Southtown by Rick Riordan

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RATING: 4/5

SYNOPSIS: When a man from the past of Tres Navarre’s mentor and boss, Erainya Manos, Tres takes up the investigation to take down the criminal and find the money that he broke out of jail to get back.

PREVIOUS: Big Red Tequila The Widower’s Two-Step The Last King of Texas The Devil Went Down to Austin

 

I know I said this about The Last King of Texas, but I think this time for sure this is the book where Riordan found his footing and hopefully he doesn’t prove me wrong in the last two books. While I still think Maia Lee is just there to be vaguely helpful and be the “girlfriend character,” I did appreciate that there wasn’t any of the weird forced tension that colored her and Tres’s past interactions. I also liked that rather than the whole book being told solely from Tres’s POV like the previous books all have been, Riordan chooses to alternate between a Tres POV and a POV of one of the other key players in this particular case. It helped create tension and urgency since from the beginning we know who the bad guy is and instead we are given the mystery of how he ended up in jail in the first place (although I did solve one part of the mystery way before Tres did). I was also happy that Riordan brought back all the people that have helped Tres out before to flesh out the ensemble and I like how Ralph has basically pulled a 180 character-wise now that he has a family to take care of. It was an interesting change that felt completely believable and also made Tres’s job harder. However, I didn’t feel like Ana DeLeon was the same as what she was before, but that might have just been me. I do like that she is the by-the-books person to Tres’s loose-cannon way of doing things. I also liked how Riordan dealt with a character that is developing Alzheimer’s. He is a POV character, so the change in his mentality and the slips of his memory are easier to identify than they would’ve been if it was solely through Tres’s POV. I also love the compromise that Tres makes at the end and how that will kick off the next book. I was happy that with all the character and ensemble work that Riordan showed earlier in the series and I’m glad that he returned back to that for this story. Hopefully he keeps it that way. I’m still not a fan of how the series makes big time jumps and you aren’t really told straight off the bat, so you spend the first couple of pages confused, but I really think that this time the series has hit its stride and the last two books are going to be thrilling.

 

 

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