Spoilers. I hate book reviews that have spoilers. I don’t want to read a book review and come away knowing enough about the plot to not feel the tension the author has worked so hard to create or be surprised when something unexpected happens. I resist adding spoilers to my book or movie reviews, unless it’s a book or movie that’s been out for a long time and I figure most people have at least heard about the pivotal moments. Is there really such a thing as a spoiler for Harry Potter anymore? I think most people reading my blog know that Ripley gets away from the alien, for instance, or Clarice should watch her back around Buffalo Bill.
This attitude about spoilers will limit what I can write here about Pages. Johnson puts the reader on edge in Pages and demonstrates that even a much-loved character is not safe. This is an important plot point, but I won’t reveal who is in trouble or what ultimately happens.
That’s just my disclaimer for this review, in case it seems a little vague. So, moving on…
Pages is the second book in the chronicles of Stanley Cooper, our magical guy from down the street. That’s just what Stanley—the neighbor you wave to from your front porch, the guy you exchange pleasantries with while you check your mail. He’s a relatable character, which makes the horrific goings-on in his life seem so much more threatening. If this stuff happens to Stanley, it happens to us.
In Pages, the author has managed to maintain the approachable nature we came to expect from Stanley in Vermin, while ramping up the tension and the danger. Stanley receives a mysterious package in the mail and it leads first to a theft and on to non-stop action. We see his love for Maggie deepen, Andi’s powers develop, and Stan’s relationships with other key characters take on a whole new life. Evergreen takes a big role in this installment, in new and interesting ways, and the reader learns more about membership in this mysterious group. Once again Stanley is down to the wire to figure out who or what threatens the city of Pittsburgh and put a stop to the evil.
Stanley proves himself once again essential to the safety of Pittsburgh. Pages is a page-turner and a great addition to the Stanley Cooper series.