“The Last Cleric” by Layton Green

 I finished my review of the second novel in this series with “There has to be a Book Three.” This is it, and I’m a touch disappointed. This book has all the trappings of a “potboiler,” a book in the middle of a series where the author is running on automatic, including all the things that worked in the early books, with nothing new to pique our failing interest.

Which is not to say it’s a bad story. The action is fast paced. Settings are still incredibly detailed and imaginative. But the tension is flatter. The supporting characters become throw-aways, to be killed off to up the emotional stakes.

The plotline divides; the three brothers separate and each goes on a quest. Unfortunately, the quests of two of the brothers are too similar, with interchangeable dangers and settings, all very creative, but we sometimes lose track of where in the video game universe we are at the moment. Likewise, each brother is having trouble with his love life, and those conflicts parallel each other too closely.

The story is enlivened by the continuing inner conflicts of the three heroes as each is forced by circumstances to move in directions he would rather not and take actions he may be forever sorry for. Or not; that’s cause for some good suspense.

In all, I wished that this book was a bit shorter and contained more variety in plot and settings.

Recommended for fans of the rest of the series; I can already tell by how this book progressed that the conflicts are going to be more interesting in the next one.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


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