Bring It On (Retrievers, Book 3)
by Laura Anne Gilman
Review by Gayle Surrette
Luna Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780373802401
Date: 01 July 2006 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Don't get involved. That's the credo of retrievers. They tend to be loners anyway. Wren has always lived by that rule, that is until her relationship with Sergei moved into the personal. As business partners, he found the jobs, she retrieved the object, collected the check and that was it. Adding a sexual relationship into the mix has muddied the waters. Sergei is still too involved with the Silence. Lonejacks are trying to organize. The nonhumans are tired of being used and tiredness is translating into anger. Things are getting complicated on all fronts and Wren is smack dab in the middle of it all.
I've been a fan of the Retriever books, since Staying Dead. With each succeeding book the story line has gotten more complex. Amazingly, to me at least, small side notes in book one have turned out to be major parts of later plots. Simple asides then turn into clues when you least expect it but it all flows together over these first three books into a comprehensive story. While each book stands alone the background and history of the previous books add a texture and depth -- so start with this volume or go back to the beginning.
Mixing business and pleasure came be a good thing. But, Wren and Sergei have different ideas about relationships, who is in charge, how far to push, how much control should be ceded, and in which direction, among other things. Wren, feeling like she's losing control of her life, takes on a job without going through Sergei. Sergei, fearing his past may come back to haunt him or at least threaten him, tries to bargain for some protection for Wren. Much like O'Henry's "The Gift," only inverted and with a twist, each one is trying to protect themselves and their partner -- but, without consulting with each other, they find they are acting in opposition.
A minor bump in the road or irreconcilable differences, only time will tell. That is if they manage to live through the current set of difficulties. With recurring characters and continuing conflict among the various groups, there are many threads to keep track of, but the action pulls the reader forward wondering what could possibly happen next, while hoping that what you think is going to happen won't. What can be better than riding along with Wren on her wild ride of an existence as a lonejack, with friends, family, a lover, and a dangerous job?