zaterdag 12 juli 2014

Lisa Shearin – The Grendel Affair

The first book in the SPI Files series, published December 31, 2013.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nice

The Grendel Affair photo n437706_zps05979aa2.jpg

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.

Welcome to a world filled with all the supernatural creatures you have ever read about. They live alongside humans, and often look human enough to be able to mingle in the streets. But this is caused by magic, by a spell or potion or a natural ability and even through modern technology. Makenna Fraser is a rare Seer, someone who can look though a veil, and see the true creature underneath. She grew up knowing about ghouls and vampires and werewolves and more.
She always wanted to be a journalist, but the only paper that hired her in New York, was one of those tabloids that loves outrageous tales, and if there aren’t any, they just make them up. Makenna was good at her job, because she could write about the truth of what she saw, and no one would believe it. But now she has a new job, working for the SPI. It is just the kind of job her family has, and she loves it. And perhaps she has a tiny crush on her partner Ian, who is fully human, a former cop who ran afoul of ghouls who killed his partner.

A new monster has let loose in New York City, with the sole purpose of exposing the preternatural world to humanity, taking over as the biggest predator of the food chain. SPI wants to prevent that from ever happening, and they have been working worldwide for ages to keep the monsters secret from humans. It would mean war between them, and millions will die, and hatred will rule.
The new, unknown monster is very strong and very fast, and also hidden from security cameras and sound. When Mac is on a private mission for a friend, trying to capture a nachtgnome hunting in his pawnshop, she is in more trouble than she thinks. The nachtgnome is more devious and more capable of keeping his liquor than she though, and she really does need Ian’s help. And when they discover there is someone upstairs in the office, and Ollie certainly would not be present, they are almost walking into the monsters paws. And just when they are investigating the crime scene, the normal police shows up, and they have to answer some questions about the presence. Someone must have called it in beforehand, it all just happened a few minutes ago.

The SPI’s most important lawyer quickly has them released though, and takes them in for questioning by the boss lady herself. Mac managed to take some vital evidence from the crime scene though, and soon the scientists have figured out that the monster they are looking for, is a real life Grendel, thought to be extinct by now. They will need the help and expertise from the Scandinavian branch to capture and kill it.
But before they get that far, the boss lady, who is a dragon in disguise, receives a note telling her that the appearance of the Grendel is not a coincidence, but a plan to expose them all on New Year’s Eve, Times Square. The Grendel hates noise and his favourite food is people, and both of those are in abundance at that time in Times Square, when the eyes of the world are focused on the massive celebration.

Time is running out for Mac and Ian and their teams to find the Grendels, and their offspring, especially when they discover a doppelganger has been posing as Mac for a while now, and she has left some nasty surprises in headquarters...

What follows is a fast paced story, filled with action and monsters, and only a few minutes breathing time for Mac to get something to eat.

After falling in love with Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series, earlier this year, I was eager to start reading her new series. It certainly did not disappoint me. Although Raine Benares is fantasy/fantasy romance, and this is urban fantasy, it was good. I really liked Mac and her co-workers, and can’t wait for more stories in this fascinating world. Again it is told in first person.

I enjoyed the adventure, the hidden world of tunnels underneath New York is teeming with all kinds of monsters, but so are the streets. The book is fast paced, and I really like that Mac’s co-workers are mostly preternatural, each with their own strengths, and part plain human. Although Mac is a Seer, she has no superpowers whatsoever, and has to rely on her wits and her water pistol filled with tequila. Until her partner confiscates it. And how can they fight a monster they can’t see? And that is too fast to be hit by bullets? Mac will have to make it visible and she does so in a brilliant and fun way.

The Grendel legend was very nicely worked into this story, but no, I have never been tempted to read Beowulf myself. I did like the crazy Scandinavian warriors that came over to hunt the Grendels.

I look forward to learning more about it all, and find out what will happen next for Mac.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

10 opmerkingen:

  1. I really enjoyed this one. So glad you did too! Great review :)

  2. I need to start that other series first ;)

  3. Yay! I was so curious about this one, it's in my wishlist in fact and I'm glad to see you had a great time because it means that it will be the same for me as well!

  4. Oh wow, I love how this sounds, you have me adding it! Hmm, maybe I should try the audio!

  5. Yay! This is one of the books I've been most curious about since it came out. I've had it on my wishlist, b/c I'm trying to be good, and not one-click EVERYTHING, but it's looking like a losing battle, LOL. Great review, Aurian! I wants this one!