We’re back with Lost Soul

Courtesy of goodreads.comI know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. In my defense, I’ve recently given birth so I have soooooooo little time to myself right now. ūüôā So, here’s a review of the first book of a new little series I recently discovered that I thought was quite good.

This book, Lost Soul (and the series), revolves around Alec Harbinger, a PI who recently moved from Chicago to Dearmont, Maine. Talk about a whole different world. Dearmont is waaaaaaay smaller than Chicago, so why would a PI move from a bustling city where presumably he can get a lot of work, to BFE Maine (no offense to anyone currently living in Maine)?

Well, Alec isn’t exactly normal. Natch, considering the types of novels I read. In this series, PI doesn’t stand for private investigator but¬†preternatural investigator, which means he’s an active magic user. And yeah, he investigates the things that go bump in the night for a group called the Society of Shadows (*gigglesnort*). They moved him from lucrative Chicago to Dearmont because he screwed up some operation in France, one he can’t remember because someone fucked with his memory. Also natch.

To make up for it, they send him Felicity Lake, a Brit who wants to be a PI of her own some day but is currently masquerading (poorly) as his assistant. I say masquerading because she’s¬†clearly been sent to spy on him, something Alec catches on to immediately and asks her about. Honestly, that’s a little refreshing. Felicity admits to taking the assignment to achieve her dream.

Alec isn’t upset but he is willing to be sneaky and not let the Society in on the fact that he knows about their spy. She gets to stay and he gets to control the flow of information back to his father, who is high up in the Society. Win-win.

This little arc takes a bit of a back seat to a new client, whose son and girlfriend recently started acting well out of normal after a drunken weekend getaway with some friends. The boy came from a rich family in the area and naturally had a pretty bad case of¬†affluenza (I hate that term but it is pretty perfect in describing that arrogant, stuck up rich white boy attitude, don’t you think?). Afterwards he takes to sleeping during the day, coming out only at night and spending countless hours in the woods. Very odd.

Alec’s investigation leads him to realize that the boy and his girlfriend were replaced with changelings, half-faeries who are kicked out of the Faerie realm for being less than perfectly fae. It sounds cruel since a faerie clearly had to fuck something not-faerie to make the changeling in the first place, but so far in this series, the changelings have been nothing but beastly creatures so I’m not too upset at them getting their asses kicked.

First, though, Alec has to confirm his theory and that means going to faerie, where he meets and makes a deal with a faerie queen to get home. This, I’m sure, will come back to bit him in the ass, but I don’t believe we’ve gotten to that yet. Theory confirmed, Alec now has to find the real boy and his girlfriend because the changelings need constant contact with those they replace to maintain the illusion.

While this is happening, he’s also getting hunted down by trolls sent by unknown persons. Not to mention two witches who own the local bookstore (not evil, but not prone to doing things out of the goodness of their hearts without something in trade), two newly turned werewolves and a sheriff who knows exactly what it is Alec does and investigates and actively hates him for it. In fact, the sheriff would just¬†love to arrest Alec on general principle.

Long story short, Alec finds the boy and his girlfriend, even though the original client (boy’s mom) had fired him because reasons (she seemed like such a strong minded character at first and then was all wibbly. I don’t like that in a female character). Unfortunately, this was not before the changeling murdered the father in the family’s home.

I was a little dubious about this series at first, but I got a good deal on Amazon Kindle and a gift card for my birthday so I thought, What the hell. It was good enough that I immediately bought the next two books in the series and have recently bought the fourth, though I haven’t had the chance to read it yet given the new family sitch.

There are the obvious tropes that you just can’t avoid these days, but I feel that they’re actually quite well done and the stories are very well written. It’s very in the vein of the Dresden Files, so if you liked that series, you’ll probably like this one. They’re quick reads too. All in all, would recommend.¬†Rating: B+. This was clearly an intro book but it gets better.

Archangel Series

So I’ve read a bunch of these books by Nalini Singh in her Archangel/Guild Hunter series. It started with¬†Archangel’s Kiss. I was intrigued by the idea that angels and archangels (the most powerful of all angels and their leaders) made vampires out of some sort of poison in their blood. Either they made vampires and got ride of the poison or they’d go mad. There is a private company of people called hunters that are hired to go after vampires who run amok.

It started out with archangel Raphael hiring a hunter from this guild (see what I did there?) to track down not a vampire but another archangel, a mad one who is surprisingly good at hiding himself. This hunter, Elena, has ¬†the nose that knows and can pick out individual people’s (vampires/angels too) scents.

This series started out promisingly enough but the main character Elena is presented as a seriously emotionally damaged woman who isn’t interested in relationships just work. What happens? The extreme UST between her and Raphael turns into a relationship. *sigh* Look, I like romance in my urban fantasy and I like urban fantasy in my romance. They are my Reese’s ™ peanut butter cups. But I am really tired of this ‘magical healing’….relationship.

Now this first book,¬†Archangel’s Kiss was a good book and created an interestingly unique universe. But Singh just keeps adding more and more sex into these books until every other chapter is sex, and sex that doesn’t move the plot along. Seriously, I would have bought erotica if I wanted plot-what-plot sex.

I’ve read a few more books and stories in this series in the hopes that it will get back to the good writing of the first book and the really interesting universe. There’s a new book coming out that I’m not entirely certain if I want to pony up the dough to get. If it goes down in price, I might. And the beauty of the Kindle (also tm) is that I can get the first chapter as a preview. ¬†So I can’t really, truly recommend this series but I wouldn’t exactly call it bad. Just…trite. Rating¬†C-.