The ACRO series by Sydney Croft began with a roar of thunder. Each new book has revealed more layers, until readers are familiar with the agency, its people, its leaders, and its enemies.
The latest installment, Taming the Fire, features the same action, adventure and suspense as its predecessors. Unfortunately, the plot suffers from too much information. Past books have always seemed to successfully juggle a couple of concurrent plotlines while concentrating on the main romance. This novel is a tangled mess of threads that have become unmanageable.
The main story, about a former ITOR agent, Ulricka, and her flight to freedom, should be the driving force behind the book. Her relationship with Trance should be the primary concern for both reader and author. Instead we have Devlin still grieving for Oz, yet attracted to a new recruit, and double agent Ryan, who resurfaces with amnesia and his relationship with Meg. It is too much. All of the stories suffer, and ultimately, the entire series is at risk.
I really hope that the writing team that comprises Sydney Croft can get back to their former discipline. It would be a shame to lose readers from this spectacular series. Readers will forgive one bad apple in the bunch, but if they all start to go soft then it is time to move on.