The Road to Bedlam by Mike Shevdon (Angry Robot, Oct. 2010)-Niall Petersen’s Feyre powers are increasing, and he’s been trying to find the right time to tell his teenage daughter Alex that she may have powers too. This becomes a moot point when there is a terrible accident at her school, killing three other girls, and also Alex. However, when Niall and his ex-wife, Kate, demand to see their daughter’s body, the hospital insists there was a biological contaminant involved in the accident, and they can’t expose anyone to that risk. Keep in mind, Blackbird is pregnant with Niall’s child so he’s got more than his daughter on his mind, and his grief is threatening to overwhelm him. Well, we already know, simply from reading the book description, that Niall must go find his daughter, so obviously she’s not actually dead. And I always go by the “If you didn’t see the actual dead body, then something isn’t right” theory, which most definitely applies here. In fact, when Niall tries to contact his daughter through a mirror, he calls attention to himself from some pretty nasty folks, and he and Blackbird must be moved to a safer place. Although, how safe it can possibly be with the Council in attendance, I’m not sure, but it definitely makes things interesting. Niall has been training to be a Warder for a while now, and although he’s not truly ready, necessity dictates he be sworn in, and he’s immediately given a task until they can safely look for Alex. This would be extremely frustrating for any parent, but he must follow instructions, and in the course of investigating the disappearance of a group of girls in a tiny seaside village, he also uncovers evidence of something very dangerous, and bigger than he could have imagined.
I was blown away by Sixty-One Nails and can’t believe I waited this long to read The Road to Bedlam! Just as in the first book, I was immediately immersed in the magic infused London that Mike Shevdon has created. To my delight, we get almost as much time with Blackbird as we do with Niall, and she’s as feisty as ever. Her weakness is with the pregnancy, she doesn’t have access to her considerable magic, but relying on her wits is not her weak point, and she has more than enough moxie to get by. She’s also not about to be cooped up while Niall is off on his investigation, so of course, trouble is bound to follow her. I felt like I was actually there with Niall in the rainswept town of Ravensby, and his ability to travel using the Ways is a very neat trick. The magic is charming and terrifying, and Mike Shevdon’s writing sparkles. This world of Feyre is one you’ll want to return to time and time again, and if you haven’t discovered this series yet, you’re in for a treat!