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 ghost grasped her shift and ripped it open. The three interlacing crescents carved red-raw and bleeding into her thin chest didn’t look any better than the last dozen times I’d seen them. The wounds weren’t lethal – they weren’t even recent; she’d been dead for at least a hundred and fifty years – but my gut still twisted with anger that someone would do that to a child.’
Being haunted by a ghost is the least of Genny’s problems: she’s also trying to deal with the witch neighbour who wants her evicted. Finn, her sort-of-Ex – and now her new boss – can’t quite decide whether he wants their relationship to be business or pleasure. And then there’s the queue of vamps inviting her to paint the town red; how long before they stop taking no for an answer?
Just when it seems things can’t get any worse a human friend is murdered using sidhe magic. Determined to hunt down the killer and needing help, she turns to one of London’s most capricious wylde fae and the seductive vampire Malik al-Khan.
But all too soon she realises she doesn’t know who she can trust – and now Genny’s the one being hunted, not just by the police, but by some of London’s most powerful and dangerous supernaturals.
I’m enjoying this urban fantasy set in London, and McLeod’s mix of fae-vampires-witches. I’ll be very interested to see how this series intersects with Ben Aaronovitch’s magical London when the time comes. I’m guessing that it’ll be their river goddesses/river fae that interact and it should be most entertaining. Or perhaps via the ghosts. I’m intrigued and must continue both series!
Genny ends up fleeing everyone in this book—the ghosts, the vampires, other Fae, the police, the witches—a pretty standard set up in urban fiction. Every heroine seems to do it in one book or another, particularly before she gets settled in with a romantic partner. We live in suspicious times and being wary of everyone has become a fairly believable set-up. Getting away from everyone is next to impossible and it builds a certain amount of tension into the plot by default.
This installment cleared up some things and muddied others as a good series book should do. Genny has been given a year and a day to make some decisions about her life, so she has a bit of breathing room. Or so she thinks, for it seems to me that breathing room doesn’t make for compelling narrative. If I were her, I wouldn’t dilly-dally, I would get investigating immediately. And all of the Fae who are angling for her could be in for a surprise if she chooses the enticing Malik al Khan, her vampiric shadow instead of them!