Book Review: No Sleep Till Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Book 3 of Dru Jasper
Publisher: Pyr (October 9, 2018)
Length: 288 pages
The apocalypse has finally arrived in this third Dru Jasper novel starring the crystal sorceress and her ragtag group of friends as they continue in their fight against the Harbingers. No Sleep Till Doomsday opens with a brazen attack on The Crystal Connection, perpetrated by a mysterious red-headed enchantress who breaks into the store’s vault to steal an object of unimaginable power. This artifact, called the Amulet of Decimus the Accursed, can be used to activate the sixth seal of the apocalypse scroll, bringing about the end of the world. To stop that from happening, Dru and her friends will either have to track down the sorceress, or locate the apocalypse scroll itself.
But doing so won’t be easy. Dru’s boyfriend Greyson is still under a curse binding him to his demon-possessed muscle car Hellbringer, and the old Dodge Charger senses something else going on that his human handlers do not. Meanwhile, Dru’s friend Rane gets mixed up with a gang of protean sorcerers who use magic to shapeshift into animals, and her on-again-off-again boyfriend Salem also has his amulet of power stolen by a bat-man, which can’t possibly be a coincidence. A carefully planned and coordinated war is being waged upon the world by demonic forces, but to turn the tides, our characters must first learn to sort out their differences and gain each other’s trust. One in their circle is wary of Greyson and his influence on Dru, a rift that might not be mended in time before doomsday comes.
If you enjoyed the first two books, you’ll be sure to find plenty to love in No Sleep Till Doomsday as well. In this fast-paced and action-packed installment, Dru and her colorful band of allies are thrust into another situation where they have save the world. It helps that our protagonist has come a long way in her journey, embracing her status as a full-fledged sorcerer, no longer trying to hide her power behind a mask of normalcy. So what if her boyfriend is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Own it, Dru! I was so proud of her character for sticking by her guy, despite some of the doubts expressed by her friends. That said though, Dru still wants to help Greyson, and she hasn’t yet given up on trying to find a way to break the curse.
I also liked how this book, to a greater degree than the previous volumes, expanded the scope to include more of the supporting cast. It makes sense—ever since A Kiss Before Doomsday, Greyson, Rane, Opal, and Salem have become a more integral part of this series. They each have been given their own mini plot arcs in this one, and the narrative alternates between each group, giving the the book a well-balanced perspective. Even Hellbringer gets an opportunity to chime in once in a while, delighting fans with a glimpse into the “mind” of a demonic muscle car.
Because there was so much going on, admittedly the plot structure of this book did feel a little bit crowded and messy, at times even repetitive. For example, Rane and Salem would have their tussle with the shapeshifting protean sorcerers, only to have their foes escape to do it all over again with Dru and Opal, and then this process would repeat itself for the final showdown. Notwithstanding the fate of the whole world on the line, the actual conflicts of the book also lacked weight. One reason is that the possibility of doomsday has already been hanging over the characters’ heads for so long, readers have become desensitized to the threat. Another reason is simply the nature of these books, intended to be a quirky urban fantasy series, delivered in a fun and lighthearted manner.
By the way, nothing wrong with that at all—the first two Dru Jasper books were great popcorn reads, and I was happy that No Sleep Till Doomsday followed in their footsteps. Written with plenty of wit and humor, this one featured even more wild shenanigans and funny banter with our cast of eccentric characters. The multiple storylines following their antics were also entertaining, and I was compelled to see how everything would fit together. Curious to find out more, the energy behind plot kept me turning the pages.
All in all, No Sleep Till Doomsday was another fine installment to the Dru Jasper series. If you’re looking for a different kind of urban fantasy that doesn’t feature the usual paranormal and magical tropes, especially if you enjoy quirky humor and action-packed fun, then this one’s for you. (P.S. This book had the feel of a conclusion, but after I wrote this review I found out that apparently there will be one more book out to wrap up the series next year, so it’s good to know the fun ain’t over…)