A while back I had a post on discovering serials (stories that you get in installments). Two of my favorites, Clean Sweep and Indexing are complete and ready for you to read right now - no waiting required!
Something is killing dogs in Dina's small Texas suburb. The other residents think it is a mountain lion, but Dina knows it is something that the mundane humans around her aren't ready to deal with, and that werewolf Sean Evans needs to do something about it. Dina is not your usual B&B owner. She is an Innkeeper with magic of her own, a ferocious little Shih Tzu named Beast, and a broom you do not want to mess with. Her establishment caters to offworld and non-mundane visitors. Innkeepers are known for their neutrality, but Dina is not going to stand by while something snacks on her neighbors. Throw in vampires, an alien assassin, great action and some killer banter and you have another fun Andrews' adventure.
The characters are great, the humor is ever-present, and once again team Andrews has a unique spin on werewolf and vampire myths. The world is fantastic. There is also a subtle reference to Andrews' Edge series (that made me happy). There is so much that can be done with these characters in this universe and I can't wait to read more in this series. In fact, one of my favorite parts about reading the complete story is in the Acknowledgments where you learn that more Innkeeper will be coming in early 2014. I am so there.
So, you might say, I read this for free on the Ilona Andrews website, why should I buy it? The free serial was a working draft, so the finished story is more polished and flows a bit better. There is additional content, about a chapter, and includes an epilogue. Also, we have artwork from Doris of Disanthus. I really loved seeing her take on the different characters. Especially Caldenia. I love that crafty character. It's worth it for me as I know I will re-read this story. Also, I want more Innkeeper.
[received a review copy]
Amazon | B&N | Additional retailers & print version coming soon, check the official site.
The Narrative wants to keep alive the fables we all grew up reading. However, things usually don't end up happily ever after. A Sleeping Beauty wanders into a hospital and soon everyone around her is asleep for 100 years, and that's just if you're lucky. Fairytales are a truly destructive force on the world, and it is up to the agents of the ATI to protect us. There is a Snow White on the verge of her story, a wicked stepsister trying to resist the call to do in the good guys, a cobbler making things work, and an ordinary guy whose family was ripped apart by the Narrative's collateral damage. Things have been going on as usual, until the team falls into a conspiracy to change things up and let the Narrative come out on top.
I love the whole theme of fairytales in the real world. I adored Sloane, the halted wicked stepsister. Snarky as hell but underneath lies a daily struggle that has been going on for longer than you realize. Some installments are more thrilling than others, something that hits you more when you are getting the story in bits. Now that you can read it in its entirety, it likely won't be as noticeable. I mean, it makes sense to have a breather right after two chapters of constant action.
I noticed the first couple of chapters to be a bit repetitive in some areas. Not so bad when you have 2 weeks between installments. Might be more of an issue when you are reading straight through. I did find that it smoothed out after the beginning.
The end is very fast and a new character is introduced, so I am really hoping there will be more in this world, although there is a conclusion to the story. There is hope.
Amazon Kindle | Paperback (Pre-order)