Fire Study - Maria V. Snyder Dammit, I had a whole review here and Goodreads ate it. I will attempt to recreate.

My first thought upon finishing this book was "But... why isn't there more? I want more!" I guess it's on to the Glass series for me.

This book had the same problems as the second book--too many plot-balls in the air, too many things going on--but it was, like the second book, still a lot of fun to read. Yelena's discovery of what being a Soulfinder truly means was a great moment. And I liked her bat.

I was a bit disappointed with the resolution of the Commander's storyline. Major spoilers ahead: The idea that he is sharing his body with his mother's soul and that's why he was assigned female at birth doesn't sit right with me. It raises too many questions. Why was his mother so terrified of being discovered? What happens if Yelena releases his mother's soul--will the "mutation" go away? And how did the Commander not know his mother's soul was in his body if he was switching back and forth seamlessly between Ambrose and Signe? If Signe was really his mother's soul taking over, it seems like he would have known. The Ambassador Signe plot didn't make much sense to me. In the first book, the Commander is terrified of anyone discovering his "mutation," but then in the second and third, he is completely comfortable walking around as a woman. I suppose you could argue that Yelena's help at the end of the first book helped him reconcile his two souls or whatever, but I think I liked it better when he was just a trans man. Even in a magical universe, there have to be trans people, and they can't ALL have two souls hanging around.

Plus, if the Commander isn't trans, then there is a distinct lack of GSM characters in these books. Although I like to think Ari and Janco are married.

I did like the discovery that Valek is resistant to magic because he created a null shield around himself due to his childhood trauma. It seems there are a lot more magicians around than anyone thought.

I also loved the idea that the magic blanketing the world is really the world's soul. That rang true to me, and it also makes me wonder what happens now. Is the lack of a Soulfinder for so many years the reason that the blanket was starting to wear thin? Now that Yelena has discovered her abilities and started releasing souls into the sky, will the blanket get stronger? Will more people be born with magical potential? There are a lot of possibilities. Makes you want to write some fanfic.

Basically, while the second and third books in this series lack the simple elegance and tight plotting of the first, they're still highly enjoyable, and I really liked experiencing more of Yelena's story.