Early Review: Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman

July 21, 2012 Review 0 ★★★★

*This title will be released on July 24, 2012*

Dragon Justice (Paranormal Scene Investigations #4)

Dragon Justice

(Paranormal Scene Investigations, #4)
by Laura Anne Gilman

Genre: Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: Yes
Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Netgalley

  • Paperback:336 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Luna; July 24, 2012
  • ISBN-10:0373803486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373803484

Rating

Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

References to sex and a scene of sensuality.

Description

My name is Bonnie Torres. A long time ago not so long ago, I was a newly minted college grad      with a degree and enthusiasm—and not a clue where to go with it. Now, I’m lead investigator with PUPI, the Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigators of the Cosa Nostradamus. I spend my days looking underneath the rocks of the magical community, finding the things my fellow Talent want to keep hidden. We use magic to fight magic, to find the evidence the cops can’t, to prove the crimes the rest of the world can’t see.

Sounds pretty glam, right?

So far, in those two years, I’ve been shot at, verbally abused, nailed with a psi-bomb, physically threatened, seen people—human and otherwise—die and been unable to prevent it, and had most of my illusions about the inherent fairness of life yanked out from under me. Some days, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning.

And then I think about what we’ve done, and I haul myself out and get my ass to the office. Because this, PUPI, what we do? It matters.

Review

DRAGON JUSTICE is a book that belongs to many genres while simultaneously playing with the boundaries and conventions of all of them. Urban fantasy, but with a strong procedural flavor.  Book four in a series, but with events that affect both the standalone mystery of DRAGON JUSTICE and the greater world in which the PUPs operate. A well structured, standalone mystery, but with“clues” commingled with background noise and longer arc story lines.  The common thread between all these elements is Gilman’s seemingly endless creativity.

As much admiration as I have for Gilman’s world building and narrative style, I can’t emphasize enough how her characters always manage to sneak into my heart.  Just as The Retrievers series seduced me with Wren, P.B., and Sergei, so too have Bonnie and the PUPs managed to charm me.  Gilman doesn’t write easy, two dimensional relationships, which often means it takes longer for me to get a handle on group dynamics and get attached.  The flip side of this coin, however, is that her characters have a core of realism that holds up well to scrutiny. While I was interested in Bonnie in HARD MAGIC, it was not until PACK OF LIES that I was ready to give up my attachment to Wren and invest myself in this new series.  DRAGON JUSTICE is the peak of my love for Bonnie and her PUPs, to the point where I hope this isn’t our last chance to read along with their adventures.  Though the narrative thread became a little frayed in the last few chapters (with a few events being explained in hindsight and some rather flat resolutions), to be honest, even these shortcomings lend support to the realistic feel of the book.  Life is not always neat, even when it has a happy ending.

I’ve always hoped for more crossover between Bonnie and Wren, and DRAGON JUSTICE delivers in spades.  Having Wren’s series end is less sad knowing that she’s still ghosting through the background of Bonnie’s books, and I hope DRAGON JUSTICE isn’t my last opportunity to check in with the Cosa Nostradamus.  Whether with Wren, Bonnie, or any one of the well written supporting characters, I look forward to any opportunity to revisit Gilman’s world.

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