Debut author Linda Grimes brings forth a new offering in the Urban Fantasy genre. Her characters are not shape shifters but chameleons in the same guise as Raven Darkhölme; more popularly known as Mystique of the X-Men series.
The Gist: Ciel assumed the identity of a client to snag a proposal from the millionaire boyfriend – in which she was successful…for the most part. If you can ignore the whole, someone-tried-to-blow-her-up thing and the whole, kidnapping-for-ransom thing, I guess you can say it was sort of, kind of, a success. But when the boyfriend was kidnapped by Vikings (?!), Ciel realized that her romantic mission just got real, yo.
The Review: This book was action from the get-go; but the set up was like a soothing taste of a sweet alcohol – goes down smooth but fire in your belly afterwards. You’re thrown right in the thick of things as soon as page four, give or take. It definitely doesn’t leave room for a nap because you’re right on the chase right away. There’s not a shortage of funny banters between characters here, which to me is an almost always prerequisite for an Urban Fantasy paranormal read. The characters’ ability to zing people just adds another layer of badassery in their repertoire.
I like the characters for the most part. Ciel, however, is a heroine that I feel have yet to reached that full kick-ass stature. I think she needs to kick those boys to the curb and tell them they’re not the boss of her. Ya know what I’m sayin’? I hate the protective side of Mark and even the underhanded way Billy keeps popping in she’s in trouble. She’s surrounded by He-Men who wanted to keep the little woman in a bubble. Please.
Cold killer she’s not – well, she couldn’t hurt anyone for that matter. She hesitated a lot and had the propensity to waffle as far as men around her is concerned. Sure it’s what made her real and relatable but readers still may find this attitude off putting. Aside from the fact that she’s an “adaptor”, she’s pretty much on the yet-to-show-her-full-potential stage. I, for one is looking forward to the next books just to watch Ciel develop into a heroine worthy of her powers.
Imagine the possibilities! The ability to change into whoever you want and get out of situations as easily as slipping into another identity. This brand of super power is unheard of in this genre – for me, at least. Readers would also find confusion with identity switches at first and would take a bit re-reading to get a full handle on the switcheroos. But once you get used to it, hilarity ensues (see drunken, constantly horny frat boy and Queen Elizabeth).
VERDICT: Action-packed, humorous and original; Linda Grimes delivers a new fare to the urban fantasy genre that will sure to catch on and readers would have no complaints of devouring. This series is one not to be missed.