Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Merciless by Robin Parrish (Dominion Trilogy #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fast paced and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy
Cons: Writing in a few spots; characters illogical actions a couple of times
The Bottom Line:
A strong conclusion
That kept me engrossed in good
Despite few niggles

And the Merciless Shall Rain Fire from Heaven

The second book in the Dominion Trilogy left off with a major cliffhanger.  So it's no surprise that I moved on to Merciless, the final book, very quickly.  It grabbed me from page one and didn't let me go.

A quick word before I go any further.  If you haven't read the first two books in the series, go read them before you even think about starting this one.  There is a one page recap, but it isn't nearly enough to get you up to speed.  You will be lost.  I will do my best to discuss this book with a minimum of spoilers for the first two, but you have been warned about that as well.

The evil Secretum's end game has been fulfilled.  Oblivion has risen from the pit and begun to unleash his reign of terror on the Earth.  His power is so great he is drawing the Loci (super powered Ringwearers) to himself and turning them into mindless zombies as he leads them on a march from Turkey to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, former FBI agent Ethan leads Daniel and Lisa on an impossible mission to figure out some way to stop Oblivion from executing his end game.  Can he be stopped?  Can they stay alive long enough to figure out how?

This book picks up moments after the cliffhanger in the previous one and races from one event to the next.  I was always reluctant to put the book down.  This book not only brought the fantasy to an end but managed to answer all the questions that were still outstanding since the first book.

Since so many of the Loci are under Oblivion's control, we have a much smaller group of characters this time around.  That allows the characters we do see to truly come into their own.  As the cast grows toward the climax, I felt like I had the best handle of the trilogy on all the characters.

The writing is also smoothing out here.  There were occasional sentences that seemed awkward, but things were much more polished.

As a Christian fantasy series, I have been surprised at the lack of overt Christian elements.  Here again, it didn't scream CHRISTIAN to me, but it did start an interesting discussion about free will.  Since this is a novel, it isn't an exhaustive treatise of the complex topic, but what was here was good.  The one thing that bothered me the most was a misquoted Bible verse, but since it came out of the mouth of one of the villains, I was more than willing to let that slide.

There were a couple times the actions of the characters didn't make any sense and left me rolling my eyes or shouting at them.  I was caught up in the action again so soon they are worth noting in passing.

Merciless concludes a fabulous trilogy.  I am already looking forward to Robin Parrish's next book.

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