Penumbra

Since Gabriel Stern has made it abundantly clear he neither wants nor needs Sam Ryan as a partner, she succeeds in being reassigned only to get a bodyguard detail. The downside is, the man she is assigned to isn’t the real person, he’s a clone and people linked to the base of Hopeworth keep dying.  With confusing hints about her childhood and where she came from appearing at random intervals and the mysterious Joe Black who claims to be a friend but her senses say otherwise, will the truth finally come out?  With her abilities continuing to develop at a rapid pace, Sam fears she is no longer human, if she even was to start with.  All answers seem to lead back to the ex-military project known as Penumbra.

This is the third book in the Spook Squad series and it continues the story nicely.  Sometimes in a series, each book stands alone with just the main characters linking them, but Keri Arthur has integrated the storyline seamlessly across the three books.  As far as I can tell it was promoted as a trilogy but the story seems far from over.  You get a lot of the answers you seek but it’s lacking aftermath and a few things like her attraction with Gabriel Stern are left unexplored.  There is also one huge thing left to resolve but I won’t mention it here as it would be a major spoiler.  Maybe that was the intention but it felt unfinished so I am hoping there are more books in the works.  Again, the characters made the story for me, I love Sam and her ‘I can take care of myself’ attitude which she can even back up.  I still want to smack Gabriel occasionally but he is getting easier to deal with, as emotions he has long had locked away start coming out.  All three books have been very entertaining and as I said, I hope there will be more!

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Keri Arthur
  • Series: Spook Squad (3)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Generation 18

Sam Ryan, now an agent for the Special Investigations Unit and partner of the reluctant Gabriel Stern investigates a series of murders.  Time is of the essence as a new victim turns up every twelve hours.  At first the victims seem unrelated but soon they discover it all seems to tie in with a military base called Hopeworth.  When hints about Sam’s mysterious history start appearing, could she be tied in with it all and why.  As her burgeoning talents continue to develop it seems more important than ever to discover where she came from.  Gabriel frustratingly still refuses to work with her as a full partner and tries to keep her in the dark but as he suspects, Sam isn’t too happy about it.

This is the second book in the Spook Squad series and I enjoyed it just as much as the first.  It’s fresh, interesting and engaging and I like the characters a lot.  You do want to smack Gabriel at times for his obtuseness but you do also understand why he is reluctant to take on a partner again.  The chemistry between them is strong and you get tantalising glimpses of what could be but evidently it’s not meant to be.  Doesn’t stop you wanting it to happen though.  I also like the way Sam deals with everything with an admirable matter of factness, each new task or obstacle thrown at her she just shoulders it and gets on with the job.  I find my heart aching for her at times, wanting her to have the answers she needs but I’m not sure she will be able to cope with what they might turn out to be.  Hopefully all will be revealed in the next book!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Keri Arthur
  • Series: Spook Squad (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Memory Zero

Samantha Ryan is a Melbourne State cop that has no memory of her childhood or her parents, the only thing she has is a child’s drawing of a woman with ‘Mummy’ written underneath.  Things start falling apart when her partner Jack, tries to kill her and weird things start happening around her… and to her.  When Gabriel Stern, a shapechanger of the Special Investigations Unit gets involved, she realises there is more going on than a cop gone rogue and she is right in the middle of it.

I really like Keri Arthur’s work in general, it’s exciting, easy to read and she is very good at creating characters you love and care about.  But after reading and being a bit disappointed with Deadly Desire, I picked this up fully expecting to feel the same way.  It’s the first book in a new series and I have to say it was really good.  Maybe the freshness of all new characters and settings helped but everything felt just right.  The plot was pretty good, if a little twisty at times but the pace of answers being revealed was just right and kept you reading, trying to guess what was going on.  I loved the main characters, Samantha being the one who stands out the most.  Definately not a heroine who gets dropped in the deep end and flounders, waiting for the guy to come and save her.  She can hold her own and I think that worked really well with the character of Gabriel who is alternately confused then impressed by her.  The end of the book felt very unfinished so I really hope there is a second book in the works or I will be left forever wondering.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Keri Arthur
  • Series: Spook Squad (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)