I can’t imagine why I dropped this series. Actually, I can: while I waiting for Wilks to write the next book, I broke up with urban fantasy. But we’re back together now, and spurred on by friends Mimi and Milda, I’ve restarted this series.
This book went down like a yummy dessert. Packed with flavor, it deals with demon attacks and the outfall, particularly with a local Washington D.C. wolfpack. Lily and Rule are in D.C., Lily as she goes through mandatory FBI training, and Rule as he continues working for the passage of a lupi citizenship bill. One night as they are leaving a choir concert, Rule is attacked by a demon. At the same time, Cynna the magic Finder becomes aware of a surge of magical energy. Lupi and sorcerer Cullen is off looking for dragons, but ends up fighting off his own demon attack. Viewpoint jumps around the four of them, but I’d say primarily Cynna and Lily.
I didn’t really mean to finish in one afternoon, but that’s certainly what happened. particularly as the midwest was in a late-spring snow blip (what climate change?). The action was interesting and purposeful, accompanied by world-building and problem solving. Relationship insecurities between Lily and Rule have improved, but were unfortunately transferred over to Cynna and Cullen. There were, perhaps, a couple of problems, namely with the ultimate purpose/goal of the demons, but I thought I understood what Wilks was trying to do, even as I might have suggested some tweaks. I was also a little displeased by her chosen direction for Cynna, particularly given her magical experience/expertise (her refusal to acknowledge a couple of magical situations).
I think people who enjoy Ilona Andrews might very well enjoy this series. Oh, they are, of course, seemingly different on the surface. Kate Daniels lives in a post-semi-apocalyptic Atlanta that is only partly recognizable, as it is influenced by magic. The world in ‘The World of the Lupi’ is more like Anita Blake’s world–shapeshifters have come out of the closet and are in the process of gaining full citizenship, Wiccan covens are a magical thing, and the FBI employs people who can tell what your magic is with a touch. Kate Daniels is the narrator and main focus of her books, and off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other viewpoints in the main novels. In Wilk’s series, the narrative is third person, but is shared between different characters of the book, an ensemble cast view.
But they are similar where it counts: competent, strong heroines that do not resort to emotional manipulation to get their way and who have a strong streak of independence. A clearly well-thought out world, with the sense that stranger things are always around the corner. Plots that do not rely on the main characters hiding something or forgetting to share something. Steady action, both magical and physical. An affection for cats.
At the moment, I think I’m skipping the next, taking place as it does in Faerie. That’s just me, though, and my reaction to the ‘parallel worlds’ construction–I read way too much fantasy in the 80s that relied on it.