Alliance of Shadows is the third book of the Dead Six series. It does a fantastic job of wrapping up multiple plot lines involving international conspiracies, global crime syndicates, and elements of the supernatural.
It still doesn’t displace my favorite of the series (Swords of Exodus), but it is nevertheless an excellent read. There are some scenes of utter awesomeness, shared between teh two protagonists… oftentimes as they’re trying to outdo one another.
There’s also a fantastic bit of character development and growth. The last book saw one of the characters sent to a very horrible place, with any number of questions about his survival. The agonies he goes through and the tortures he experiences are portrayed in a way that shows his humanity stripped away.
Yet he comes back from that… and in a way, the story about how he does that is some of the most touching writing I’ve read in years… and it’s all the more raw for the fact that it comes from two very damaged people forgiving each other and themselves.
Of course, that description doesn’t do the book justice. There’s explosions, gunfire, criminals throwing themselves to their deaths, more gunfire, more explosions, struggles to save the lives of millions, and still more gunfire. There are sudden but inevitable betrayals and there is true-blue dedication from unexpected places. This is a page-turner, once I started I couldn’t put it down… but that’s no different from the other two books.
Oddly, I think my favorite thing about the book is that it comes to a final conclusion and wraps the story up. Too often anymore book series drag on, with the heroes facing ever greater odds… or worse, becoming trapped in a loop of growth to regression, where they run the same character arcs or stories over and over. In Alliance of Shadows, the authors have brought the characters to their conclusions. They’ve achieved their goals, they’ve become the heroes… and they get their much deserved rest.
Read the entire series, you won’t regret it.