Threat of sexual violence.
Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual and unbelievable. When she finds the bodies of five women in the Florida Everglades, Sylvie believes them to be the work of a serial killer and passes the buck. But when the bodies wake and shift shape, killing the police, Sylvie finds herself at the head of a potentially lethal investigation.
While the Urban Fantasy genre is no stranger to dark and twisty heroines (think Dante Valentine and Anita Blake), Sylvie Lightner’s inner engine of anger isn’t powered by horrific abuse or childhood trauma, but rather the preternatural legacy of her bloodline. Of all the magical “super powers” to grow into, Sylvie’s is an unyielding will that just will not give in to some magics. I love how Benedict juxtaposes glimpses Sylvie’s happy childhood and family with the Magicus Mundi. The Magicus Mundi is our world’s magical underbelly, where defeating bad guys sometimes means hiding a body from the cops, you’re usually better off if the gods don’t hear your prayers, and no fight is won without a cost.
GODS & MONSTERS reminded me afresh that Lyn Benedict has a gift for intertwining the fantastic with the mundane and creating a story that stops me in my tracks. Sylvie’s world is dark, dangerous, and as magically treacherous as it is realistic. Though I enjoyed the first two books in the series, GODS & MONSTERS is definitely my hands down favorite thus far.
Given the growing pains and events Sylvie has muscled her way through in books one and two, I would not recommend trying to jump right into the series with GODS & MONSTERS. New readers should not be put off of the series by the losses Sylvie suffers in prior books, however. Benedict certainly puts her readers through the emotional wringer, but that makes the victories all the sweeter when they arrive.
Case in point would be Sylvie’s love life, one of the most complex I’ve ever encountered. While she and Demalion are separated by distance (and a lot of heartbreaking emotional baggage) for this entire book, I finished the last page eager to pick up where they left off. I finished GODS & MONSTERS with a victorious smile on my face and hope in my breast. Sylvie’s world doesn’t get any gentler, but her indomitable will makes it easier and easier to believe in some hard brand of happy endings.