Early Review: Crucible Zero by Devon Monk (House Immortal #3)


Crucible Zero by Devon Monk // VBC ReviewCrucible Zero (House Immortal #3)
Devon Monk
Published: Sept. 1, 2015 (Roc)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference the previous books in the series. If you haven’t started it yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, House Immortal.

Infinity Bell ended with a bang, literally, and also left Matilda Case in an alternate world, as going back in time and changing events is wont to do. Crucible Zero pretty much picks up right after Matilda wakes.

In this world, all those that Matilda love and care for seem to be alive and…well they’re alive. The differences being that the galvanized body Matilda inhabits in this time remained Evelyn Case, Matilda’s personality and mind never “woke up” after her brother Quentin transferred them. Naturally, Quentin is surprised when the sister he’s grown up with is suddenly gone and Tilly is in her place. Also, in this world, the galvanized are murderers and mercenaries. A far cry from the heroes they are considered in the original timeline. So, yes, that means Tilly’s Abraham is also not the same person that she loves. But is this new Abraham beyond redemption?

Tilly has to put that aside and deal with the main problem at hand. It seems as though her travels through time didn’t correct all that it should and Tilly finds herself experiencing various time ripples where she is in both the new world and the original world. Things get even worse when she discovers Slater Orange (evil head of House Orange who, in House Immortal, got himself transferred over to a galvanized body) has also traveled through time. He remembers all the things Matilda has done to thwart him and he’s looking for revenge (along with world domination).

Devon Monk was pretty bold ending Infinity Bell the way she did and then planning on having everything wrapped up in Crucible Zero, which is the last book in this trilogy. There’s a lot going on and a lot to get finished. Add the fact that all the characters, minus Matilda, are basically new versions of themselves, meaning readers have to learn to like these characters again, and you’ve got a full plate. True, some of their more inherent traits blend over to the new world but said traits aren’t immediately apparent.

For example, Tilly and Quentin’s relationship is strained largely due to the fact that she’s not the sister he grew up with. Evelyn was more complacent than Tilly and Quentin is having a difficult time processing that fact for all that he still loves Tilly.

Then there’s Tilly and Abraham. She immediately notices all the differences between her Abraham and this ‘new’ one. But she can’t forget the love she felt (feels) for him either. She struggles through the majority of the book trying to figure out if she could love this new version of him.

Ever practical though, Matilda doesn’t let her lovelorn feelings get in the way of the big plan: kill Slater Orange. I loved that Matlida could separate these things and remain levelheaded, but because her feelings for Abraham are still important, Monk did great in making time for Matilda to ruminate on her feelings without them overshadowing the big picture.

Overall, this has been a very strong trilogy. There were some little details I felt were glossed over because the plot was so fast-paced. I don’t know if this could have been corrected with slowing things down a bit and adding another book or not. As it goes, those things will be left up to reader conjecture and sometimes that’s okay too. The main plot threads were all tied up and Crucible Zero left me smiling at the end.

Sexual content: kissing, references to sex

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