Author: Jess Haines
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 05/04/10
In a Town Like This, Being A P.I. Can Be Murder
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.
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...
Plot: 4.5 Stars
What a great book to start the new year off with. It had been sitting on my massive TBR pile since May, and I really can't believe it took me so long to read it. I liked the idea of the Others, and really enjoyed that mages were added in to the mix of werewolves and vampires. I, of course, enjoyed the fact that all of the Others were scary, especially to Shia. And the contracts that humans signed to interact with the Others was a very interesting twist. This book kept me on my toes with it's twists and turns. Although I saw a few of them coming, most caught me by surprise. I think my favorite part of the whole novel is that Shia is a human mixed up in the world of the Others. She didn't really have any superhuman strengths, but played to her human strengths along with the help she got from friends and collegues.
Pace: 4 Stars
This book made me very happy because it was the first book in a couple months that I seriously couldn't put down. There were some pacing issues along the way. There were times in which there was a bit more talking than action. And there were also a few spots that just didn't move as swift or smoothly as the rest of the book. But it's been a long time since I've had to keep reading, keep reading, keep reading. Usually, I'll read a bit here and there around everything else I'm doing. So although there were a few bumps in the road in regards to the pacing, the novel was a fun and interesting ride.
Characters: 5 Stars
Shiarra was a very likeable main character, and definitely showed growth throughout the novel. I really enjoyed her crazy family, even if they were only around for a couple chapters. Sara, her friend and business partner, was the voice of reason while Shia ran around making decisions without completely thinking them through. They made a really interesting team. Alec was a tiny bit scary, but I do look forward to seeing more of the vampire. Arnold, the mage that helped Shia out a lot with all the tricks he had up his sleeve, was a bit nerdy, but a bit lovable as well. Although they didn't play a big part, I loved to hate the White Hats, the anti-Other group. They were definitely creepy in their attempts to sway Shia to their cause, but I see a showdown of some sort in the future.
Cover: 4.5 Stars
This cover immediately attracts the eye. The dusky orange of the background is a very interesting and not a very common color, so even the spine stands out. For such a long title, the text didn't get in the way of showing off the cover model, and it was shiny. The cover model was a great choice for Shia, and they dressed her appropriately to the plot. The trenchcoat she's wearing is definitely badass, along with the weapons. I was a little thrown off by the pose the cover model took at first, since it looks like she floating slightly Matrix style, but it definitely grew on me.
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.