Review: Penumbra by Keri Arthur (Spook Squad #3)


Penumbra by Keri Arthur // VBC ReviewPenumbra (Spook Squad #3)
Keri Arthur
Published: Oct. 28, 2014 (Dell)
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 events from previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet check out VBC’s review of book 1, Memory Zero.

Two weeks after defeating the person responsible for killing the rejects from the Hopeworth experiments, Sam is ready to be reassigned. Anywhere she can get away from Gabriel. Fortunately, while she can’t leave the SIU completely, the director has agreed to grant her request: Sam will now be on guard duty.

This is not your normal guard duty, however. She will be “guarding”the clone of a senator that SIU believes has links to Sethanon. Little does Sam know that she’s essentially being used as bait. Since Sethanon has shown interest in Sam in the past the SIU director believes Sam can, if unknowingly, draw the terrorist out of hiding.

Gabriel, not willing to admit his feelings for Sam, doesn’t like the idea whatsoever. Unsurprisingly when he lets Sam in on the plan, she doesn’t bat an eyelash. She’s ready for some answers of her own regarding her past and if being used as bait will help her get them, she’s all for it. Gabriel’s actions speak louder than words, for while he’s happy she’s no longer his official partner, Gabriel is still concerned for Sam’s safety, and uses his own personal time to follow her on her guard assignment making sure she remains safe.

When I first started reading this book and realized that Sam and Gabriel were not going to be working together, I thought “no, not another setback.” But being broken up (for lack of a better term) was probably for the best because it truly causes Gabriel to re-evaluate his stance on partners. He comes to realize that having Sam close was better than watching her from afar and since everything from the beginning of this series has been intermingled, their respective cases quickly tie together again.

Penumbra is the final book in the Spook Squad series. What is great about the book is the closure we get on Sams past. I thought the connection Sam finally makes between her dreams, growing powers, and the strange appearance of one hirsute man, and that of her past was wonderful. I also liked the tentative start of a relationship between Gabriel and Sam. If you’ve read other series by Keri Arthur you will understand why I use the word tentative. They don’t just jump right in, but the baby steps taken in Penumbra speak of great things to follow.

Now on to the not-so-great things. For everything that Arthur wraps up, there is an equal amount that is started and left open at the end. Clearly this was a series that was intended to go on, but for whatever reason it did not continue past three books. It is a shame really because Arthur introduced some really great storylines that I would have loved to follow further. I wasn’t really shocked by any of the revelations made in the end. Instead, I wanted to move forward with those revelations and learn how they would come to affect our characters.

Included in the re-release is an epilogue that gives one of those “we know there is more to come, and we will fight it together”kind of mantras, and it does make the story feel more conclusive. Usually I’m not opposed to the promise of more happening for our characters off the page, but this is one series where I am not happy about the open ending.

Sexual content: Kissing

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