Monday 3 May 2010

Review: Penumbra - Keri Arthur

Agent Samantha Ryan is sick of feeling lonely.  It's time to take control and get a life outside of work.  But Stephan, her boss, won't let her go easily.  Offered the choice between guarding a clone, or remaining stuck in her office, Sam reluctantly accepts the former, even though she suspects Stephan is using her as bait to draw out a dangerous enemy they call Sethanon.

Learning that Sam's new assignment is guarding Wetherton, her shapechanging partner, Gabriel Stern, is worried.  He and Stephan know Wetherton could only have come from Hopeworth, the base involved in DNA experiments for decades.  But there is a growing likelihood that the military base is also the home of Sethanon himself.  Gabriel is determined to protect Sam, yet all too soon he discovers the connection between them is far deeper than anyone could ever have imagined.

Spook Squad Trilogy:
Memory Zero
Generation 18

For more information visit Keri Arthur's website

Sam has had enough of Gabriel pushing her away and not letting her get involved in any of their cases - she is sick of being stuck in her tiny office doing paperwork so demands a transfer from her boss Stephan.  Stephan doesn't want her to leave so he offers to let her guard Wetherton, a politician who they know was replaced by a clone.

Gabriel is relieved when he realises that Sam is no longer his partner - until he finds out her new assignment.  He believes that she will be in danger and is determined to keep her safe even if it means going against Stephan's direct orders.  Having spent months pushing her away he is starting to realise that he doesn't actually want her out of his life completely but will Sam accept his change of attitude or has he already lost his chance at a relationship between them?

I've been a big fan of this series and this book didn't let me down in terms of action and fantastic plotting.  I've enjoyed finding out more about Sam's past and her new abilities and was pleased to finally see the start of something developing between Gabriel & Sam.  If I was to rate it as a stand alone book it would be up there with my favorites.  Unfortunately, although we do find out some interesting secrets, this book just doesn't have a good enough ending for the last book in a series.  There are far too many questions left open & you can tell this wasn't meant to be the last book. 

I read on Keri Arthur's website that this was originally supposed to be a 4 book series.  It doesn't go into detail about why the last book was never published but I'm guessing it was down to lack of sales.  Keri states that she is not intending to write book 4 at this time as it has been so long since she wrote the original books (I believe Penumbra was first published in 2005).  She doesn't rule out the possibility of returning to this series in the future so I'm just going to have to keep hoping that we'll get a proper ending eventually.

I've really enjoyed reading these books & would rate it right up there with Keri's Nikki & Michael series if it had a proper ending.  As it is I feel disappointed that we're not likely to ever get the answers to all our questions.  I would still recommend the Spook Squad trilogy as a great Urban Fantasy series and it has all the hallmarks of Keri's fantastic writing but if you are easily frustrated by the lack of a complete ending then you might want to skip this & try some of Keri's other work.  I can recommend the Nikki & Michael series for Urban Fantasy fans and the Ripple Creek Werewolves series if you like Paranormal Romance.  Keri Arthur has earned a place amongst my favorite authors and I will continue to work my way through her backlist.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. Great review Sarah. I like the storyline =)

  2. Thanks Darlyn, I really enjoyed this series but I do wish there was a 4th book LOL



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