I’m still really excited about this series, as it gains its legs and prepares to jump forward. The characters are starting to become more real, and the underlying story of the entire series is beginning to show. In this volume, we learn more about the cabal of the Unwritten and how they have had their hands in fiction, literature, and manipulation for decades, if not centuries. It continues with the theme of the significance of stories and how they shape our world (the one-shot story about Rudyard Kipling is a fantastic look at this very thing), while moving along with the central plot.
It would have been hard for this volume to meet the expectations that were raised with the second one, so I don’t really fault it for not having as profound an effect on me as I did with that collection (I guess you can only have a revelation regarding the theme once in a story). Plot-wise, the story took me by surprise by playing with some red herrings and false leads, and I always like it when an author can do that and not make it feel forced. There was also a brilliantly constructed story that tells us about Lizzie Hexam and her origins, made to read as a Choose Your Own Adventure story. That it gives the impression of giving the reader a choice in the story while leading him in a very specific direction was pretty damn keen.
So, I’m caught up with the series, and am still interested in seeing where it goes from here. I’m a little disappointed, though, because now I have to wait on the next collection to be released. Since Dead Man’s Knock was only released last week, I have some time to go before that happens. Le sigh.