This is my first book in this series. I’ve learned to shy away from starting an Urban Fantasy in the middle of the series, but the first book in this series has been on my Wishlist for a while so I couldn’t resist giving this one a try. Unsurprisingly I found myself a little confused in the first couple of chapters. Tess has a lot of people in her group of friends, so I kept confusing the names. I also found myself bewildered by the character relationships. There were a lot of people living together and until I found out one of them was gay, I was confused over who was actually her love interest—the guy playing daddy or the one who she didn’t want to tell her boss was at her house. But after the first few chapters it all became clear.
I was impressed with the way Tess was written. She wasn’t bitchy or bitter or hardheaded, which I run into too often in UF. She didn’t pretend she had all the answers and was willing to let her insecurities show in her relationship. She was also part of a family and it showed. Her interactions with the other characters spoke of familiarity and comfort. It was a nice change from the usual loner heroines. Although I liked seeing family and friends all crammed together in one house, I didn’t really enjoy the parts where Tess played mom. I liked the teenagers on their own, but for some reason I didn’t like having to watch the parent/teen dynamic. I was also doubly impressed when I found out that the author was male. I think he captured a female voice very nicely.
A lot happens in this book and I think if you are a long time reader of the series you’ll be thrilled with the new information that’s revealed. Tess learns more about the demon half of her family and she finds reason to wonder if what she’s been told about her father all her life is really true. She also finally gets her necromancer boyfriend, Lucien, to open up a bit about his past. Unfortunately for her she doesn’t like everything she learns and has to adjust to the new insecurity she feels. There’s also a surprise event at the end that has me curious about where the series is going.
One thing that really surprised me about this book was the lack of climax. It was extremely odd to find that missing. The bad guy was defeated in a fight, sure, but it didn’t have the buildup and release of tension I usually associate with the climax of the story. I was surprised to find that without a clear-cut high point I was left feeling a little adrift when the book ended. It wasn’t a huge problem for me, but it was something that bothered me.
The humor in this is pretty great. The characters are all friends together so they joke and laugh easily. I thought the jokes and one liners were funny, but I have to admit that after a while I got tired of it. When almost every character in the book is cracking jokes it wears on you a lot faster than if just the main character was doing it. The humor wasn’t just found in the jokes, though. The situations the characters found themselves in—like a patient waking up right as it’s about to be autopsied (this reminded me of a House episode)—provided a lot of the humor, too. It was also cute and funny to watch the little demon they found, Ru, try to adjust the world.
Overall I ended up enjoying this book a lot. The world and the magic were interesting, and I liked what I saw of their investigation agency. The friendships and the relationships were the strongest point of the book and seeing all the characters has made me want to read the older books to learn more about what got them to this point in life. I think I’ll be on the lookout for more OSI books in the future.
P.S. I don’t know why this was the line of disbelief for me, but when we got to the law system and I learned that most of the lawyers were animals, I just couldn’t believe it. I can accept necromancers and demons and magic, but I can’t accept lawyer animals? Lol. I amuse myself.
“Has this always been here?” I asked.
“But–just to be clear–we have a high-security hotel suite in the lab. With cable.”
“You can’t use it.”
“But I hate sleeping on the couch in the break room.”
“You don’t have to. You can sleep at home, like other people.”
“Is that bed a queen?”
“You’re never using this room. Understand?”
I sighed. “It’s not like we have paradimensional demons staying with us all the time. What about when it’s not in use? Am I just supposed to ignore it?”
“Yes. You need my key card to get in, so it doesn’t matter.”
“Where was this room when we needed somewhere for Mia to stay?”
“It hadn’t been built yet.”
“Is there a bathroom over–”