Review: The Grendel Affair (SPI Files #1) by Lisa Shearin

January 14, 2014 Review 12

Review: The Grendel Affair (SPI Files #1) by Lisa ShearinThe Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin
Series: SPI Files #1
Published by Ace on December 31, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
4 Stars

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.

As an unabashed Raine Benares fangirl, I was delighted when I saw Lisa Shearin was coming out with an Urban Fantasy series, SPI Files. I was also secretly terrified that my expectations were completely unrealistic and I was going to be awfully disappointed. Luckily, THE GRENDEL AFFAIR was a delightful entree into a new world, with an engaging heroine, a mysterious partner, hints of romance, and great action scenes.

From the first chapter, when Mac tries to get a gnome drunk in order to capture it, to the grand finale battles deep in the bowels of New York, I was captivated by Mac, Ian and crew and the world Shearin created. Mac and Ian’s relationship as partners was pretty great. Their relationship built slowly, since they started from a place where they didn’t even like each other all that much, but as they started to trust each other, their interactions were some of the most amusing in the book. The other characters rounded out the story nicely- the slightly creepy vampire lawyer, the dragon shifter who runs SPI, the werewolf driver- all had distinct personalities and helped me invest in the story even more.

The world Shearin has created is one that feels just a little bit different than our normal Urban Fantasy. There were lots of fun aspects to it that I liked learning about, and I’m curious and can’t wait for more. There are ghouls, vampires, werewolves, as well as goblins, leprechauns and, of course, grendels, running around amongst other creatures. The police department-like feel that the SPI offices have makes it all more interesting- it felt a little like a crime drama on TV, with briefing meetings, partnered agents and a mystery that had to be solved by a certain time and date. The storyline in THE GRENDEL AFFAIR rolled along beautifully, and I was kept on my toes with plenty of unexpected surprises around dark corners.

If you enjoyed the Raine Benares series, it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll like THE GRENDAL AFFAIR, too. Shearin’s narrative style is similar in the two series, and Mac has a familiar lovably snarky feel to her. If you haven’t read anything by Shearin yet, what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to jump in! If she hadn’t already been one of my auto-buy authors, THE GRENDEL AFFAIR would have sealed the deal - and I will definitely be pre-ordering all the SPI Files books from here on out.

Series Titles:
  1. The Grendel Affair
  2. The Dragon Conspiracy
  3. The Brimstone Deception
More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • Raine Benares series by Lisa Shearin
  • Cursed (Fallen Siren #1) by S. J. Harper - 4/5

12 Responses to “Review: The Grendel Affair (SPI Files #1) by Lisa Shearin”

  1. Lisa Shearin

    Thank you for the great review, Kate! I’m so glad you enjoyed the first adventure of Mac, Ian and Company. : )


  2. Kailana

    I can’t wait until I get a chance to get this book. It probably won’t be for a while because Christmas is always a busy book time, but hopefully soon!

  3. Kt.

    This book caught me completely off guard as the cover made it look to be outside of my genre preferences, but the Ilona Andrews endorsement pulled me in. I’m so glad it did, because I absolutely loved it. Great review!

    • Kate

      Thanks! If you liked Mac you really should try Shearin’s Raine Benares series – it’s got the same sort of feel to it but with more fantasy than urban. Lots of fun.

  4. Mina

    Thanks Kate! Since I loved Raine Benares as well, I will so read this series!