The initial goal
HEY SPOILERS! RUN RUN RUN or Milo Kuzniak will GET YOU. Maybe Roman, Dux Bellorum. Or, you know.
Where was I?
The initial goal of the book is to decode Amy Scanlon's journal, which Amy gave to Kitty when Amy and Kumarbis were all in those caves in book 12, just before the whole thing came crashing down. Ahem. Since crowdsourcing isn't working, and since no one else is able to make any headway, Cormac goes to visit Amy's aunt in Manitou Springs, coincidentally where Amelia was accused of murdering someone long ago. Amy's aunt and partner say they can help, but won't, unless Cormac proves himself worthy by dealing with a long-ago death outside of town. Augustus Crane dropped dead in a duel with another magic user, Milo Kuzniak, and the pair would like to know how.
Cormac and Amelia go out to where the duel occurred, where they encounter some shady characters from his past who threaten and then attempt to recruit Cormac. Oh, and btw, they have another Milo Kuzniak, great-grandson of the first one, in the group. Shockingly, some time later, the second Milo drops dead as well. Cormac briefly gets ahold of Milo's journal, but turns it over to Layne and tries to walk away from it all, before getting talked into returning to steal it back.
Inevitably, the dropping dead thing turns out to be
HEY I FUCKING SAID SPOILERS
one of those reflection things BECAUSE THAT IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS. The only real surprise is how freakishly long it takes Cormac and Amelia to figure it out, which I chalk up to Amelia and Mollie and Kitty stirring Cormac's long dormant libido also Amelia has the attention span of a gnat the the accumulation tendencies of a packrat, at least when it comes to magical stuff.
Did I mention naked Cormac?
Where was I?
Ah. There's some stuff about weapons stashes and a skinwalker and Cormac being subtle. And Cormac and Amelia finally "touch" in the meadow (not exciting, really, but it could be). Cormac turns the mirror thingie over to Amy's aunt in exchange for the code book, Amelia decodes the journal and then
duh duh duh
Turns out their low key efforts to find some wisdom online have inadvertently resulted in them exchanging email with Roman. Okee then.
It's an odd book, because it is so much in Cormac's head, and Cormac is a man of few words. I have mixed feelings about whether I think he is a realistic portrayal or not. I'll have to think about that for a long while. Inevitably, because he spends so much time alone, it is a little claustrophobic. But there are a lot of fun moments, because Cormac, while careful and somewhat sneaky, is very much about direct action. The bit where he and Amelia figure out not to cast a spell, and Cormac just does a beatdown on Layne is priceless.
As always, don't start here. Also, there are references in this book to stuff covered in the short story collection, so keep that in mind.