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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

The Grendel Affair / Lisa Shearin

The Grendel Affair - Lisa Shearin

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…
When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out—usually saving my skin in the process.
Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.




****Wanda’s Summer Festival of Reading Fluff****

A very cute beginning to what promises to be a fun, fluffy series. Makenna Fraser is a likeable main character, learning her new job with Supernatural Protection & Investigations. She is a Seer, able to see through the glamours that supernatural beings can use to hide themselves from regular humans. It’s a rare skill and she hopes to make a place for herself in the company.

As the title implies, a descendent of the great Grendel (slain by Beowulf) is on the loose. Grendels are quite noise sensitive, explaining why the original Grendel attacked the hard-partying Danes that were his neighbours. SPI is based in New York City and it’s almost New Year’s Eve—so there’s lots of opportunity for loud humans to once again annoy the grendels.

I must say that I loved the Scandinavian team that came to help with the hunt—at least one of them a Berserker with a famous sword! I wasn’t quite as keen on the depictions of the grendels. Beowulf’s Grendel looks much different in my imagination than Lisa Shearin’s version, but I was able to set aside my version and enjoy hers for the purposes of the book.

Shearin has a good sense of humour and uses a few pop-culture references that even someone who is as out of touch as I am could still recognize & enjoy.