Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Releasing Chaos
SERIES: Sumeria’s Sons #6
AUTHOR: Lexi Ander
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 383 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2017
Everything Tristan, Ushna, and Brian have fought for comes down to the moment they face Inanna and Marduk. Before then, Ushna must embrace his destiny and be transformed by Tiamat. But he returns with a fractured mind and will need the help of the new firebird or he’ll be lost to the insanity of a primordial God. If he’s lost, so is the balance Brian and Tristan sorely need.
Tristan has vowed to care for his ex-Flame, Theo Sullivan, who is doomed to forget more and more with each use of his new ability. When not dealing with his stubborn ex, Tristan must free the warriors stolen by the government and devise a trap for Inanna.
And that’s only the start of the challenges, and everything that can still go wrong.
After five novels and several short story interludes, Tristan’s journey is finally coming to an end. Battles will be fought, lives will be lost, and not even the gods can predict what the final outcome will be. The previous stories have led up to this final and ultimate battle, and now it is time to sit back and see just what becomes of Lycans and their Kings.
Firstly, if you are not caught up with this series this is by far and away not the place to start. This book is the culmination of everything leading up to this battle, and without all the backstory and world building you are going to be hopelessly lost.
Secondly, another reviewer was originally slated to do this review but ended up having to trade it to me because they felt they couldn’t finish it in a timely manner. I’m only saying this because, while I had fully intended to read this book, I was hoping to go back and do a full reread of the series beforehand. Because I was asked to do the review (and I didn’t think it was fair to the author for them to have to wait a month for this to publish) I was unable to do that. As a result…I was a bit foggy on a lot of the subplots in this story. It probably had a not so small effect on my ability to navigate the large amount of world-building subplots that fill this book has. My final rating probably reflects that difficulty. So, if you haven’t read this series recently, my suggestion is you go back and at least do the last couple of books before heading into this one.
As to the actual book itself…
I have been really looking forward to the conclusion of this series for a while now. This was one of those stories that I picked up because it sounded unique, and I have enjoyed getting to know these characters over the course of the series. Both the characters and the plot has evolved so much from that first book, Twin Flames, and it has been one hell of ride.
My favorite romance part of this book wasn’t the MCs (Tristan, Ushna, and Brian), but was actually the subplot revolving around Stan and Theo. Most of the relationship stuff has been figured out with our main three guys, but I just really loved the connection and romance between Theo and Stan. They were not my favorite characters in previous books, but here they really come alive. Would have loved to have some kind of short story based off of what happens with them.
I will say, though, that as much as I enjoyed seeing how all these stories came to a close…I was not a huge fan of the multiple person pov narrations. Mostly because they were almost all in 1st person and there just wasn’t enough variation in tone and feeling to really differentiate them. I’m also not sure that they were all absolutely necessary for this story. For a story, maybe. Just not this one.
And that is by far my biggest issue with this book. There are too many subplots and sideplots, and characters that are only in there for a scene or two. Too many gods to keep track of (even with the glossary up front). To many factions. By about 1/3 of the way thru the book it was all becoming white noise in the back of my head. I can’t help but come away feeling that this story was at least two books shoved into one. Or maybe one book and several shorter stories. There were a couple of these subplots that I think wouldn’t have negatively affected this story if they were left out. And as much as I like the wrap up of several of the character arcs…I don’t think they were necessary here. I didn’t need everything wrapped up in bows. A little ambiguity would have been fine, or even good. The last 50 or so pages (in the pdf I was given, anyways) were just filler. I get this is the last book in the series, but it got a bit tedious at times having to read thru all these various subplots all which only have a line or two payoff at the climax of the book. Especially when reading those scenes required you to try and remember all the various relationships and factions and sides all these people were on and how that connected to the larger picture. It took me nearly 10 days to read this book. That is a long time for me. But I could only read it in five-six chapter bites because there was just so much stuff I had to try and remember that I was wishing that this book came with a flowchart and maybe a PowerPoint presentation.
All of that pretty much meant that I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as I wanted to. And I did want to.
There were points that I loved though. Stan and Theo, like I stated before, were super great. The final battle was pretty freaking epic. While all the stuff happening around them was at time frustratingly complex, I really liked finally seeing Tristan, Ushna, and Brain finally get their HEA. And I may not have been all to thrilled with Nathan–Tristan’s brother–at the start of this book, but I will admit that the ending more than made up for it.
Overall it was a good story, and if you are a fan of the series you are most definitely going to want to read this. I will say however that it is not without its flaws, and that proper preparation before reading is a must.