Of course, it's easier to do in something like a TV series where there are episodes once a week and a formula can be jarring. How about authors whose books come out once a year?
That can actually be scary.
However, it's still admirable. It's even better when they follow up an unfortunate failure with an excellent follow-up that retains everything you love and admire about the book series.
Laurie R. King has now done that. Her new book, Garment of Shadows, is a wonderful book full of excellent characterization, historical detail, drama and mystery as well. It takes world events from the early 1920s and seamlessly weaves a tapestry of amnesia, murder, and revolution through the various threads of history.
Last year, King tried to change things up a bit with a farce called Pirate King and it just fell flat. Boring, not funny, with little suspense and characters who all ran together, it almost made my head explode (now that would have been exciting).
This time, though, King excels at what she does best. Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell (his wife and current chronicler) are amazing characters.
I won't say anything more, because my review's now up on Curled Up With a Good Book, and I'd like you to read it there. But come back and let me know what you think.
From the review:
"After the events of The Pirate King, Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are in Morocco in 1924. The novel opens with Russell waking up locked in a room with no memory of who she is or how she got there, a painful headache the only reminder of what has happened. She's covered in blood, which can't be a good sign. She still has her wits, and when soldiers come banging on her door, she's able to get away. Meanwhile, two old friends have drawn Holmes into a growing conflict between France, Spain, and the strengthening Moroccan independence movement. War may be coming to Morocco. Will Russell find her memory—and Holmes—before things get worse?"Do you like it when an author tries to change the pace a little bit, doing something different with his or her ongoing character? Do you have any examples you'd like to share?
Come back after reading the review and leave me a comment. I'd love to know what you think.