I blame Mike Shevdon. I hope you're reading this, Mike, because it's all your fault. I also blame Angry Robot. They were the ones who sent me an ARC of his new book, after all. It's being launched on the same day as my new book, only the other side of the world, so I thought I should read it tomorrow. Tomorrow. Which is a reasonably quiet day. Sunday. You got that, Mr Shevdon?
Last night (Friday) I took it with me into the bedroom. It was late and I was tired, so I thought that five pages would be nice. Two hundred and fifty-three pages later I remembered that today was already Saturday and had been for far too long and that I had a very big day. I reluctantly put the book down and slept. I woke up again, got out of bed and onto the computer, discovered it was still -1 outside, and went back to bed and finished the book. This is why I'm doing everything on Saturday night except watching the movie I had planned. I blame Mike Shevdon.
Seriously, The Road to Bedlam is tighter than Sixty-One Nails. It's a good light read and it builds on the world of Sixty-One Nails without many of the problems second novels in sequences tend to have. The characters work, and Shevdon doesn't make the mistake of overloading Niall (the protagonist) with the superhumanness (is that a word? I don't know. It is now :) ) and amazing powers that were being hinted at in the first volume. He can do things, certainly, but his personality is obstinate and loves being in control and he always stops and argues just because he can. I wanted to strangle him, time after time, because he never got on and did things, but always argued. It made a lovely change from having a hero who succeeds only because everyone else is so very stupid. I would have liked to see more of the personalities of the Feyre, but there were a lot of characters and he does a good job of keeping them distinct. Also in showing that I'm not the only one who will strangle Niall if he keeps arguing just because.
What was particularly nice about The Road to Bedlam is that it uses familiar places and folklore, but manages to keep it fresh and to sustain an entertaining pace. The biggest thing that's wrong with it is that it's one of those books that are hard to put down and I now really, really need a good night's sleep. For which I blame the author, of course.