The Speed of Darkness (Chronoptika, #4)by Catherine Fisher Published 04 Feb 2016
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A great storm brews out at sea and batters the Devon coast, flooding vast swathes of land. At Wintercombe Abbey the preceding weeks have been spent in a ferment of experimentation, as Jake Wilde's father, David and Maskelyne work furiously on Operation Leah. They have been practising changing tiny events in the past, in preparation for the rescue of Venn's wife Leah from death, the culmination of their work with the Obsidian Mirror. But in the aftermath of the storm, the Abbey is a drowned house. Where is the Mirror? What has happened to the two halves of the Janus coin? Whose is the mysterious boat wrecked up on the nearby beach? And what plans of mischief and mayhem lay in store for Halloween - the day chosen for Leah's return? Riddles and mysteries unfold in the spellbinding conclusion to The Obsidian Mirror quartet.
"The Speed of Darkness (Chronoptika, #4)" Reviews
Oh my goodness it drives me crazy that so few people seem to have read these books. The series contains such a wonderful mash-up of fantasy and SF–you’ve got time travel, dystopian futures, and potentially universe-destroying technology right along with Faerie woods and changelings and magic. There’s quite a diverse cast of characters, all with their own motives and secrets, constantly shifting alliances and struggling to achieve their individual goals. This final book does a fairly good job of paying off on all the various threads--I particularly liked the reveal about the origins of Janus--though I felt my personal favorite character (Gideon the faerie changeling) got a bit shortchanged in his arc compared to some of the others. But overall, the series is a great read that I wish more people would discover.
The author of any story dealing with time travel has the problem of handling the inherent paradoxes. The most successful handling of this problem that I've seen was that of the third Harry Potter movie. But the potential time travel paradox in that movie occurred during a relatively short sequence within the movie.
Here, we have the concluding volume to a quartet that has been centered entirely on time travel. The paradoxes abound, and the characters openly acknowledge those paradoxes and attempt to come to grip with them within the boundaries of the plot.
I would have to go back and read all four books again to find out how successful the author was. Not all that successful, I suspect. The books were enjoyable and well-written and worth one reading. But only one such reading, I think.
Aside from my concerns with the time travel paradoxes presented by the plot -- which really is the central issue, explicit in the books themselves, and not something swept under the carpet -- this final volume is an exciting read, as we watch the fairly large cast of characters experience great adventures and continue their development as persons, their motivations becoming more evident to us, and, interestingly, to themselves as well. Even the greatest villain, the dastardly Janus, arouses a certain sense of pathos. Summer, the queen of the fairy Shee, remains remorseless, superficial and without feeling -- but still appealing to us in a perverse way.
And the changeling Gideon, to me the most sympathetic of the characters from the very first volume, finally has his wish fulfilled, although not the wish I would have wished for him.
A good read. But, of course, the first three books are an absolute prerequisite if this book is to make any sense at all.
What a culmination of this quartet! It took me no time at all to read The Speed of Darkness ... I was so engrossed.
Sarah makes Venn see that before he makes a decision, he must experience what the world is to become. Their journey gave me some heart pounding moments! and Janus' world is fabulously dark. Rebecca is trapped at Wintercombe and Gideon is trapped by Summer. The shaman and his spells give moments of darkness and Janus' tower is very surreal. I must admit I was surprised by the monster in the cave ... I didn't pick up on any clues or have any idea that it was going to be who it was! The Wild Hunt is fabulous and I held my breath several times. For the first time I saw another side to Venn and finally felt a connection with him. I knew there was something more to Janus and thought his thread was genius in how it all ties in.
I'm not a reader who has to have an ending cut and dried or else feel cheated. The Speed of Darkness has left me pondering on all of our characters as to me, the ending is no ending at all and for some, a new beginning.
Catherine Fisher's writing draws you along and takes you under alongside the characters. As with all the other novels we have quests and plenty of action plus another underlying meaning of mythical themes which are common in all cultures. I've really enjoyed this in the Chroniptika Quartet which is why I recommend for adult as well as YA readers.
All four books have been keepers for me and I have no hesitation in highly recommending if you love sci-fi/fantasy.
I would like to thank the publishers for pre-approval via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the way the series ends: not with a bang, but with a whimper. Too many plot threads wrapped up too easily - too many to have any done justice; too many obvious character decisions; no meaningful conclusion.
and it's 3 because i like catherine fisher ALOT and it's the last book and i am so happy that i'm done with this series! after the first book, i really didn't like the other three, didn't like the characters all that much and disliked some of them, wasn't interseted in the story and really didn't care what happened to any of them, i think the story started soundly (maybe) but after a while the author didn't know what to do with it either, there were all these half ideas that really were not a full story. would not recommend to anyone and so am sad that i didn't like a catherine fisher book :(
The book The Speed of Darkness by Catherine Fisher is a boom I would recommend only to a select audience who enjoys complex sci-fi story filled with strange creatures and time travel. It was a disappointing end to this series, with an amazing start introducing the characters with mystery allowing shocking and creative reveals. As the series comes to an end there was a lack of the original spark. Ever since the character had been around for three past books and the main plot points already explained there was less material to use for turns in the story. I was expecting a better ending to a series that started so great.
The plot could have been arranged better, with it following a same basic structure from the first books. Certain characters could have been used better to further the plot such as Piers, a support character, was a great well-developed character but was not used that much. It shared main themes with the other books such as trust is a fragile concept and once trust is broken it is hard to earn back.
There was some slightly violent imagery but nothing highly offensive or gruesome. This book had potential to be great but fell short of the mark and sits in the shadows of the first book.