Half-Shell Prophecies (Among the Mythos) (Volume 4) by Ruthanne Reid is about scary monstrous Lords of parallel universes and other mighty beings conducting a cat and mouse chase after the said Lin for their selfish motive.
What is the lost Lin?
Katie Lin, the protagonist and the proverbial damsel in distress is the lost Lin (family name), from a family of mixed heritage and magical beings.
So what are these Half-Shell Prophecies?
It means exactly that, half a clamshell that holds the spirit of Cassandra, the real seer. She squeaks out cryptic warnings at Bran and Katie at irregular intervals. Yeah, she is a funny thing.
Bran, the Crow King, is handsome (as Katie repeatedly informs us) and aristocratic (I assumed this one), and the potential love interest (forced) of the protagonist.
He’s Shadow’s Breath— one of the People of the Darkness— and his real form is huge, red, and strangely cracked like old earth. He has big black horns and big blue eyes and a dark aura so strong it’s a physical force.
There are other important but less significant characters like Notte the Master Vampire, his minions or children, Suvi, a baby dragon destined to be the crowned King of Dragons,
Antagonists (the ones revealed from the beginning) are Kanon, and Ravena, a maniac blood-sucker. Kanon as an antagonist is majestic. He is outright scary and a very believable villain. Ravena is as petulant as a child not getting what she wants and keeps throwing tantrums.
I found the appearance of the Norns towards the end of the book, abrupt. It’s like tieing a bow around a sellotaped gift box. It doesn’t tighten the plot but adds some drama to it. Not complaining, just wish they were a more integral part of the story.
The part of Norns reminded me of Edna Walter’s bestselling series Runes.
One of the reasons I have enjoyed Half-Shell Prophecies so much is the description. Characters, locations, scenes of action or dreams, are so visual and detailed that I could go pages without having to look back. It’s like reading your textbooks with a guide. You absorb everything in one sitting (that’s a compliment).
The mention of Vedic games in New Delhi made me wish for a separate chapter or even a story on mythical creatures participating in a match of death (not real death as the book mentions).
Oh, Nephthys with teeth in the wrong part of her anatomy is Gaimanesque.
I know, both books refer to the myths and folklores, but the resemblance of the mentioned aspect and its treatment are worth mentioning.
A question that nagged me after I had completed the book was that the protagonist has a good reputation as a translator and an archivist initially. But she becomes a delivery person for a law firm towards the end of the book.
Good that she didn’t just move in with Bran. That would have been a typical urban fantasy strong-headed-female character who chooses the most resourceful man/creature at the end.
Thank you, Ruthanne Reid, for the surprise ending. Loved it. A bit of a predictable yet eagerly anticipated conclusion of a thoroughly enjoyable book.
In a word, the plot is excellent. There are humor, drama, and multiple facets of emotions depicted with arresting details. The author’s natural writing style is lucid and dramatic, and she has chosen the perfect genre for herself.
I suggest you don’t miss the last few pages of the book where Ms. Reid describes the ‘science-fantasy’ classification if you are not already aware.
Note on reference to India
This is about the perception of the ethnicity of Indians as ‘Hindi.’
Hindi is not a race or ethnicity but the common language of our country born from Sanskrit and mixed with other languages (the original native tongues, another method of categorizing our ethnic background).
It’s safest to refer to us as ‘Indians’ (no longer confused with the Native Americans, I believe).
Half-Shell Prophecies is a fast-paced and action-packed, often breathtaking visual treat of magic and mayhem.
The amount of research done on the mythical and speculative background of time and the concept of magically created parallel universes is evident from the narrative.
Half Shell Prophecies is a part of a series, Among the Mythos, but you can enjoy this as a standalone novel. I haven’t read the previous books though I fully intend to do so.
I offer this book four Bohostars.
About the author
You can find a complete list of Ms. Reid’s works on the author’s website.
The blog posts are an interesting read, almost as good as her short stories. My personal favorites from her articles are the following:
Declaration and Disclaimer
Ruthanne Reid is an excellent mentor and one of the most vigilant administrators/moderators of the friendly community of Becoming writer, with The Write Practice. I have been with the group as a member for the last few months. Yep, this indeed is a disclaimer.
However, dear readers, this review is my unbiased opinion of the book Half-Shell Prophecies (Among the Mythos) (Volume 4).