CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 7. . . .October 17, 2014
Counting themselves lucky to have escaped their pursuers, Sam and fellow dreamer Rapha make the exhaustive trek out of the Amazon Rainforest and to a nearby airport where they reunite with Tobias and Xavier. Their instructions are to fly to the Academy’s London campus, but a storm forces their plane down in Cuba which (conveniently) also happens to be the home of the next in line of the Last Thirteen. Eager not to fall behind in the race, Sam quickly locates Maria, and together they journey to the location (revealed in Maria’s dream) believed to be holding one of the missing gears to the da Vinci machine. Facing challenges at every turn, including treacherous ocean waves, a menacing shark, and an ancient shipwreck, Sam and Maria must move quickly if they are to beat Solaris to the gear and avoid capture themselves.
Variations of this plot have been used in every book since the series’ opener. Sure, the destinations are different and the dreamers change, but the same basic format is always maintained: Sam dreams of the identity of the next dreamer and travels to recruit them to the cause, together they travel to an exotic locale in search of an ancient artifact, they are pursued by rogue agents or meet in a final showdown with Solaris which invariably ends on a cliffhanger. Familiarity of this kind makes for an awfully predictable read, lessening the impact and significance of suspense and mystery throughout, and ultimately the overall enjoyment of the story.
A major character reversal erases meaningful developments established in the previous two installments. This about-face (if it is truly genuine and not simply a ploy to send readers headed for another twist further down the line in the series) should hopefully make for an interesting story moving forward. Extended recaps are included to fill in the details of an ever-expanding back story; a helpful addition considering the length of the series, although, newcomers will perhaps find themselves a bit lost if they choose to join the story midstream.
Andrew Laudicina, a MLIS graduate from the University of Western Ontario in London, currently resides in Windsor, ON.
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