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Review: Generation 18 by Keri Arthur

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Generation 18
Keri Arthur

Series: Spook Squard #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Crime
Paperback: 384 Pages
Publication: September 30, 2014
by Dell


A serial killer strikes every twelve hours. A vampire takes lives at random. At first glance, these tragic incidents seem unrelated. But Special Investigations Unit agents Sam Ryan and Gabriel Stern trace them both back to a military base known as Hopeworth. Is the murder spree part of a cover-up? And are the vampire killings less by chance and more methodical?

The investigation takes an eerie, personal turn when Sam discovers a connection between herself and the victims—and a clue to her own mysterious origins. With the violence escalating and the danger drawing closer to home, the stakes are raised and the mission changes from seeking justice to ensuring Sam and Gabriel’s own survival. And the one person who seems to hold all the answers—about Hopeworth, about Sam’s past—is a mystery man she isn’t sure she can trust. They share a psychic link through her dreams, and he once saved her life, but he may just be the greatest enemy humankind has ever known.


Once again, I found myself hooked in by the action and intrigue. It's a bit spotty for the better part of the novel with the SIU trying to make sense of the evidence. As the pieces come together, however, the action really gets going, and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages.

I still find it hard to connect with Sam and Gabriel. There's a lot that we don't know about them, mostly because we follow them as they proceed along this investigation. It's all about the work with no time for play for the partners, and little of their thoughts and backstories was worked into the novel. That's why it's pretty jarring whenever Gabriel's family makes an appearance in the story. Becauase they rarely warrant a mention otherwise. As for Sam, I understand that she doesn't know any of her potentially living relatives and that she has a big memory gap in her past, but I feel like there should be ways of letting the readers get to know her outside of her attitude at work and towards her partner.

The characters aren't the only aspect that could use more fleshing out. There's a lot of potential for more plot development. As it is, we just follow the partners from one lead to another, and the pieces just somehow come together. Given how rashly the partners act (once again, Gabriel walks right into a trap he saw coming, and once again, Sam acts against her partner's better judgment), it's also surprising that they manage to come out of everything in one piece. Cross that. They walk out because they happen to have special powers that emerge when they need them. As much as I like the intrigue and action that's already present in the novel, it could have been a lot better if I believed that the partners might not make it out alive, if I really felt the danger. The mystery was also pretty straightforward and could have used more twists. I'd also like to see more resolution to the case. Once again, things just happen, and we're expected to believe that the current investigation has been wrapped up nicely.

That said, I do have questions coming out of Generation 18. From Gabriel's words and from similar situations taking place in The Damask Circle books, I thought that shapechangers only loved once in a lifetime. So why the growing connection with Sam? (And why is Gabriel okay with having casual sex with someone he doesn't particularly care about?) What's going on in the military? What are these secrets projects that Sam seems to be connected to? Also, while this novel is titled after one of the military's secret projects, the project itself doesn't play much of a role in the novel. It would have been nice if more intrigue around the project was built up and if it'd played a larger role in the novel.

Though questions have been raised about Sam's past since Memory Zero, book one, it doesn't feel like much has been done about it in the installments. While we're closer to the truth, it just feels like it's put on the back burner until things happen to raise questions. There's a lot going on here, and I'm not sure if they can all be answered in another 400 or so pages in the next installment. Nevertheless, for all the complaints I have about Generation 18, I've enjoyed this book and the series thus far and will be reading Penumbra to see how this all wraps up.

An ARC was provided by Random House for review

Rating: 3 stars

  1. Memory Zero
  2. Generation 18
  3. Penumbra

  • Violence

2 comments on "Review: Generation 18 by Keri Arthur"
  1. The action and intrigue aspect sounds well done

    1. It is. It's part of what keeps me coming back to Keri Arthur's books despite the usual lack in character and plot development.


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