Ian Tregillis: Necessary Evil Milkweed Triptych #3

I liked Bitter Seeds although it was a bit rough I thoroughly enjoyed The Coldest War despite its cliffhanger ending I had great expectations when I picked up Necessary Evil but it ended up being a considerable disappointment in an otherwise promising seriesUltimately it s pretty pointless to review the finale of a series Either you ve read the rest of the series or you haven t If you haven t go read someone s review for the first book If you have then you ve most likely already decided to buy this book At any rate I don t feel compelled to avoid spoilers in my review so consider yourself warnedview spoilerLet me start by saying that this is by no means a bad book I ve read my share of atrocious books and I was even guilty of having enjoyed them without realizing how bad they were until I decided to reread them Necessary Evil is not one of those books It s disappointing and it could have been a lot better but it s worth reading and can be enjoyed In fact if you haven t read it yet I would recommend coming back to this review after you re done reading the bookThere s one and only one thing that I unconditionally loved about this book and that s Gretel s POV The hallmark of Milkweed Triptych is Ian Tregillis ability to paint war in an utterly non romantic way where every side is steeped in atrocities and betrayals every character is tragically flawed and yet we can still empathize with them to a certain degree This is why Gretel s interlude are so great they give us an insight into the character of a true psychopath yet we can t help realizing that she never really had a chance to be anything else It didn t make me feel sorry for her but I don t think I was supposed to Instead it just served to underline how tragic the whole story really isMarsh the Elder on the other hand is merely tolerable He has matured a lot and he has uite a few difficult choices to make and temptations to overcome but the problem is that he does all that by the book He fits his role and fulfills my expectations a little too well and that makes him seem contrivedContrived is unfortunately the word that can be applied to so much in Necessary Evil The most glaring examples are Will s demise and Gretel s loss of prescience The former was just a cheap way of tying up loose ends After all Will was the last of warlocks and all of them had to die That would have made his death acceptable were it not for two glaring inconsistencies One is that Liv had just finished icking Gretel s ass once without even breaking a sweat so it made no sense for her to run for help instead of going for round two Another is that Gretel is left alive despite all the efforts to Timbuktu Chronicles 1493 1599 Tarikh al Fattash kill and permanently mangle the rest of REGP bermenschen so that nonowledge could be gained from their autopsy In other words both Marshes got away with what they wanted especially Marsh the Elder so why Mit 60 Jahren um die Welt kill Will Why not have him go into uiet exile with Marsh the ElderGretel s loss of prescience is a lot worse Her near godlike ability is what drives the plot for the rest of the series When she started losing her power I expected a brilliant nuanced explanation something that might even rival Dune s treatment of prescience The birth of a completely new previously non existent timeline was a concept that had great potential Unfortunately Tregillis suandered that potential by essentially choosing to wave his hands and shout look over there in a bid to distract me I got the feeling that he really didn tnow how to deal with Gretel and pulled this idea out of thin air Maybe he could have convinced me that interference from another timeline is something that could completely ruin her ability instead of well interfering with it temporarily had he devoted enough effort to it As it is the idea was exposed hastily and was then demonstrated in a rather contrived and disappointing mannerYou see I ve realized that there would be time travel involved back when I was reading Bitter Seeds The mysterious stranger who socked Will in the face and shot Marsh in the Le mouton noir et le loup blanc knee was a dead giveaway especially when contrasted with Tegillis otherwise meticulous adherence to Chekhov s Gun principle When I picked up Necessary Evil Inew that among other things Marsh the Elder would have to punch Will and shoot Marsh the Younger in the English Unlimited Level 2 Coursebook Special Edition Saudi Edition knee The former went as expected but the latter was handled in a way that was supposed to serve as the evidence of the interference from another timeline Except that it didn t really Instead of I used to be a spy like you and then I took a bullet to thenee we got my nee hurts and your doesn t why would that be nudge nudge wink wink It just made things muddled and less convincingI have one final gripe but I acknowledge that this is something that the reader simply has to either overlook or forgive If Eidolons are not restricted by normal rules of time and space if they have the power to send Marsh back in time if they recognized him straight away as a broken spiral how come this new timeline saves the world Let s face it if Eidolons are not chained by linear progression of time then the humanity is irrevocably extinct the moment they gain enough insight into our nature which happened at the end of The Coldest WarHaving said all that I d like to reiterate that Milkweed Triptych is wo. The history of the Twentieth Century has been shaped by a secret conflict between technology and magic When a twisted Nazi scientist devised a way to imbue ordinary humans with supernatural abilities to walk through walls throw fire and see the future his work became.

