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Wen Spencer
book cover

Book 3
2003, Roc, May
Buy from Amazon.com (mass market paperback)

Who recommends: Preeti, Linda, Barbara
Who discommends:

Well, nothing in this series will beat the first in terms of the sheer creativity of how suspensefully the mystery of Ukiah was revealed to the reader. BITTER WATERS was pretty good, though. In the last one, Ukiah reclaimed his memories of his Native American past. In BITTER WATERS, he's back in Pittsburgh and immediately becomes involved in a missing infants case and learns of a cult with an interest in him. And, yes, he dies again in this one.

As much I enjoyed the story, I have a big complaint: There is no Palpable Romantic Tension between Ukiah and Indigo. Since the first book, the romance has been the weakest part of the series. Where are the sparks? This is most disappointing, especially since we saw more of Indigo in this BITTER WATERS. Here's a case of a series where I wouldn't mind the love interest biting the dust in favor of someone new.

Ukiah's son, on the other hand, is just too, too cute. It's great catching up with all the other important people in Ukiah's life, as well. The mystery plot was too gruesome for my taste, but held my interest throughout. There is a big, deliberately dangling, eyebrow-raising plot point that will need to be resolved in future books. BITTER WATERS was notable for introducing a strong fantasy/spiritual aspect to the previously (I thought) pure science fiction world. Recommended.--Preeti (14 Apr 03)

BITTER WATERS is an excellent book. Lots of action. (And Ukiah's son is cute.) There are new dangers coming to the fore and there's clearly trouble ahead.

I see what you mean about Ukiah's relationship with Indigo. They are an odd couple. Things happened so fast for them in the first book and we've never been able to see the relationship grow. Indigo wasn't in the second book, TAINTED TRAIL, and most of the time when you see her in BITTER WATERS, it's when Ukiah calls her and updates her on information on the search for his son. They might have gotten together two times? When Ukiah thinks about Indigo, he obviously feels he loves her. But you never get her thoughts, which really hinders things since she's such a tough cookie that she doesn't seem to show her feelings outwardly. So you don't feel much zing between them; you are just told they are in love, thanks to Ukiah. Hope Wen Spencer starts letting us see Indigo's point of view a little; we've seen more of Sam's. But I still enjoyed this a lot (though not quite as much as the first two) and give it a recommend.--Linda (5 May 03)

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