Shiarra Waynest's detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm-if it doesn't kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York's most powerful vampires.My Thoughts: I have a tendency to go through book reading phases where I'll glut myself on particular genres. This can be a good thing when I'm all revved up about vampires or zombies or fantastic urban fantasy and I just can't get enough of it. It can also mean that I reach a point where I become like a bloated leech and I just can't hold any more inside me.
As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend-a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing-and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren't always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil-whether she likes it or not...
I think this is what happened to me with this book. I've been reading a ton of urban fantasy and while there were definite aspects of this world that I enjoyed, I never quite fell into it the way I thought I should. Part of it stems from Shia herself. She's so ... not strong in the beginning that reading about her was a turn off. She's terrified of vampires. She's bigoted about nearly all Others. Frankly, I can't figure out how she managed to make it up to this point in her life with a semi-successful career and without being dumped off the nearest bridge for her narrow-minded ways.
Once again, I could be seeing this through the blood-drenched glasses of someone who has read way too many UF books lately and wants her heroines strong and able to take on the world. Shia is far, far from that. Even when she grows a spine and stops acting like a whimpering victim it never really connected for me. For the most part, her turn around doesn't stem from internal enlightenment. She stops being afraid when she gains a magical physical boost that makes her able to take on the supernatural beings. Yeah, she agrees to work with the Others and even decides to give a relationship with one of them a try, but ... without her magical ass-kicking belt she would still be the woman who spilled all her secrets at the mere hint of violence against her.
I guess I expect more from someone who has to step into the middle of an epic battle between good and evil.
Here's the thing, I didn't hate the book by any means. I just never really connected with it. I liked both the vampires and the werewolves. I liked the nerdy mage. I liked Alec's ruthless ability to use the human world, especially the court system, to his advantage.
See? This book has me all confused. I liked it. I wasn't enamoured of it. I wanted a little more romance. Or at least I wanted the conflict that Shia felt at being forced to help the supernatural community to have more impact. Yes, she was conflicted. But ... I don't know.
More books by Jess Haines
Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Show Me the Free Challenge, The Vampire Challenge, The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge