RogerBW's Blog

One Fell Sweep, Ilona Andrews 24 June 2018

2016 modern fantasy. Dina Demille's magical inn will be the site of another meeting: a dying species has hired a group mind to work out where to find their new home world. But there's another species out there which regards slaughtering the first one as a religious obligation. Oh, and Dina's sister has just sent a message, asking for help.

I'm not entirely happy about a sister being suddenly brought in like this. Yes, she's mentioned in the first book, though not by name; while her characterisation here isn't inconsistent with the brief mention there, it's certainly not what one would expect. Still, her presence does help to resolve some situations which were veering into cliché, and to set up some more interesting ones; and her daughter, a Killer Moppet, is written with tolerable levels of cute. So that's good.

And he'd lost none of his flair for the dramatic. "Are you going to war, Lord Marshal?" Please don't be going to war.

"No, I was attending a formal dinner." He grimaced. "They make us wear armor to these things so we don't stab ourselves out of sheer boredom."

This is a more straightforward story than the second book: the inn comes under siege, but for plot convenience Dina also has to go out and retrieve the members of the group mind as they suddenly appear in inconvenient places at short notice.

True Love abounds, perhaps a bit too much of it. But there's also post-traumatic stress and major depression… and while they're very well portrayed, the latter seems out of character, as well as removing agency and significance from the nominal protagonist. Perhaps it's the authors' intention to make Dina aware that she's part of a team now, not a solo player, but it tastes a little off; and while that's still lingering, the solution to the warring alien species seems just a shade pat.

But in spite of the minor problems, it's good. The people here are still basically grown-ups, and they resolve their relationship problems like grown-ups rather than just jumping into bed and hoping everything will work out. That's worth a hell of a lot in any book, and especially in one that's got sexy werewolves and vampires in it.

To be followed by Sweep of the Blade, a side story which is still in progress at the authors' site.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery mysterym comedy naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1