Going to California
by Janice Grove
The book jacket says that this book picks up right where the first book, The Rain Song, ended. Well, this author wasn't kidding. If you haven't read the first book, my suggestion is to put this book down, go get the first book, read it, and only *then* should you pick up this book. Otherwise, like me, you will feel like you picked up a book and just started reading in the middle.
Going to California is about a family, the Remingtons, who are trying to protect their 8 year-old son, Micah (or Mickey). Micah and his older brother, David, are separated from their parents, and are on the run from demons, hunters, and hit men...all with their own agenda in capturing Micah and using him for their own purposes...or to just plain out-right kill him. Nick and Angela, along with a cast of friends, are trying to find and protect the boys and bring them home. But not only are they dealing with adversaries coming at them from every direction, they have to deal with a traitor within their own group.
This is fact-paced, action-packed novel that hardly stops to take a breather. The various points of view approaching each scene is interesting and intriguing. You would think that, with the various points of view, that there would be no way the author could slip in a traitorous member because you kind of know what everyone is thinking, but Janice does this with ease and I found myself wondering throughout the whole book who the traitor was going to be. The ending pulled at my heartstrings. Each character is developed in 3-D, though sometimes I felt the actions/dialogue of Angela Remington, the mom, a little over-dramatic and not quite realistic. I liked every character in the ensemble cast.
Now, let's get to the nasty.
There is no explanation of things, people, places or events that took place in book one, so you are left with a cast of about 10 characters, some with aliases, going in different directions with different thoughts and agendas and feelings and none of it makes sense. I think about 1/3 of the way into the book there is some backstory revealed, but that's far too late. I didn't even know how old David was until about that time (13, by the way). The first third of the book I didn't know if he was an immature 18 or a very mature 10.
There are terms used with no explanation. For example, David is a Guardian. Now, that could be an angel, a demon guardian, or a human with a fancy title. Couldn't tell you.
There are also Seers and Warriors, and The Other Realm. What are these? Haven't a clue.
Micah is a demon, but I can't tell you what kind of demon (or if there are various kinds of demons or if they are all the same). He has some powers...we see him use some kind of protection shield, and he thinks he can hurt people by blowing them up, but don't know if that's true or not since he never does blow anything up. And though he's a demon, he's being protected by hunters, David the Guardian, and a priest. Why is he being protected? Haven't a clue. I don't know if he's a good demon, or if it's because he's only 8 years old, or because he's innocent until proven guilty.
Also, while the writing *style* is great...the writing in and of itself is not. The book could use a good editor to help clean up the punctuation so that there aren't a lot of run in sentences, or sentences that don't quite make sense. Too often the action was stalled when I had to stop to re-read sentences to try to figure out what was meant.
So, now you know why you have to read the first book first. My review may have been better had I known what was going on half the time, because it definitely has potential.