Nominally the last in the Winter of Ghosts series, A Film of Blindness provides more of a temporary stopping point in what’s clearly a larger story. Unfortunately, the three sequels/new trilogy are no longer available. So, for the moment, this is as much as we’ll get.
It’s a bit frustrating, because there’s clearly much more to learn. On the whole, I’ve not been as impressed with this alternate branch of the original story as I’d hoped to be – it’s both less defined and more frenetic than the original. It’s a broadly new story, and delves much deeper into the epic backstory and worldbuilding than the original books did – this book hints very strongly at more connections with intriguing goddess Malanna, though it veers away somewhat from the initial focus on Dubric’s hatred of her. I really like this part of the series, and am eager to know the rest. However, I’m also much less drawn in by the series’ lack of discipline versus the original books. There’s just too much crammed in and too little chance to rest and consider. In addition, this book ends with a bit of villain-tells-all that misses the original detective-fantasy charm of the concept.
As a (so-far) final comparison of the alternative Winter of Ghosts series with the original Ghosts in the Snow / Threads of Malice series, I continue to lean toward the originals. The originals are much more balanced, tightly plotted, and well paced. Where the alternative comes ahead is in examining the really interesting world Jones has created, but I think she might have accomplished the same with prequels (the prequel Kindle Vella series is on my list to read) or complementary books that explored those aspects.
In addition to the Vella series, I do have one installment of the Valley of the Soul/Pieces of the Valley series, but since it promises to be just the first section of the previously published Valley of the Soul book, I’ll likely just re-read that.