Read Recently — July 2014 — Grendel

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Re-read. Written up here. Still highly recommended.

The Grendel Affair: a SPI Files Novel by Lisa Shearin

Makenna Fraser works for Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI) as a seer; able to see through the disguises that supernatural creatures put on to protect themselves from those they prey on. She works for SPI but occasionally moonlights, which gets her into trouble at the start of the book as she tries to exorcise nachtgnomes from a pawnshop whose owner is occasionally useful to her and might even be a friend. Things start going wrong before she even gets to the shop; a vampire about to attack her is scared off by a homeless man who asks to be remembered to her partner and then vanishes (a homeless man should not be able to scare off a vampire, nor know who she is, nor know who her partner is–nor, of course, vanish without a trace). Then her partner shows up (he is the tough, competent part of the duo; she’s still finding her feet in the organization), but he goes with her to catch the gnome (arguing that she isn’t up to it on her own). Their attempt is interrupted by someone being murdered by something large, fierce, and not human. Things actually only go downhill from there.

As you might guess from the title, the creature is a Grendel, a descendent of the original. And it isn’t alone. It has a bone to pick with SPI. And Makenna is caught up in the middle of it all.

Shearin wrote the excellent light fantasy “Raine Benaires” series, all of which I very much enjoyed. There isn’t actually a lot in this one that you haven’t encountered before, if you’re an assiduous reader of urban fantasy, but what there is is well done and likeable. Recommended.


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