Genre: young adult urban fantasy
There Be Monsters Here. . .
It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.
I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.
But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .
The first book in a good new series. Lila lives her life in the shadows, going to school, doing odd jobs for her only friend Mo (and those involve a lot of breaking and entering and stealing) but she likes her life. Of course she still misses her mother a lot, who was killed a few years ago, and after a few very unsuccessful stays with foster families, she now lives on her own. A hidden room in the basement of the public library is her home. She prefers living in the shadows, because if the Family's know about her, her life and her magic are forfeit. They are always feuding amongst each other, looking for new guards or just killing people for their magic.
And now, after saving the son of the Sinclair Family, she is no longer living in secret, Mo has hired her out to the Sinclair's as Devon's new bodyguard. Okay, living in a mansion is not that bad, at least there is always enough bacon! And her own pixie to look after her room and things is fun as well, when he finally warms up to her. But being the center of attention is taking a lot of getting used to.
But someone on the inside, a trusted member of the family, is after Devon, and it is her job to keep him safe…
I really enjoyed this story, and Lila is quite the character. She is strong and resilient, and sassy of course. She doesn't want to feel for Devon what she does, she is planning on keeping him safe, serve out her contract, and than leave town in a hurry. So being kind of friends will be fine, anything more is not.
The Family's all own a part of town, and it is their job to keep the citizens and many tourists safe from the monsters that live in and around it. And for doing that, they get taxes. You really could compare them to the mob. Lila's mother told her all about the monsters, and how to treat them. Pay the toll, and what to pay, because different monsters want different things. Most people laugh at that, but in the end, it saves lives … and costs lives …
Yes, original, and still in the same world as Jennifer Estep's other series. I like that.
© 2016 Reviews by Aurian