ALL DOWN BUT NINE
HARD TO CATCH. HARDER TO KEEP.
Lee Merriweather has fled across the line into Pedro Braga’s jurisdiction, an untamed desert too vast for even the ruthless Guardia Territorial to keep any semblance of order. The Carnarvons want him dead or alive – and with Lee’s attitude, the first seems most likely.
The trail south runs straight through two thousand miles of badlands. To find him, Ruth and Sebastian must survive sabotage, bloodthirsty bandits, and fresh horrors at the Reverend Jolly’s church in New Jerusalem. The hardships draw them into a passionate affair, but loyalties are put to the test when they finally reach the capital of Aguadulce and all hell breaks loose.
Ruth has privately vowed to stop Sebastian from killing Lee, even as the young savant seems bent on his own destruction. And he’s just a pawn in a game with higher stakes than anyone realizes. One that goes beyond empires. One that encompasses worlds.
The phantoms are the key. But can Ruth uncover the truth in time to save them all?
Phew! What a ride?!
I was lucky enough to be able to read the book a few days prior the actual release and I'm really glad I got the chance.
As you remember (or not...) Ruth and I had quite a rocky start: I didn't hate her but I didn't exactly like her either; too much of a square for my liking. Well, I'm now happy to report I'm finally liking her.
In All Down But Nine, our girl -at last- realizes that not everything is straight-up black and white (let's pat her on the back!).
Ruth aside, in this sequel the stakes are even higher, not only that but creepiness and gore is around the corner to the point that some parts reminded me of American Horror Story at its best.
“Two phantoms materialized on either side of him, each taking an arm. An instant later, the man was gone. And an instant after that . . . . A red rain pattered down from above, thick and viscous. Those unlucky enough to be standing beneath it were drenched in crimson. They slipped in the mess, crying out in horror and revulsion.”
But don’t worry! It is not all blood and gore! There's also space for romance… the spicy kind that leaves you all warm and fuzzy inside (Jeez I need some decent fan art of the series, can someone oblige please?).
I was always pretty honesty about my love for the character of Sebastian Hardin and in this book He’s smart and swoon worthy even more than usual. He’s what I call a “precious heartthrob”
Lee is, no surprisingly, up to no good but as Ruth correctly assessed in book one, deep down, "He's a good egg". His somewhat sheltered life led him to be a bit out of touch with the world which translate in a naiveté I find endearing.
Apart from our usual three the cast is enriched by an array of vivid side characters (some pleasant, some less ...Ava being the latter *coughs*. )
There is also huge plot twist which - for the life of me - I didn't see coming (And to think that I'm usually very detail-oriented and a nitpicker to boot but somehow, I missed this.! Well, played Kat! Well bloody played!) and a big revelation concerning the ghosts---my lips are sealed, you'll have to read the book if you want to know more.
Before I risk writing a review longer than the novel itself –let’s wrap things
up! All Down But Nine it's a strong sequel, one that improves on its predecessor;
painting a vivid, colorful, bloody picture with creepy undertones and
steampunk/western nuances that make it extremely peculiar and original. It is
also a thrilling rollercoaster!
I really encourage you to give this series a chance because the sequel it's even better than the predecessor and it is the one that really made me fall in love with the world Kat Ross has created.
Rating: 4 blossoms!!
You can read my review of the
first installment here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3252754739?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1