I’m gonna say up front this was not my favorite book of the series so far. I thought it was a bit slow moving and that a lot of plot twists were used instead of character development. Calliope is still whining and not wanting to face what it means to be Death’s daughter and caught up in the supernatural world. (Whining and denial are also a favorite of Anita Blake, which was one reason I disliked the last three or four books of that series. Well, and I’m not into furries.)

In Cat’s Claw, Calliope returns to the world she fights so desperately to forget by bargain shopping for important brand names. But the favors she offered in Death’s Daughter to complete the three tasks are called in, and Cali returns to the supernatural world unwillingly in order to repay them. The three-headed Cerberus tells Cali that in order to pay off her debt to him she must leave his daughter with him for a while and go off to hunt down a missing architect. Along the way she is led around the nose by a cat spirit, finds out her missing lover may not be so missing, and finally figures out how to sorta save the day. The twists were interesting but not all that unexpected. Am I really more suspicious of new characters than someone who grew up in the supernatural world? The other tid-bit I didn’t like was the characters propensity to act like it was still 1990 saying- Not! However, I pushed through the book and was glad I did. Cat’s Claw is an easy read and was worth sitting through as more of a lead up to the next book than just in its own right. Enough happens in this book that it makes up for lack of character development, that is important to the overall story line, and I found myself rooting for Cali. If only because no one but Jarvis seems to.

Read a longer review here.

I enjoyed the story line in the third book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series by Amber Benson, Serpent’s Storm, much more than I enjoyed Cat’s Claw. In Serpent’s Storm, Cali experiences loss, swallows a jewel with magical powers, and hunts down her sister who escaped from prison. Cali starts to realize that despite her yearnings to leave the supernatural world behind, she can’t. In fact, it has been invading her so called “normal” life in NYC all along. Cali begins to come into her own in Serpent’s Storm, taking responsibility for actions, fighting evil, and defeating the bad guys- sometimes. I enjoyed that Benson delved into  Cali’s family history and was intrigued to watch how Cali handled change this time around. She is pushed out of her sit down and weep mode, and made to confront some of her issues.

I wasn’t a fan of the “heroine can’t make a relationship work” theme, because I’m tired of that as a “plot twist” in general. But I’m willing to see how Cali’s love life turns out in upcoming books. I did enjoy this book and was really glad I stuck with the series.  This was a quick, fun read, that turned a bit dark as the series progresses. I will definitely keep with it and read any future books in the series.

Read another geek’s review here.