For Poe, the last few years have been far from easy. He’s been doing his best to protect the city of Haven Hart from a dangerous family enterprise, but he’s barely holding all of the threads together. It’s a house of cards that threatens to collapse at any moment. Poe needs help and turns to Christopher and Snow Manos, the assassin Black, and others who’ve come to care about Haven Hart as much as Poe. The fight won’t be an easy one and not everyone may survive, but protecting Haven Hart and the people who live there is that all that matters.
So I’ve enjoyed most of the Haven Hart series and was definitely looking forward to Poe’s story. He’s been an enigmatic strand running through the entire series, more prominent in some books than others, but always a mystery. So his story is supposed to be the culmination of the entire series … and I really didn’t like it as much as I’d hoped. Let me preface this by saying I think I’m going to be in the minority here. A lot of readers are going to love Raven’s Hart and wonder what in the heck is wrong with me. It’s going to strike all the right chords for some people, but it definitely fell flat for me.
I won’t go into the plot because there is a huge spoiler and I don’t want to ruin that for people. Let’s just say that Poe has been hiding a lot of stuff from his friends, especially about his private life. And I think that’s one of my biggest complaints about Raven’s Hart — the entire first half of the book reads like one, rather monotonous, info dump. There is so much exposition and I felt like it was just hurled at me like a brick. Why couldn’t some of this be disseminated in previous books? I realize a few tidbits were held back to build suspense, but this feels excessive. I also don’t think it’s ever adequately explained why the Hart Family have held sway over Haven Hart for so long or why it’s important to various factions. It’s just a town and while the idea of some overarching controller was always pretty unbelievable, and it really strains credibility here.
The second half of Raven’s Hart is stronger and the action definitely steps up. I found it a lot more enjoyable and, despite the Scooby Gang feel of it all, it was nice to see all of the series characters working together for a common goal. Sometimes the characters have conversations that seem out of place given the seriousness of the overall situation. For example, the book spends way too much time discussing a kitten and there’s a conversation regarding memory foam versus sleep number beds. Really? The middle of a crisis is the time for a chat about mattresses? It wasn’t bad per sae, but it doesn’t feel necessary.
On the whole, I didn’t love Raven’s Hart. I don’t think it adequately fulfills the promise built up by the previous six novels. That said, I think most fans of the series will feel differently and find a lot to enjoy here. It just didn’t work for me.