Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I enjoyed this book. It’s set in the world of Kate Daniels, my favorite urban fantasy series ever.
Magic has returned to the world, coming and going in ‘waves:’ when magic is up, technology fails, and vice-versa (except telephones–they’re unpredictable at any time). Magic hates concrete and tall buildings, and it’s been a struggle for citizens to reclaim their city from pre-Shift buildings–now rubble–and magic-powered areas of wildness. Reclamation companies specialize in materials recovery from collapsed buildings, and a shapeshifter group run by Rapheal is successful at winning a contract from the city. They discover a hidden vault in a building and promptly assign four shapeshifters to guard it. In the morning, the shapeshifters guarding the vault are discovered dead, and Pack security chief assigns Andrea to investigate, putting her into direct contact with Rapheal after months of estrangement.
Absolute uppers: fun, fun, fun. There’s nasty bugs in Andrea’s building’s basement. Atlanta’s police trying to put the moves on Andrea for a few deaths here and there. There’s post-break-up transformation, a hot dress and Egyptian almost-gods. Roman, the Russian volhv (druid) is hanging out and doing his lecherous dark-and-evil routine. Then there’s snakes–why’d it have to be snakes? Lots of humor sprinkled throughout, particularly from Roman, and Ascanio, the teenage bouda.
Sort-of-downers: Andrea’s full personality is definitely bouda, which makes sense–her father was a hyena transformed by the Lyc-V virus and her mother a hyena shape-shifter. But now I’m wondering how much of Kate is bouda too. No, she isn’t, I know. But I started to feel like there was personality semblance towards the end. I don’t much care; Kate’s an awesome character. I’m just saying I’m not sure if Andrea’s distinctive voice was ever achieved. A couple of scenes remind me of Kate books; Andrea’s trip into the Glass Menagerie mirrored Kate’s first trip into the Honeycomb, and one of Andrea’s phone conversations with Raphael–complete with eavesdroppers–paralleled Kate’s phone conversation with Curran.
Neutral reaction: it is a reconciliation love story. Not heavy on the romance, but a certain failed relationship is weighing heavily on Andrea’s mind, lingering and intruding the way it does after a turbulent break-up. I’m not one for romance, but there was enough actual investigating and non-romance-based action to keep me interested, and of course, bouda love is different.
Bottom line–if you love the series, don’t avoid it just because it’s about a secondary character. It contains all the great world-building that makes the series special, with plenty of fights, odd monsters and a magical investigation to move it along. Glad I bought it and I’ll undoubtedly re-read.