First, sincere thanks to the Andrews for making this available for free as an on-line weekly serial. That was very kind and generous, as they could undoubtedly make actual large dollars. It’s a full, complicated story, the third installment in the Innkeeper series about a woman who runs an interstellar inn/sanctuary. Opening with a rescue, it quickly moves on to new external conflicts all while protecting the Inn from official notice, particularly the involvement of local Officer Marais.
Think of me as not looking a gift horse in the mouth so as much as providing my customary analysis (although I will note that it is a tricky process to give me a gift that doesn’t consist of books; I’d really rather we avoid it). One of the main problems with Innkeeper is built into the narrative structure: until it is reworked, it feels like a serial missing transitions. Chapters tend to end with a note of suspense, building a scene that would be continued the next week. I look forward to the re-written version with more transitions and details. Parts seemed awkward or rushed to me, particularly anything about Diana’s emotional life. The Andrews have a significant presence in the romance world, and although this is not primarily a romance, there remain significant romantic entanglements for a number of characters, some impossibly cute.
Dialogue is fun, although generally used for amusement or in service to the plot. There’s fun banter that often makes me smile but occasionally felt a little close to Kate Daniels and Curran. Cutesy episodes with a new character were generally just this side of hyperglycemia. Caldonia doesn’t play nearly enough of a role–her bloodthirsty personality may have provided the vinegar needed. Romance tropes remain in full play: the men are all enormous and handsome, the women devastatingly beautiful and graceful, and everyone is a competent killer with the weapon of their choice. Or adorable. Plotting does take some very dark turns as the story progresses.
Objections aside, I thought the plot entertaining, and despite wanting to wait til the full book release, I found myself eagerly waiting for each installment. I’ll surely buy the ebook when released and enjoy the experience of reading in a single sitting.
Story begins at: http://innkeeper.ilona-andrews.com/on…