An End, Once And For All? This is one hell of an action-packed thrill ride, with Tess, Po, and Pinky struggling as never before to figure out and then confront an enemy that may yet prove to be too powerful for even their considerable combined might. For the first time since I began reading this series (admittedly late in its run), Po and Pinky in particular have finally met an opponent who can best them – which produces even tighter and more visceral fighting sequences than the still-great “normal” for this series.
And then… that ending. Not a Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King ending at all – more like a Fallout one or the one at the end of the Mass Effect Original Trilogy (whose soundtrack song over this sequence provides the title of this review). And unlike Mass Effect 3 in particular (and more similar to the widely-regarded-as-best-single-game-in-the-franchise Mass Effect 2), the overall action of the book goes pretty well right up to the moment the “After” is triggered.
If this is truly the end, what a way to go out. And if these characters ever do get a chance to come back… what a way to leave it until that time. Very much recommended.
This review of Cold Fire by Matt Hilton was originally written on April 28, 2023.