The third installment in the Mira Chambers story sees Mira and her friends on the trail of Kitching, a man responsible for kidnapping Freddy Leopard - a resident of Serenity and Maddy Sanchez - the matron. Both have formed a strong bond with Mira over the preceding two novels (DIAMOND EYES and HINDSIGHT), as such Mira, loyal and dedicated to her friends no end, commits to doing whatever it takes to return them to safety. Even if that means putting herself in harms way.
With Lockman aiding her hunt for Maddy and Freddy, the former military trained and self confessed guardian of Mira not only adds another dimension to the story but exemplifies Mira's continued growth and path towards normalcy since leaving Serenity. My only gripe with these two is the continued romantic tension which had a tendency to detract from the story.
The arms race for Mira as a powerful military weapon is still evident throughout this latest instalment, yet author A.A. Bell manages to keep both Garland (military general) and Kitching (rogue bad guy) on equal footing for her services. Having the ability to see the past by virtue of the fragile X syndrome allows Mira to ability to view past crimes which prove to be invaluable to military intel.
Kitching hatches his plot early and uses some crafty devises to throw off the scent of his true intention - namely a murder and elaborate scheme to weaponise and reproduce Mira's ability.
There are some great twists and turns in LEOPARD DREAMING. As the title suggests Freddy Leopard plays a large part. Having the ability to hear the future, makes him a prime target for Kitching - that combined with Mira's ability to see the past makes them pivotal to Kitching's plans.
A.A. Bell also introduces an interesting family dynamic that will throw readers off balance and breathe a breath of fresh air into some of the characters. I won't detail it any further as to avoid spoilers.
Whilst I enjoyed LEOPARD DREAMING, the romantic overtones (and multiple instances thereof) did play a little on the natural progression of the story. Despite this, the pacing was fine and plotting well suited to Mira's plight. I look forward to reading what A.A. Bell comes up with next.