Review of Rachael Allen’s HARLEY QUINN: RAVENOUS

Harley Quinn: Ravenous by Rachael Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ms. Allen has developed a positively enchanting Harley Quinn. The original threads of the character are there, but she’s taken them and crafted an entirely new tapestry from them. Everything continues to feel authentic, though. It’s a difficult line to straddle, and she pulls it off so effortlessly. Watching the development is more entertaining – for me – than the continuation of this mystery she’s built into the trilogy. (And that’s saying something because her subtle anti-patriarchy messaging is STRONG!)

Second volumes tend to suffer from inherent weaknesses (I just finished discussing the problem not two weeks ago), but Ms. Allen dodges that bullet. No, this book can’t stand alone- too much information is required from Reckoning – but it brings in enough new characters to keep it fresh and afloat. And while there IS that inevitable cliffhanger at the end, the tale brings a satisfactory ending. I couldn’t poke the usual holes in it that I tend to find with that second-book-syndrome.

My only complaint was the convenient clues thrown into Part 2 to complete the gaps in Harley’s memory. They came out of nowhere, without even a teasing hint in the beginning to allude to their existence. I’m all for a surprise twist, but tossing in a neat solution with a bow because you ran out of pages? That’s sloppy writing. Cherry Bombz needed at least ONE appearance in Part 1 to make sense. Playing around with amnesia never seems to work well for writers; they inevitably write themselves into a corner. And this book isn’t the exception.

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