The Stone, Seb L. Carter

The Stone (Lockstone Book 1) by [Carter, Seb L.]

Murder is always a good place to start, right?  There's an incredible amount of dark aspects to the story and yet there's still a glimmer of hope that keeps you from giving up.  A story of unsuspected magic, Tir na Nog, the fae in all their guises, drama, and world-ending plots, The Stone is setting up a great beginning for an exciting series.

I was actually glad that the romance was placed below all the craziness included in this story.  It made the focus less on the two men and more on all the tangled threads on which the world's fate rests.  With Liam at its center there are an incredible number of pieces to the puzzle and can get a bit confusing.  What makes that okay is that you're right in the same boat as Liam, learning about all the people, entities, factions, and pieces and how everything fits together.

Patrick was actually a pretty interesting character for me and one that I preferred over Liam.  He has a good heart and is swept along and manipulated just like the rest of everyone else.  The reason he's in Liam's life and what he does in the beginning of the story is forgivable when you see just how much of a pawn he is and all the lives he has to weigh when he made his first commitment.  Granted, he didn't ask all the questions first, but knowing what we know by the middle of the book, even if he had asked those questions they wouldn't have been answered satisfactorily anyway.  We always see that honestly is best in the beginning, but since he had legitimate concerns about coming clean it made it easier to forgive him.  He becomes a strength and a support to everyone in the story by the end of the book and proves himself a hundred times over.

Liam starts off great as someone we can feel sympathy for, root for his progression, and support in his education.  That doesn't last, however, and he's plagued by uncertainty, insecurity, and immaturity that gets worse when truths are revealed.  He's rash and reckless and all the intelligence and survival instincts that he had in the beginning go forgotten as he learns more and as the pressure mounts.  I kept hoping for him to calm his sh** and pull himself together but it just never happened.  Since this is book one in the Lockstone series I have hope that he'll grow up and really be the hero I saw glimpses of in the beginning.  I'd say he's only human and should therefore be given a little leeway with all the craziness, but, well, if you read the book you'll know that's not quite true...

Despite Liam going downhill as a character of strength and interest, the rest of the cast is compelling, even the "bad guys" and I'm excited for where this story is going.  There are so many elements to the story to sort out and many more harrowing situations to face.  This book did a commendable job not getting bogged down in the details and also giving just enough attention to them that there's a positive direction to go.  There are still secrets, motivations, and players to discover and withholding them in this book didn't decrease the understanding and enjoyment of it.  A great start to what's bound to be an exciting series.

 The Stone, Seb L. Carter

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