Revealing Silver

Revealing Silver is the conclusion of the Silver Maiden Trilogy by Jamie Craig. With a very small amount of recap, it picks up exactly where Touching Silver left off. And thank goodness for that! The cliffhanger at the end of Touching Silver was a real doozy!

The oldest story in the world is boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. As a society we’ve finally admitted that there are tons of wonderful stories in the variations on that theme–boy meets boy, girl meets girl, variations where three or more can play, whatever happens to float your personal boat. Science fiction and fantasy have added even more flavors, for example: boy or girl meets robot, or boy or girl meets vampire or shapeshifter, but the basic concept still stands. The love story is a classic, and the pattern is the same, they meet, they get separated, they get back together.

In Chasing Silver, Remy and Nate meet because Remy gets dragged back in time 70+ years. For them, it’s a miracle. They save each other.

Touching Silver was Nate’s partner Isaac’s story. When Nate and Remy find each other, Isaac is left out in the cold. He’s been the one keeping Nate from the abyss for the past five years, and suddenly he’s a fifth wheel. Until Detective Olivia Wright walks into his life. Olivia doesn’t need saving, but she would love to be his partner.

Two couples who have both fulfilled the first part of the love story equation, in the middle of Nate and Isaac’s investigation of a gang war between their two worst enemies; Cameron Parker, the man who set them up five years ago, and Gabriel de los Rios, the gang leader obsessed with the Silver Maiden coins, and the one who kidnapped the seven young girls in Olivia Wright’s Cold Case files.

At the end of Touching Silver, Nate, Remy, Isaac and Olivia interrupt a ritual Gabriel and his cousin are conducting, a ritual designed to bring back the original Silver Maiden. Gabriel and his cousin Marisol may be crazy, but six girls are still missing, and Remy knows that this ritual is building up the same kind of power that sent her back in time. She stops the ritual by throwing herself into the ritual circle, and finds herself jumping time again, this time back to Los Angeles in 2000. Her only hope is to contact Isaac and Nate in that time, while they were still both LAPD, and try to get help without screwing up her own personal timeline.

Nate is still back in 2010, and is devastated almost beyond repair. He tried to go through the circle before it closed, and Isaac stopped him. Their friendship, their brotherhood, is in tatters. Olivia is also linked to the Silver Maiden coins: Gabriel and Marisol both say that she a “Keeper”, a part of the coins in her own right.

When Gabriel and Marisol’s agendas diverge in their desires to use (or abuse) the Silver Maiden’s power, Gabriel kidnaps Olivia and uses her “Keeper” power to send her back in time to fix the things that he believes Marisol has broken, while he holds Nate hostage in 2010 for her “good” behavior. It’s a wild race to the finish.

Escape Rating B+: I was up until after 2 am trying to finish this. I was that caught up in it. The characters do make references to being caught up in a Doctor Who episode, and that’s pretty appropriate. There are a certain amount of “timey wimey” bits involved. But definitely in a fun way.

I will say that enjoying this story depends on having read the other two. This is the third book of a trilogy, and it assumes prior knowledge. It does wrap up all the loose ends very nicely. Justice is served, and the good guys get their well-deserved happy ending.

If I have piqued your interest in the Silver Maiden Trilogy, here are my reviews of Chasing Silver and Touching Silver so you can get the complete picture.

Touching Silver

Touching Silver is the second book in the Silver Maiden Trilogy by Jamie Craig. When I finished Chasing Silver, the first book in the trilogy, my review implied that I wanted three things from the next book; I wanted Isaac’s story, I wanted to know more about the Silver Maiden coins, and I wanted more story and less sexual mechanics. I’m pleased to say I pretty much got what I wanted. I love it when that happens.

Touching Silver is definitely Isaac’s story. Isaac McGuire was Nathan Pierce’s partner, back when Nate was a cop with the LAPD. Isaac is still Nate’s partner, except Nate isn’t a cop anymore. And Isaac isn’t willing to let anyone else close enough to become another partner, so Isaac has been working alone ever since. And that’s going on five years since.

But since Remy Capra dropped into Nate’s life, Nate has managed to move on from the betrayal and clusterfuck that took him out of the LAPD. It’s time for Isaac to move on, too.

Enter Detective Olivia Wright from the Cold Case Squad. One of her cold cases has not only warmed up, it’s intersected with Isaac’s long-standing hunt for Gabriel de los Rios.

A young woman, missing for five years, has turned up alive and traumatized. Gabriel de los Rios was one of her captors. Gabriel normally operates in gang territory, where witnesses are thin on the ground, and manpower to investigate is hard to come by. But kidnapping and holding a clean-cut, All-American girl who is still underage after five years in captivity? That charge will stick.

