The third Andrea Cort novel (so far only published in German) offers one step forward and two steps back. I liked the first two novels in the series immensely, but hesitate to recommend this one. Whereupon the first two novels took place in environments where the number of appearing characters was limited, WotM goes for a more epic style with a whole world full of different aliens and humans as the background (which I think is one reason the book failed, Andrea Cort novels seem to work best in small communities). Propelled by her AI masters, Andrea goes to the world of the Marionettes to make an important decision, not knowing what it entails.
What follows are four hundred pages (probably much less in the English original, but still too much) of massacres, death and violence with the main character sinking ever deeper into misery. Despite the ending, it does feel like 98% of the whole book are a pointless waste. Yes, the final decision of Andrea is interesting, how it re-shapes her connection to the all-mighty alien AI conglomerate. But for all that, it feels like X-Files all over again, endlessly taunting us with explanations, yet never providing any. We don’t really learn anything we didn’t already knew.
Worst of all, the tendency of Andrea to get angsty and emo, something I only like in very small doses, went into overdrive here. I can read only so much self-pity before I get annoyed. We all have been at the bottom, but to remain there and decorate the place with your all-encompassing self-hatred and hatred at life in general, that’s no fun. Maybe if the rest of book, the endless parade of atrocities, had been not so mind-numbingly dull (less is more comes to mind), I would have overlooked the endless self-pity. Harsh as it may sound, I don’t think those not able to read the third Andrea Cort novel miss out much.