Shadows & Dreams
by Alexis Hall
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Kate | Source: Publisher
Second rule in this line of business: be careful who you kill.
My name’s Kate Kane. And right now, I don’t know which is more dangerous: my job, or my girlfriend. My job makes me the go-to girl for every supernatural mystery in London. My girlfriend’s an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince. Honestly, I think it’s probably a tie.
A few weeks ago, I was hired for a simple missing person case. Next thing I know, I’m being arrested for murder, a vampire army is tearing up London, and even my dreams are out to get me. Something ancient, evil, and scary as hell is on the loose and looking for payback. The vampires are in chaos, the werewolves are culling everything, and the Witch Queen can’t protect everyone.
Which means it’s down to me. And all I’ve got to hold back the shadows is a stiff drink, a quirky sidekick, my creepy ex-boyfriend, and the woman who left me for a tech startup. It’s going to be another interesting day.
Kate Kane is the epitome of my mental image of a noir detective – smoking, drinking, and always quick with the sarcastic quip. That alone is one of the reasons this series is so enjoyable. However, a few personality traits of one main character can’t hold up an entire book, and while we’ve got an interesting plot and side characters, along with some great writing, there were some unfortunate flaws that took away from my enjoyment of SHADOWS & DREAMS.
The mystery itself was very intriguing, and one of the reasons this book moves along so quickly. Plus, this time we find out a little more about Kate’s back story. There’s a multitude of characters to keep the reader’s attention, and I found that they were actually differentiated enough that they didn’t blend together, and each had their own individual personality, so I wasn’t forgetting who was who. Elise, the marble statue who lives with Kate, added a certain sort of charm to all the scenes she was in, and some of the vampires were creepy to the extreme.
My biggest problem with SHADOWS & DREAMS is the fact that so much of the plot seems driven by characters who all happen to be Kate’s previous significant others or they want to get in her pants in the present tense. This description covers at least half the major characters, and this really bothered me. I’d like to see Kate’s actions not defined by who she used to sleep with or is currently sleeping with, but by herself, as a character in her own right. One other minor irritation is that Kate seems to have Gin Blanco syndrome – she tends to repeat a few key phrases a bit. For the most part, it worked, but it did start to get a bit annoying near the end.
All in all, SHADOWS & DREAMS is an enjoyable urban fantasy, with a fun mystery, well thought-out details, and a story that flows. I am looking forward to book three in the Kate Kane series, and hopefully Kate will have opportunities to make decisions that aren’t based on relationships. I’d love to see an independent Kate – I can only imagine how much more awesome this series would be.
- Iron & Velvet – 3/5
- Shadows & Dreams
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About the author
- Deadly Destinations: Gina Rosati & win AURACLEAugust 8, 2012