2nd September 2010, Angry Robot
464 pages, Paperback
Lots of tension, heartbreak, separation from loved ones, a little humour, some violence.
Summary from Angry Robot
There’s been an accident. It’s your daughter. These are the words no parent ever wants to hear.
All I can say is yay! Well, I will say more than that. But oh you have to read this! I thought Sixty-One Nails was good. This is ten times better. I think I like Niall more in here. The emotions he goes through are very real to me - he is definitely one caring parent. He has a duty to the Courts - he is one of them now, but he hasn't left everyone behind from his old life. He can't. He never gives up on people. His determination carries him through the tough times. The tough times feel as though there is no way out, especially when his enemies cross the line between work and home. To them there is no line. Occasionally an enemy offers what seems like a get out of jail free card when times are bleak.
The two characters I like the best are Blackbird and Alex. Alex knows when to make a fuss, and has some brilliant lines. I can't spoil the story, but the times she does feature prove that she has inherited some of Niall's character traits. Blackbird steals the show for me, with her love for Niall, her own funny lines, and just for trying not to hurt people when the enemy is after her. I think she and Niall are similar in a lot of ways, which is probably why they are together.
There's plenty of action and magic in the book - in some ways the balance is better here than in Sixty-One Nails. I would say that Mike's talent has grown a lot in this book. There are several character arcs throughout the novel, which culminate to an incredible ending. This is normal in books, but in the Road to Bedlam, the minor revelations throughout the book feel as great as the ending. The way the book ends, I'm frantically looking at the blank pages at the end, hoping that book 3 will squeeze itself in there.
The only thing I didn't like was the front cover - I don't like snakes!
Characters with attitude, magic (or lack of), and people to care for will never stop fighting, even when death stares them in the face. And the ending rocks!!!
Be sure to check out book 1, Sixty-One Nails, while I keep an eye out for book 3!
You can catch up with what Mike is up to on his website.