Isaac wants to take the formerly cold case and add it to his own caseload, but Olivia Wright won’t let it go. She wants in on the investigation, and won’t take “no” for any answer, no matter who she has to work with, including a former cop and his girlfriend who looks like a hooker.

But when Olivia finds one of the Silver Maiden coins at a crime scene, her reaction to it has her believing in things that are way, way outside of a cop’s normal jurisdiction. And her attraction to Isaac has her doing things that break all of the rules that she ever set for herself when she became a cop. But some rules are made to be broken, and what you believe in your heart is more important than what used to be cold, hard facts.

Escape Rating B: Touching Silver is a much better book than Chasing Silver. There is more story in it. Isaac and Olivia both have good reasons for not getting deeply involved, and the author shows them struggling with why they shouldn’t, but then groping toward the realization that they are better together than they are apart. Isaac needs to eat a major serving of crow to get there, and it tastes pretty awful going down, as it should!

Remy and Nate take a trip to South America to find the origins of the Silver Maiden. Finally, some background! It’s a little murky, but at the reasonable point. The coins are old, and the origins are somewhat lost in the sands of time. But Gabriel knows how to work them, or thinks he does, which means there is information to be found. If someone in the story knows it, then the reader should get to learn it. We do.

The one thing about trilogies that always bugs me is that there has to be a middle book. Middle books end in one of two ways. They either end on a downer, or a cliffhanger. This one does both. I’m starting the final book, Revealing Silver, right now!

Chasing Silver

Chasing Silver by Jamie Craig is a time travel romance of the very hot and steamy variety. I really liked the gutsy heroine who, as she says, “doesn’t do damsel”, and the hero who hasn’t let himself feel anything in way too long. The device that started the whole time-travelling jaunt in the first place, well, let’s hope there’s more explanation for that in book two (or three) of the Silver Maiden trilogy.

The year is 2085. Remy Capra is running for her life from Kirsten Henryk, Senator Henryk’s daughter and paranoid enforcer. Kirsten does have something to enforce in Remy’s case. Remy is a gang member and small-time thief, and Remy has just stolen something important from the Senator’s house in DC: one of the coins known as a Silver Maiden. In what Remy was sure were the last seconds of her life, Remy clutched the coin as wished for safety.

The year is 2010. Nathan Pierce, ex-cop and bounty hunter, is in a warehouse in Culver City, chasing down a bounty jumper known as Tian. He almost has him, when a severely injured woman falls out of the sky, raining blood, glass and small explosions. His bounty escapes, and Nate is left with Remy Capra bleeding all over him, trying to pretend she isn’t so wounded she can barely stand.

Neither of them wants to go to the cops. Nate’s lost his bounty. Again. Remy has no ID in 2010. She won’t even be born for 50 more years. And she doesn’t know yet whether Kirsten is still after her or whether she has a chance to make a fresh start. Neither of them starts out willing to trust the other, even a little bit. Nate was set up and betrayed by the last woman he trusted. Remy is a child of the gangs in the DC she comes from. And would anyone believe her story? But their attraction to each other proves stronger than their doubts and fears.

When Kirsten does follow Remy, using another Silver Maiden coin as passage back in time, Nate, Remy and Nate’s partner Isaac must set aside all their misgivings about each other and their past, whenever that past might have been, in order to fight for a chance, any chance, at any future at all.

Escape Rating C: This story was either too long, or too short. On the one hand, we don’t get enough about why Kirsten was so gung-ho to wipe Remy out. There was definitely some old, bad blood between those too, but we don’t know enough. There was something personal on Kirsten’s part. Remy was trying to survive.

I empathized with both Remy and Nate as characters. They had both been to dark places, and they understood that about each other. They had a chance to make each other better, but neither was made out of sweetness and light. And they wouldn’t have worked together if they had been.

I’m very glad that one of the later books is Isaac’s story. He deserves a happy ending of his own. And I really want to know what his deal is.

The reason I said the books might be too short is that the legend of the Silver Maiden coins, what they do, why they do it, how they work, who knows about them, is still unclear at the end of the book. Remy and Kirsten both made them work. The coin reacts to Nate. Gabriel, another baddie, knows about them. But the readers need more details!

On the other hand, the reason the books might be too long is that there are probably too many detailed sex scenes. I had to think about why I thought this. Romance is interesting, because it’s a story. How did they meet? How long did they resist the attraction? What made them give in? Unresolved sexual tension is interesting because how and why they resist is a story. The first time a couple kisses or has sex or makes love in a romance is note-worthy. Possibly even the second time, since it should be different. In a story, the first time there are emotions involved and not just body parts is definitely note-worthy. Break-up and make-up sex, but because of the emotions, not the “tab a goes into slot b”, no matter how you dress it up, or undress it.

The only romance writer who has been able to successfully write an unlimited number of sex scenes involving the same two partners is J.D. Robb. And only because she talks more about how Dallas and Roarke feel than about what they do.