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We get a POV from Gretel here too and sadly she is not the anti hero that I was rooting for her to be making the tough decisions necessary to save the world at least once No she s also romantically obsessed with Marsh She s also undoubtedly nuts I think I wanted her to be than she actually turns out to be so I was a bit disappointed I didn t feel like we saw enough from the 40 s this time around to be as interested in plot development I already new about the farm and the records and the pixies and the warlocks Things do turn out differently but I didn t get as much emotional mileage out of them as I thought I might possibly due to all the romantic distractions Also I missed Klaus I loved that character and we don t get any POV from him this time around although we do see him in action So I didn t uite get what I was expecting Romance between Old Marsh and Liv meant not enough focus was given to the WWII arena which was what I was hoping for However I am a huge fan of Ian Tregillis loved the other books and look forward to reading anything else he writes A solid end to an impressive trilogy Definitely going to get round to Tregillis next series soon which involves robots And who doesn t love robots I hope I get this cover rather than this one Ideally they will be reissued with covers that match Review of Necessary Evil by Ian TregillisAWESOME CONCLUSION TO A BRILLIANT SERIESNo spoilersI really loved this series and it was fun to read the third and concluding novel of the Milkweed Triptych Necessary Evil by Ian Tregillis The plot threads were nicely tied up and I was constantly surprised with the direction of the bookThe first two Bitter Seeds and Coldest War were amazingly good see my reviews of both and Necessary Evil ept up the tension I won t ruin the first two books here as the beauty of the series relies heavily on not nowing what s coming Overall I think the first two books had me worried about the characters and their fates but Necessary Evil was excellent I still never Writers on heels knew what was going to happenGretel the character who can see the future is back and the interludes from her point of view were brilliant The chapters when we get into her mind were my favorites The turn her character takes later in the book was unexpected for me but I can totally understand why it happened I don tnow what else the writer could have done with a goddess like character to make the rest of the novel work but I wasn t expecting the series of events involving her shift Never trust Gretel is still the best advice anyone can giveThis was a very uniue and ambitious series and book one Bitter Seeds was an incredible achievement Book two The Coldest War blew my mind especially the ending and I wondered how the third novel would compare For me the second book was probably the peak of the series as far as high drama and tension and Necessary Evil was not as epic in some ways though it was a worthy conclusion I think reading the three books back to back to back would be best as there are clues in book one and especially two that will improve the experience of the reader in book three All the books are so interdependent with each other it s hard to separate them Having book two fresh in your mind when reading book two would be bestThe author created such a complicated web that little things mean a lot and small events change the course of history Pulling it all together in the finale was a fantastic achievement and the epilogue had a lot of heart I was so glad to read the last chapter as some writers fail to deliver there but Tregillis pulled it off perfectlyIf you re a fan of alternate history spies characters with super powers and great writing read this series for sureHighly Recommended 55 StarsPaul Genesse You Mistida know how sometimes you fall in love with a book say Tregillis first novel Bitter Seeds You love the WWII spycraft you love the action the Nazi superheroes and the British warlocks You love the explosions and the way momentum is totally conserved And then you re afraid that the rest of the series might not live up to the awesomeness that was the first book Then you read book 2 The Coldest War and it also totally rocks but really how likely is it that the third book in the series will leave you walking away satisfied anxious to pick up the author s next bookWell Necessary Evilnocked the socks off my expectations It surprised me it wooed me it had me biting my nails and it made me cry It s a phenomenal conclusion to the Milkweed trilogy As always Tregillis delivers awesome action great intrigue fascinating characters and some of the best prose you ll find in the genre I couldn t put it down and had to fight off my husband to read it first I m glad I won The plot of Necessary Evil is just as fast paced and intricate as all the other books In fact with the time jump going on I d say it s even intricate than the other books It s detailed and riveting Tregillis ends his series with one hell of a bang but somehow that fits It s dark and atmospheric His characters are raw and real but it s the details that really make Necessary Evil stand out It s those details that show Tregillis for the literary grandmaster that he truly is Necessary Evil is the end of a series that rocked my world It s a series I ve already rea. And now her long plan has come to fruition And with it a danger vastly greater than anything the world has nown Now British Intelligence officer Raybould Marsh must make a last ditch effort to change the course of history if his nation and those he loves are to survi.

