When Ilona Andrews began posting this story in installments on her blog, I debated with myself about trying it. Eventually, I decided not to read along… not because I didn’t think I would like it (after all.. it IS Ilona Andrews.) No, I decided to wait because I knew that if I did like it, the wait for each new post would drive me crazy. I know now that I made the right decision. And paying 5 bucks to read this all at once was definitely worth the money and the wait.
Dina is an Innkeeper. Her job is to protect guests who seek sanctuary at her inn. The building is at least partially sentient. And Dina possesses magic tied to the inn. Like others in her position, Dina is supposed to be a neutral party, concerned only with the safety of her guests and the protection of supernatural secrets. But when some kind of beastie begins killing animals in her neighborhood, she realizes something must be done before it escalates to targeting humans.
At first she reaches out to her new neighbor, Sean. He is a werewolf with a military history. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem interested, so she takes on the problem herself. Only, it’s not as simple as stopping one crazed animal. As we learn more about what’s hiding out in her Texas town, we learn more about the magical world in which Dina lives. And as the conflict builds, both Sean and a sexy vampire named Arland enter the fray.
I really enjoyed this story. As with all of Andrews books, the world building is singular and fascinating. It’s got traditional supes, but with a unique twist. Some of it’s kind of out there, but it’s presented so well, it all works. It could have been really convoluted, but the delivery was completely clean and never overshadowed the characters or the conflict. Speaking of the characters, they are well drawn and three dimensional. I felt like I really knew Dina and where she was coming from, even in a short period of time. The story also features Andrews’ witty dialogue and snarky quips.
There is a little bit of romance –in fact, maybe the beginnings of a little triangle– but it’s firmly in the backseat to the rest of the story. It was just enough to pacify the romance reader in me.
Now that I am a fan, I am already excited to see where these characters go next. Would definitely recommend for fans of Urban Fantasy.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: December 2, 2013