Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Grave Illusions (Jess Vandermire #1) by Lina Gardiner

Synopsis (Goodreads):
New York City is in the grasp of a deadly, unseen enemy. At least unseen by normal society.

Lieutenant Jess Vandermire, New York City police officer, is uniquely specialized to recognize and fight this threat. It's her job to forge a black ops team, an assortment of men and women who wouldn't be considered for the job under normal circumstances. But these aren't normal circumstances. The team has to be tough and, if need be, expendable. Jess understands what she's fighting and what's at stake. For her, it's all about retribution until ex-cop John Brittain is recruited to her team. Suddenly, her priorities aren't quite so easily definable.

John Brittain has a chip on his shoulder and is as tough as they come. But is he ready for the whole truth? That combating "super" vampires whose primal need for blood and the addictive drug "Sunshine" is only the beginning of their problems? And when Jess tells him the truth about herself, will he stay and fight or will he turn against her and not only threaten their lives but destroy the fragile relationship developing between them?
My Thoughts: I'm going to start by saying that I ultimately enjoyed this book.  However- yes, there's a 'however'.  However, the first 25% of the book was very repetitious.  Jess wants Britt to join her uber-secret team, Britt wants to know why she's trying to keep it secret, Jess won't tell him, Britt declines to join.  Until the next night when they meet up randomly and Jess asks Britt again to join her uber-secret team... lather, rinse, repeat.  Throw in some repressed sexual desire- by both of the main characters- and you've made it 1/4 of the way through the book.

Remember, I did enjoy the story despite this so don't let all that throw you off.  There's an interesting twist involving Britt's former partner that I didn't see coming.  There's another interesting twist involving the vampires behind the drug that caught me by surprise.  I liked Jess and Britt together, although I wouldn't have been adverse to less simmering sexual tension and more acting on those desires.  What can I say?  I like it when the main characters (or any of the characters, really) get down and dirty.

All in all, once you get past the repetitive start it's a solid urban fantasy.  While not groundbreaking in the genre, it is entertaining and intriguing.

More books by Lina Gardiner

Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Vampire Challenge, The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge, The Show Me the Free Challenge
Grave Illusions was a free Kindle download I picked up 03/11/11.

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