Rth reading and that Necessary Evil is not a bad book The main themes of the Milkweed Triptych are as strong in the last book as they were in the previous two and Ian Tregillis has definitely proven himself to be a writer worth following in the future hide spoiler Necessary Evil is the final instalment of the Milkweed Triptych trilogy I must admit war novels are not my thing and usually I don t even consider picking one up This series however has some riveting aspects that are sheer genius the first we encounter is the German technological advancement in the form of scientifically engineered supersoldiers with incredible abilities The second being the British answer to this supersoldier the use of blood magic to communicate with the Eidolons beings that exist outside of reality This coupled with some amazing characters on both sides of the war and a clever intricate plot that never ceases to amaze giving a series I highly recommend Initially I approached this with some trepidation regarding the time travel aspect of the book thankfully it was handled perfectly and the way in which it was told could not in my opinion have been done any better Completely believable and the dimension added to the story was fantastic events that you wondered about in the first two novels are revealed in all there entirety very impressive story telling The Milkweed Triptych trilogy deals with a relatively small array of characters but this works as a major strength with respect to characterization and the pace of the story flows majestically the saying never a dull moment describes this extremely well Marsh is transported back in time to London to 1940 and he has a list of tasks he needs to accomplish to change the time lines first he must destroy the German supersoldiers and all evidence of their existence second he must prevent the British warlocks from using blood deals and negotiating with the Eidolons and third he must save his children from both Gretel and the Eidolons Not an easy mission he has to deal with his younger headstrong self and on top of that he soon becomes a wanted manWe finally get a much in depth insight into Gretel her plans and her infatuation with Marsh that leads to her eventual downfall the first chapter of the book is about Gretel and how she perceives the different time lines and eventualities How she manipulates all around her and her ability shows her that the only way she can save herself is by ending the Eidolons involvement She wants Marsh and she will do anything and everything to get him a sociopath with little remorse even regarding her brother Gretel was the most compelling character for me in the first two novels but here we have the younger and older Raybould Marsh and their largely separate journeys are eually as interesting and intriguing Necessary Evil compared to the previous two books in the series is the difference between eating a meal cooked by the best chef in the world and one cooked by the Mother in law or looking through the crack of door compared to an fully opened door you suddenly realise the scope and depth of what s on offer and that s a massive credit to the authorConclusion Absolutely convincing intricate and a fitting end to the trilogy After being disappointed by the ending of Book two this one fully redeems the trilogy The story comes to a satisfying end and there is some excellent explanations to events that happened back in book one There were uite a few mysterious events in that book but t This third and final volume in the Milkweed Triptych was enjoyable but ultimately a disappointment Tregillis continues to deliver on the fast paced action and handles the rewriting of the timeline of Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War well With two Raybould Marshes running around his decision to make Old Marsh s perspective first person and Young Marsh s third person ept the two narratives clearly separate Some of the suspense is lost when it becomes clear that this new timeline is our actual history which presumably isn t going to be obliterated by Eidolons but the internal suspense such as Liv and the baby heading off to doomed Coventry for safety The Heat Wyatt keeps the story movingIt s the ending I object to in which all the loose ends are tied up and Gretel finally receives her just reward view spoilerShe s notilled but marooned on a barren island by Marsh and Marsh with her wires cut off and left with an ongoing supply of food so she ll live a long life in torment without being able to use her power hide spoiler This is still one of the most original concepts I ve come across in uite some time I was very excited to see what would happen when Marsh is sent back in time as has been foreshadowed since the very first book However I didn t get uite the book I expectedThere was a lot of unreuited love to deal with that I wasn t expecting Old Marsh as I ll refer to the Marsh who was sent back from the 60 s to the 40 s becomes obsessed with his wife Liv He is still trying to change the future but he sends his younger self off to do the hard stuff while he hangs around his old home mooning over his family I wasn t especially fond of that relationship in the previous books and I wasn t prepared for the 1st person POV of Old Marsh and how much that POV centered around regret for his family. The prized possession of first the Third Reich then the Soviet Army Only Britain's warlocks and the dark magics they yield have successfully countered the threat posed by these superhuman armiesBut for decades this conflict has been manipulated by Gretel the mad seer.