After several thefts seem to add up to one thing, crystal sorceress Dru and her ramshackle assortment of friends and allies must once again avert the end of the world, now taking the form of a plot to break the sixth seal of the apocalypse and shatter the entire planet with the greatest earthquake in history. So, no pressure or anything.
No Sleep Till Doomsday is the penultimate book of an urban fantasy series that began with It Happened One Doomsday and continued with A Kiss Before Doomsday. You may notice some thematic titling.
This time around, there is little space given to character advancement or nuance, just an immediate launch into a fast-paced blast of barely relenting action and ever-escalating stakes, like a high-octane thrill ride from one of the muscle cars so lovingly described at any given opportunity. While the rate at which the story thunders along makes for a page-turning read, it also leaves little opportunity to delve into the intricacies of this world of magic, monsters and demons of which we’ve had little more than a scant glimpse.
The biggest piece of the sparse interpersonal development is Dru’s realisation that despite the intensity of the magnetic attraction between her and hunky mechanic Grayson, their getting together was the result of surviving intense experiences together. The fact that they don’t actually know that much about each other aside from some opposing interests leaves Dru concerned that once they stop and think about it they’ll realise they don’t actually work as a couple.
Each of the supporting cast remains unchanged in their characters or plot significance, with fearless warrior Rane and fashion addict Opal being much the same as they were in previous instalments, and, sadly, the obnoxious and irritating sorcerer Salem is once again on hand to whine about how everyone should acquiesce to his singular genius while being almost completely useless.
The question of exactly how the force-bajillion tremor is to be generated allows the story to maintain a little mystery, and with the primary villain being someone possessing the same abilities as Dru but at many times a greater magnitude provokes a lingering question of how our heroine can possibly defeat her. The multitude of crystals, geodes and ores Dru variously utilises in crafting her magic keeps the solutions to problems novel, and also makes something of a change from the more typical invocation of nebulous forces that magic is often portrayed as in fantasy novels.
The series of books is not overly complicated, and No Sleep Till Doomsday doesn’t give any more than what was previously offered. There is a lingering feeling that it could have been so much more, and hopefully the forthcoming final instalment can give things a memorable send off.
NO SLEEP TILL DOOMSDAY / AUTHOR: LAURENCE MACNAUGHTON / PUBLISHER: PROMETHEUS / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 20TH