"Good Girls (Motherless Children Trilogy: Book 2)" Book Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
Published by Tor Books
Written by Glen Hirshberg
2016, 352 pages, Fiction
Released on February 23rd, 2016
I often wonder where my trust issues lie. Is it the doctor who tells you it won't hurt, the guy who said he'd call back and didn't, the editor who tells you that it's a standalone sequel and you won't need to read the first one to understand it? One may never know.
As I mentioned when I reviewed Dan Wells The Devil's Only Friend, I hate reading a series out of order. It feels like you've walked in the middle of an intense conversation and have to scramble to keep up.
Author Glen Hirshberg isn't as bad as some authors that just assume you've read the books in order and make no attempt to fill in the blanks. Why should they? It's better for their bank accounts if you buy the books and get the answers yourself. I confess to buying the first novel The Motherless Child on Amazon after reading Good Girls. It's mainly because I'm kind of OCD about knowing everything in a series. It's a problem, it's the reason I've seen every Children of the Corn movie. Help!
Good Girls picks up almost directly after the ending of Child. A woman named Jess is forced to kill her daughter, Natalie, who has been turned into a vampire, and goes on the run with her infant grandson. She reluctantly cares for Sophie, who was Natalie's best friend before she was turned and is the only link to the Whistler, the vampire who caused all her heartache. This is probably my favorite part of the novel. Hirshberg does a wonderful job of building up suspense, and I honestly had no idea what could happen next.
Sophie is a very complex and interesting character. She can be completely evil and unlikable and yet still have sympathy for a girl who has to face life as a soulless monster. Kudos to the author for giving her a little bit of humanity without compromising her evil nature.
Next up we meet the character of Rebecca, an orphan with the ability to read minds. She finds herself attracting the Whistler's attention. Sadly, I was not as interested in this storyline; a shame, as it is the central one. I wanted to know more about Jess and Sophie, who are shuttled off in a corner for the majority of the novel.
A lot of Rebecca's story is angst ridden; her best friend has an unrequited love for her, she has problems with her cold-hearted former foster mother, and of course feels like an outsider to her orphan past. In fact, I honestly had no interest in her until she and Jess team up in the climax.
Interspersed throughout Good Girls is a third character, Aunt Sally, who is related to one of the antagonists from Motherless Child. Aunt Sally is kind of just hanging around; her tale seems to be a setup for the next installment and has no real place with the other characters' story arcs. To make matters worse. Aunt Sally's story is written in italics, which is pretty jarring. I skimmed those parts just so I could get back to the main event.
Still, Glen Hirshberg is an engrossing author who can spin a good yarn His characters are multi-faceted and have depth. Even without reading the first novel, there are enough details so an uniformed reader can get the gist of the story. I don't regret having to buy his other book in order to grasp the sequel better. Despite my issues with the book, it is still entertaining.