This is a review of Resurrections, volume 3 of Roz Kaveney’s Rhapsody of Blood series. It honestly won’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t read books 1 and 2, but I do have reviews of them here and here, which should help get you up to steam. Spoilers for those two books are, I guess, inevitable.
First up, if you are looking for more adventures of the lesbian answer to Randall & Hopkirk (deceased), you will be sadly disappointed. The fair Caroline spends the entire book as the captive of a nefarious villain as yet unnamed. She’s not just ghostly, she’s entirely absent. This is not a good thing because we don’t get to hear what fabulous outfits she has conjured up for herself this time (instant and unlimited costume changes being one of the main plus points about being a ghost).
Emma, on the other hand, gets quite a bit of stage time. She even gets something in the way of powers, in that she gets gifted one of those body-hugging, independently intelligent suits of armor owned by all of the most kick-ass science fiction heroines. (Remember Moneta in Hyperion?) Naturally, this being Roz’s book, the armor has a sense of humor too.
Having something wrapped around every inch of you that flowed and shifted was weird enough; knowing it was a person made it almost creepy. It was like having a maid as well as a bodyguard catering to your every need.
Right now, it was mostly just gloves, but it had left part of itself attached to her ear like one of those headsets gangsters wear at East End funerals.
Nothing comes for free, Emma thought, and I would really like to know to whom I am beholden. She was not going to compromise that just because of a sniff.
“Tell me who you are, and what you’re doing here, and I’ll consider it.”
“I can’t do that, Dave,” the armour whispered and giggled.
Morgan doesn’t play too much part in this volume either, but it is becoming even more obvious that she is based on me. She may also be responsible for the armor.
“I thought I was your patron, but clearly someone else is looking after you. Morgan, perhaps?” Josette’s voice was slightly teasing with just a hint of hurt.
“Not her style to do something like that and not leave a note, vain old dear. She does like to get credit for things.”
Clearly I need to have words with Emma Jones. No respect for her elders and betters.
As we have come to expect, Mara the Huntress also takes center stage for much of the book. A lot of the action takes place in ancient Egypt, and the principal villain is a chap called Simon Magus who turns out to be considerably more nasty than most of the bad guys in the series thus far.
Jehovah is still hanging around making a nuisance of himself, of course. And occasionally he sends his thugs to do his dirty work for him.
Angels do have a taste for watching people die. Jehovah likes to think that they are just obediently waiting to take souls to their proper destinations but that’s just one of the areas in which he is a foolish optimist.
Talking of proper destinations, much of the action in this volume takes place in Hell. There are a lot of well-known people down there, some of them more deserving than others. Lucifer, having managed to populate his domain with some of the smartest and nastiest humans who ever existed, is having a hard time keeping things under control.
If all of this sounds a trifle blasphemous to you, baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet. If Tomás de Torquemada were around today, Roz would be hanging by her fingernails in a dungeon so deep it might actually be Hell save for the fact that dear Tomás would want her to experience a little of the flames before she got there, just to get her acclimatised.
Dear reader, in this book Roz does something so bad, and so deliciously calculated to explode the heads of Christian fundamentalists, that I could have wept for joy. Other Christians will hopefully be rather less offended, because Roz makes a point of staying on message while straying perpendicularly from the Book.
I note also that the book has one of the most beautiful covers I have seen in a long time. The images accompanying this review are rather small, but if you click here you can see it in all of its glory.
There will be at least one more book in the series. We do, after all, need to rescue Caroline from her captivity. There is probably a small risk that Jehovah will get his act together and strike Roz down from On High before that can happen, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it gets written. I want to read it.
For more information about Roz Kaveney, see the SF Encyclopedia.
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