When Cyrus Smith lost the Dragon's Tooth to Dr. Phoenix, he unleashed a terrible evil into the world—the power to kill immortals and raise the dead. The transmortals are understandably upset about the fact that Dr. Phoenix has the power to kill their kind. They converge on Ashtown, demanding that the Order of Brendan be dissolved and the Burials be opened. Only a handful of transmortals remain on Cyrus' side—including the weaver Arachne, and Nolan the Thief.
But it will take more than Cyrus' allies to defeat the evil that is growing. He will need the help of someone who has dealt with great evil before and willingly paid the price—his immortal ancestor, Captain John Smith. With Phoenix growing stronger by the day, and the transmortals revolting, Cyrus must open the Burial of John Smith—but doing so will unleash an evil that has slept for centuries.
This second book in the Ashtown Burials is more intense than the first one. It kicks off a lot faster and stays that way for the rest of the book. The stakes are driven higher with the introduction of the darker transmortals, led by the perpetually angry Gilgamesh.
As usual, the protagonists get their fair share of beatings and violence, and the action and gore could be too intense for some readers. Also Dr. Phoenix's disturbing dabblings in necromancy are shown more explicitly, and it gets pretty creepy. And a darker and far more sinister evil is hinted at with the vile Radu Bey.
But as intense as the darkness gets, Drowned Vault never strays too far from its message of standing boldly for what is right, even in the face of death. In the end we will all have died of having lived. The only choice you get to make is what kind of life that will be.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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