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Gathering Deep by Lisa Maxwell
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Gathering Deep

by Lisa Maxwell

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I've toyed between one and two stars for this novel but I think I'm going to round up this time because there were some things about it that I enjoyed (though perhaps consider my true rating closer to 1.5 out of 5). I still love the Gothic tone of this series and I really loved the depiction of Baron Samedi, but I just didn't think that it was as well put together as Sweet Unrest.

Gathering Deep just felt like an entirely different kind of story. It's not a paranormal romance any more. It's just really a straight paranormal novel. I always find it jarring when stories change genre like this - it strikes me as weird and a bit alienating for series to shift its genre in mid flow. The story also jerked around a bit with many little sub-plots that kind of connected, though did not really affect the main plot. For example, the subplot with Ikenna trying to seize control of Mama Legba's territory was ultimately pointless and all of the backstory concerning Roman was resolved off page.

The author also seemed to pick and choose a bit with her voodoo law. At times, the novel did feel as though it was being a bit disrespectful towards its subject matter - much more noticeably than in the previous story which really played up the positive aspects. At the end of the day, Haitian Voodoo is as valid and affirming a religion as any other and overplaying the darker elements - poppets, binding spells, human sacrifices - seemed to be drawing a lot more from its negative cultural depictions than anything else.

The characters in the story also received little development. Everyone spent most of the novel trying to control Chloe's actions and so she seemed mostly relegated to sitting on the sidelines in this story as other people did the exciting stuff - raiding witches houses and having lucid dreaming experiences. Even in the climax, it was ultimately Baron Samedi that saved the day, all Chloe did of her own accord was run away. This is troubling because, not only was Chloe the protagonist but she was also the narrative voice and so all we really got was her narrating her frustration that she wasn't allowed to do anything.

Oh, and I hated Piers and his condescending attitude. I really wish that Chloe had just dumped his ass and wound up with Odane.

So all in all, this isn't one for me. It's kind of a shame as I did enjoy Sweet Unrest a lot more. I might see where this series heads in the future if Maxwell releases another book but I'm hardy waiting with bated breath. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Oct 10, 2015 |
More of a companion novel than a sequel to her well-received Sweet Unrest, Maxwell focuses on Chloe and Thisbe in this atmosphere-packed fantastical mystery. Reeling from the aftermath of finding out that the evil witch Thisbe is her mother, Chloe becomes determined to sever all ties and influence from Thisbe’s dark magic. When her on-off boyfriend, Piers, vanishes on his way to deliver a historical artifact, Chloe knows that Thisbe is behind his disappearance. Enlisting the help of friend Lucy, Voodoo queen Mama Legba, and Mama Legba’s nephew Odane, Chloe gathers all her strength in order to conquer Thisbe’s nefarious influence. The narrative is peppered with fascinating Voodoo rituals and beliefs, heightening the suspense.

VERDICT: As with Sweet Unrest, where Maxwell’s novel excels is in its heady, Southern-drenched mood. Recommended for fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Jackaby.

(Reviewed for SLJ) ( )
  amandacb | Jul 25, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738745421, Paperback)

Chloe Sabourin's world was turned upside down three times over when she learned that the unspeakable murders in her native New Orleans—the ones that nearly claimed the life of her friend Lucy—were committed by Chloe's own mother, who is in reality the dark witch Thisbe. Moving on from that is the toughest thing she's ever had to do.

Now, a new series of ritualistic killings suggests that Thisbe is plotting again. Chloe seeks help from the mysterious Mama Legba, even though she's unsure whether she can trust the Voodoo Queen. But when her boyfriend Piers vanishes, all signs point to Thisbe, and Chloe must quickly learn all she can from Mama Legba to save the one person she has left...even if that means bringing down her own mother.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:22:49 -0400)

When Chloe Sabourin suspects that her mother has returned with her dark magic, she joins forces with the mysterious Mama Legba and ends up in a desperate race to rescue her boyfriend Piers.

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