Canyons of Night, by Jayne Castle

>> Wednesday, December 05, 2012

TITLE: Canyons of Night
AUTHOR: Jayne Castle

PAGES: 325

SETTING: Futuristic
TYPE: Paranormal romance
SERIES: I don't even know any more. I'm hopelessly lost, and it's not like it matters, because all the books really stand alone. FWIW, on Goodreads this is listed as: Looking Glass Trilogy #3, The Arcane Society #12, Harmony #8, Rainshadow #1. That tells you all you need to know about the mess this has become.

Charlotte Enright, owner of a small antiques shop called Looking Glass Antiques on Rainshadow Island, and Slade Attridge, the community's new chief of police, both have something in common: they possess strong paranormal talents.

They met several years ago when they were in their teens spending the summer on the island. Slade saved Charlotte from a gang of drunken toughs, but then at the end of the summer Slade and Charlotte went their separate ways and started their adult lives.

Now, fifteen years later, they have both been drawn back to Rainshadow Island. They will discover the adult passion they have for each other and start to explore some of the mysteries of the forbidden section of the island known only as the Preserve.
Charlotte Enright and Slade Attridge met as teens on Rainshadow Island. There was a certain connection between them, but both left the island and made their lives elsewhere. Charlotte's career was in selling antiques, and Slade joined the FBPI (basically, the FBI, but with a P for Psychic).

Years later, they're both back. Charlotte has inherited her aunt's antiques shop, and Slade has become the chief of police, after an accident that forced him to leave the FBPI. They soon discover the connection between them is still there.

So, I've persevered through the years with Jayne Castle, even though my main reaction to her books these days is "meh". This one is promising. Oh, there's all the expected elements: a half-baked Arcane-related plot (some people searching for a paranormal object with the potential to be used as a weapon, of course) and main characters with unique talents, which put them outside the mainstream of their society.

The focus here, however, is squarely on the characters and the romance, and there was a hint of vintage JAK there. It's just a hint, so there's a long way to go, but I'm hopeful. Charlotte and Slade really connect, and there's even a teenager who has taken on Slade as his role model. It needed more of all of this to be as good as older books, but it's a good start.

I've seen loads of comments along the lines that this book was a thin, unsatisfying end to the Looking Glass trilogy, and that people weren't satisfied with the way it concluded the paranormal elements. The thing is, see, that I don't give a fig about all the plotty bits, because I don't think JAK's been particularly good at them lately. I'm only here for the relationships, so when she leaves her plot half-baked and feeling like an afterthought (as it did here), her books tend to work better for me. There is some setting up of future books, and mysteries around something called the Rainshadow preserve, but I barely paid that any notice, to be honest.

So, an ok read. Oh, and as always, I loved the dustbunnies. I loved the gentle humour with which Rex was written, and I giggled out loud at the image of him going around with his beaded clutch. Cute, but in a very good way.

MY GRADE: I might be rating on the generous side here, but I'll give it a B. Rex raised it from a B- all on his own.


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