All Good Things (The Split Worlds #5) by Emma Newman

allAll Good things is the final instalment in Emma Newman’s split world series.  I must admit that I had my concerns about exactly how this would all conclude but I feel that Ms Newman has pulled out all the stops to give her readers a satisfactory ending to this story.  If you haven’t read the previous books in the series be aware that spoilers will be lurking below.

As the story begins we have a scenario where Cathy has finally escaped from her husband Will and is staying under the protection of Sam (Lord Iron).  It may grate on her a little to need Sam’s help in this way but his property is protected and Will cannot find her while she remains there, on top of this Bea, the powerful sorceress who we learned of in the last book, is also staying at Sam’s and has offered to help Cathy to learn some basic magic so that she can rely on herself – however, in return she does expect Cathy to help persuade Sam to assist with her plan to change the Nether forever.

Meanwhile, back in the Nether, Will is desperate to find Cathy.  His family have become super powerful but his status is far from secure.  If it becomes apparent that his wife has deserted him he will be forced to give up his position and his patron will be very displeased.

Finally, Rupert, the only Sorcerer now left, is making plans to retaliate against Bea.  Using Max and the gargoyle to assist him he’s come up with a cunning plan although he’s perhaps being a little less than truthful about the impact his plans will have on others.

So, there are a number of things going on here and the story really does move along at a fast click. In fact in that respect it’s quite a step out of character from the previous instalments which felt like they had a softer, more character driven approach.  In fact one of my only criticisms is that the book had an almost rushed approach.  I think it probably could have been easily extended and in fact that would have helped to retain the feel of the previous books.  As it is it feels a little like the author wanted to bring this to a conclusion and so there was almost a sense of urgency to the read.  I’m not saying that it spoiled the read at all but it just felt a little different in style than the other books in the series.

What I really enjoyed about this was the sense of completion in terms of a number of the characters.

Cathy, who has struggled with a way to bring equality to the Nether society finally seems to come to terms with the fact that she will probably never succeed – or at least she might set the ball rolling but no obvious differences are likely to occur in her lifetime.  She needs a different approach and she comes up with a very radical solution.  One that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and will involve a lot of upheaval but nonetheless a solution.  I felt that Cathy’s character really developed.  She is much more determined and even though she has doubts she’s confident enough to push ahead with her plans.

Will – well, I kept hoping that Will was just misguided, or foolish.  He had moments where he almost redeemed himself but basically they were all fairly shallow gestures in the end.  I’m not going to elaborate on what happens to Will here other than to say that he becomes a lot more involved with the fae and once again makes the mistake of trying to make decisions for Cathy.  He is so misguided!

Sam is coming to terms with his role in the world as Lord Iron and is trying to make reparations for the damage caused to the environment by his predecessors.  In a way he doesn’t really play too large a role in this book other than being a supporting character for Cathy.

Max and the gargoyle, who are a great double act, have really come along.  Max is finally coming to terms with the horror of what really happened to him and with the gargoyle as his emotional barometer is becoming a lot more sympathetic. I loved this pair of characters and thought their concluding storyline was great.

The only disappointment in terms of the characters was Lucy.  I’m not going to give away any spoilers but I couldn’t really get my head around what happened in terms of her.  It just didn’t sit right for me somehow or was simply too much.

However, in spite of a couple of niggles I really did think that this was a very good conclusion to the story.  Ms Newman has managed to find an ending that I would never have guessed, she solves a couple of puzzles along the way and although she ties up a lot of loose ends she even leaves the tantalising possibility for a return to some of the characters from this series.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.