By: Gaie Seblod
Adele put up a review of this book up couple of weeks ago, and I thought I’d follow it up with my opinion.
The second book featuring Babylon Steel, the eponymous heroine of Gaie Sebold’s first book (reviews here by me and here by Adele), Dangerous Gifts sees her once again forced to deal with trouble she’d rather avoid. The story carries on from the first book, with Babylon becoming the bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, against her better judgement, under the unfortunate confluence of circumstance and financial troubles. This means abandoning the Red Lantern and her crew, and venturing to Incandress, Enthemmerlee’s home plane/world.
Wrapped more in political intrigue than the first book, Dangerous Gifts keeps up a good pace, keeping things nicely rolling along within it’s confined time frame, balancing it’s constituent parts well. With the story primarily taking place on Incandress rather than Scalentine the book has a freshness that the second book of a series sometimes struggles to find.
If I had one complaint about the book it would be that slightly too much of the plot pivots on eavesdropping upon some fortuitous piece of information. While not a bad plot device I can think of four instances where the story changed in a way impossible without Babylon or another character happening to be in the right place at the right time. While this is the case with the plots of all books, the use of eavesdropping broadcasts it over-much.
The above aside the book is very good, the pacing is good, the action scenes work, and the characters feel real, with layered emotion, and the dialogue is great.