REVIEW: Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts
Dear Ms. Roberts:
This is the second in your famed paranormal series called the Circle Trilogy. I’ve learned through reading Morrigan’s Cross and Dance of the Gods that you write actions scenes really well which is something I didn’t know you had in you. Apparently you can write anything. Let’s see you try your hand at some erotic romance, huh? Just kidding. As much as I wanted to love this book like Bookseller Jolie, I was, well, bored in the first half. The story ended with a bang and left me excited to read the next in the series but I wondered if this was another author whether I would have given up before the half way point. The story continues the group of 6’s fight against Lilith and her horde of vampires.
The second book focuses on Larkin, the shapeshifter, and Blair, the vampire hunter. Blair is classic Nora Roberts. She is smart of mouth, strong willed and savvy. Larkin is from an older, more chilvarous age and doesn’t quite know what to do with Blair. Blair is a loner who has spent her life trying to find someone to accept her for who she is, a vampire slayer, and accepting that might never happen. Romance readers who found the romance in Morrigan’s Cross to be second to the world building will be happy with the focus on the relationship building between Larkin and Blair. For me, however, there was so little internal conflict between Larkin and Blair and so little external conflict for the first half of the book that I found the romance to be dry.
Another problem is that this is really a set piece. Meaning it cannot be read alone because if you have not read the first, Morrigan’s Cross, you will be hopelessly lost in this one. I’ve always maintained that series books must stand alone and I don’t think that Dance of the Gods can do that.
There were a couple things that really nagged at me. First and foremost was the idea that four of the individuals and then the entire community of Gaell could be trained to fight and kill vampires. If the vampires were really super fast, super strong, how could a mortal who has not trained all their lives for battle (ie Blair) be expected to fight and prevail. Second, it appears that the time traveling skill is one known to Lilith for quite some time. I would have thought that she would have used it more than it was suggested she did. Is there a counterpart for Morrigan? I.e., is Lilith a god or she imbued with her power from a greater source? I really didn’t think about these questions in the first book because I was caught up in the characterizations but in the first half of this book, I found my mind wandering. Maybe all these things will be answered in the final entry in the series.
I have this sense that I will be the only one who was disappointed in this book. Bookseller Jolie thought it was better than Morrigan’s Cross and Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review. B-.