I have to tell the truth, it has been some months that I have read this book and I have forgotten most of it. Also, this was my third attempt to read this book and even though I was gifted a couple in the series, I am not in a rush to read them. I like my urban fantasy, but the alternate history approach left me wanting more urban and less fantasy.
Main character girl, I mean Rachel cause I just remembered that’s her name, is a witch person who lives in a world where everyone knows about the supernatural. After departing from the supernatural crime detective squad with her friend vampire girl, Rachel must learn the secret behind the mysterious evil threat. Or Something.
What I liked
The world was set up fairly well with an integrated back story and a halfway believable tone. Divergent history tales are often tough, especially when they include the supernatural and this book does well in establishing why things are the way they are.
The dialog and characters play of the fact that the characters are different on a species level, something I wish they had done more of to differentiate who was whom at times. The world building lent itself to separating the people, but the characters of the people were not enough to blow anyone’s mind.
The action is where this book really had me. The suspense and drama lend itself well to the vulnerable heroine.
What I didn’t like
A lot. This is a first book in a series by what feels like an inexperience author. The characters are dull and unemotive, depending on what they “are” to define them rather than what they do. Example: our vampire character is sexy and sly and hungry for the heroine, but plays almost dumb to this until the Ms. Harrison feels the need to remind us of this. It feels like our vampire is behaving a certain way because she thinks she is a vampire rather than being one. Same with most every other character. The creature does not define the character and I feel that this is a lost opportunity in an otherwise very well constructed world.
The story is dull. I commented about enjoying the action, but there are long bits in between where nothing in particular happens. One could argue that this was more world building that will pay off later, but I felt myself drifting away. As you can tell from my summary above, I cannot remember anything significant that happened in this book and that includes the ending.
I just did not like the main character. I feel she is fairly dull and is a little overpowered. Multiple times we see her use either magic or kung fu to take out threats bigger than her, but then other occasions she is a helpless damsel. Also, there is a constant complaining that feels like it is the undertone of the character. This is almost an amped up version of the narcissism that has permeated Spider-Man over the years, something I have a big problem with. At some point a badass character should realize they are badass and have some fun with that knowledge. S’all I’m saying.
Who would like this
People that are just getting into the urban fantasy after being in the fantasy world would enjoy this book, but I doubt you will get many crime readers into this book.
Why was it banned?
Far as I can tell, this series has not been directly challenged but the uses of sexuality and witchcraft along with other supernatural beasties could easily have it targeted by any number of groups.