Oh, Ms. Willis! I cannot believe you did this to me! A cliffhanger? After 512 many pages? And I hung in there SO long in the beginning when the book was so slow to get going!
Seriously–during all that nattering about over changed schedules and finding drop sites I nearly screamed to just get on with it already! So it is absolutely ridiculous to find that after more than 500 pages, I am not a nice resolution to any of the various plot lines, but rather am referred to the next book, All Clear!
It’s a bloody good thing that I 1) really, really like Ms. Willis’ work; and 2) already have All Clear on hand and ready to go, or I would have been sorely tempted, sorely, I say, to throw the book across the room. That isn’t nearly so satisfying with ebooks and tends to do absolutely nothing but damage one’s hardware, so I imagine I would have refrained.
But I absolutely would not suggest this work to a first-time Willis reader. To Say Nothing of the Dog, certainly. Bellwether, even more so. But not this one, and not Doomsday Book or Lincoln’s Dreams or, honestly, even Fire Watch (the story on which the All Clear duology is based).
Willis doesn’t write simplistic stories, or I probably wouldn’t enjoy her work so much, but she has a way of making the complex clear that’s beautiful. It’s just that these require a bit more desire to get there on the part of the reader, to my way of thinking than the other two. And once one is seduced by those, it is clear that the effort is wholly worthwhile.
In any case, there’s no doubt but that I’m going right on ahead to read All Clear. I’m just a bit put out with the author at the moment–and very, very glad, considering the heft of these tomes, that I’ve switched to ebooks!
I still think that readers deserve some small reward for the sheer aggravation meted out thus far. Surely resolving some small plot issues would not have caused trouble? For instance, authors who are accustomed to working with multi-book series regularly wrap up some issues in each book, while leaving other, larger plot threads to carry over into future volumes to provide continuity.