The One Tower
“THE CRANE WAR”
Book 5 of The Metaframe War
by Graeme Rodaughan, 2019
I read this book just as the pandemic hit. Being distracted by that and getting settled in a new house, I must have neglected to post my review. I'm correcting that now.
I'll start with the bad (of which there's not a lot, but I'm picky): In the advance reader's copy I received, there's several scenes that should have been fleshed out, and too many conversations that are told in overview. Using dialog would have brought those scenes to life. There's not an excessive use of the passive voice, but it still pops up. There's a number of punctuation errors throughout, maybe as simple as not hyphenating “floor-to-ceiling” or “surface-to-air”. Or using an apostrophe S when a family name is pluralized: Slayne's instead of Slaynes.
Also, I wonder how the secret mole, after he has been discovered as a double-agent by the Dominion, can still use his slide card to get the team deeper into the Panopticon. I'd think the vampires would immediately render his card worthless. It comes off as dunce-ex-machina.
(Even before I came to that part, I thought the mole should have simply told the vampires that he had been taken prisoner by the good guys. They would then be likely believe him and let him go.)
The good: We are given the continuing adventures of Team Thoth, this time gaining a new ally in Anton's feisty grandfather. They also have a new and daring mission: a chance to bring down the Vampire Dominion by taking out their greatest asset—the heavily guarded Panopticon.
I love the nameless entity that Li encounters whilst in the heart of the Panopticon. Leaving it unexplained imbues this entity with a kind of Lovecraftian vibe.
The battle for the Panopticon, which makes up most of the book, is truly epic. The action is fast-moving, riveting, and non-stop.
The aftermath of the battle is equally engaging, filled with revelation after revelation—some very human, some strategical, and some cosmic. Do our heroes win against the Vampire Dominion? You'll have to read it to find out.
Even with the need for a final edit, I do recommend this book and the entire series thus far.