Having thoroughly enjoyed Jen Williams’ first trilogy, The Copper Cat, I came to this book fairly sure it was going to be an enjoyable read, and I’m pleased to say I was right about that. This is one hell of a book, and a more than excellent start to a trilogy. Unlike The Copper Cat, which consisted of three more-or-less standalone novels, this is very definitely the first in an ongoing storyline.
The characters are well written, with each having their own easily identifiable voice. Even the secondary characters feel fully formed, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of all of them in the next two books.
For me The Ninth Rain felt noticeably darker than the previous trilogy, though some of this darkness is hidden behind a Ghibli-esque facade, with definite shades of Miyazaki’s work creeping in with the descriptions of the parasite spirits (Princess Mononoke) and the Winnowry (Spirited Away).
Definitely one for people who like their fantasy on the darker side, though it still has the tongue-in-cheek edge and fast-talking, sassy characters that seem to be fast becoming Jen Williams’ trademark. A solid five stars and straight into my Favourites list.