An intriguing story only Ms. Wells could conjure into a reality. After listening to her previous novels about future dilemmas...this had me taken aback a little. Her mastery of words has you hanging on! Well done Martha Wells.
This standalone book is the best in the Ile-Rien series - definitely outranking The Wizard Hunters for mystery, intrigue, plot development, and narration. This tale is an interesting twist of historical magical realism and a good, old fashioned, Lovecraft-like horror - with a dash of Oceans Eleven and Sherlock Holmes thrown in for good measure - and none of these so heavy as to be depressing or entirely disturbing. It reads a little like a murder mystery thriller - which also means there isn't much for character development. But the characters are interesting, some of them even likable and a scoche endearing. All in all, a good read.
Rated PG13 for adult themes concerning the aftermath of serial killing/torture/necromancy (never described actively), murder and violence (described actively but not in detail/at length), perilous situations, organized crime, seance-like events (WITHOUT religious or demonic overtones), reanimation of dead monsters, human-like and otherwise, examination of dead bodies and crime scenes.