A woman discovers a secret world in "Precinct 13" by Tate Hallaway.
Alex Connor thought she was crazy. Having claimed to see magic things was a minor annoyance to her parents, but when her claim that her stepmother was an evil monster lead to an attack and jail time by Alex's boyfriend at the time, Valentine, Alex was sent to the mental institution. Now a college grad who happened to luck out as the county coroner and medical examiner in small town Pierre, S.D., Alex is ready for the slow life.
But when two cops come in with a body and warn her there is a magic spell attached, Alex worries she may be losing it again.
And then she is attacked by a magic tattoo attached to the body, which then gets up and leaves, and Alex must face the truth there is magic in the world and she is a part of it. She is introduced to the officers of Precinct 13, the other-worldly cops who keep an eye on all things supernatural. There she meets technomage Jack, who claims that Alex herself may be a witch. As the investigation into the missing body deepens, Alex soon learns a life-changing secret about herself - and Valentine.
This is the start of a cool new series where witches, fairies, technomages and the like are the police detectives. And there's even dragons, which is a huge bonus for me.
"Precinct 13" is published by Berkley. It is $15 and 308 pages long.
* * *
New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews returns to their world of dark magic in the ruined city of Atlanta in "Gunmetal Magic." But this time, instead of kick butt heroine Kate Daniels leading the charge, this story is all about her best friend, business partner and beastkin, Andrea Nash.
Andrea has recently been kicked off her job as peacekeepr in the Knights of Merciful Aid because they found out the truth about her - she is a beastkin, a shapeshifting hyena. The abused misfit in her former Pack, Andrea has no urge to join the local Bouda pack lead by the steely Aunt B. But now that her "secret" is out, she must join the Pack or leave town.
To add to complications, her former boyfriend and fellow Bouda, Raphael, is Aunt B's son.
When a new case comes to hers and Kate's office, Andrea must investigate four deaths on a building Raphael's crew was attempting to reclaim (salvage for parts.) This leads her back to him, and complications immediately arise, not the least of which is her feelings for him. It looks like the workers were killed for something that was buried under the building, but who would have known about it. The suspects are Raphael's business rivals, and digging into background of one of them, a charasmastic billionaire, leads Andrea to an ancient war, an angry god and the possible end of the world. Will Andrea survive long enough to sort out how she feels for Raphael?
The world Kate Daniels inhabits is one of wild magic, broken technology, things that go bump in the night, and the tough ladies who protect innocents in it with a little help of some otherworldy gifts. Full of action, suspense, hot romance and scary paranormal, this series is a keeper and its great to see the stories some of the other characters, like Andrea and Raphael expanded on.
"Gunmetal Magic" also contains a short Kate Daniels novella, "Magic Gifts."
"Gunmetal Magic" is published by Ace. It is $7.99 and 433 pages long.
* * *
Jesse James Dawson, champion and modern-day samuari is back to fight for lost souls in K.A. Stewart's "A Wolf at the Door."
It's just after Christmas, and the last "person" Jesse expects to see knocking at his door is Axel. While Axel might be a bad guy, Jesse owes him a favor, and the payback seems simple enough, help bodyguard a starlet until New Year's. Against his possibly-pregnant wife's wishes and Jesse's better thoughts, he's off to Hollywood and keeping an eye on Gretchen Keene, who is a bit of a soul stealer of her own - she holds onto souls for some nasty characters. And since she is "unclaimed" property, some heavy hitters just might be looking to cash in by bumping off Gretchen! As the threats begin to get serious and Jesse gets to know the real Gretchen, he begins to feel for the girl. But is hers one soul that Jesse cannot save?
I love the Jesse James Dawson series, about an everyday family man who is also an honorable warrior working to save people who may not necessarily deserve saving, but does so anyway because it is what he is meant to do. Gretchen starts out as an awful character and grows into someone the reader really cares about. Here's looking forward to seeing where Jesse's adventures take him next!
"A Wolf at the Door" is published by Roc. It is $7.99 and 304 pages long.
* * *
A bounty hunters gets involved with a were-war in "Blood and Silver" by James R. Tuck.
Deacon Chalk sees a man beating a dog and decides to get involved. But the man isn't an ordinary man, and neither is the dog - both are were-beings, and Deacon soon finds himself protecting the pregnant were-dog Sophia and right smack in the middle of a war. A vicious were-lion has plenty of reasons to want Sophia and her babies dead, and Deacon just may be the only thing standing in between them. But when shape-shifters and other humans start falling due to the vicious were-lion, has Deacon bit off more than he can chew? Who can he really trust? By the time he is through, there may be some vicious collaterial damage that could affect Deacon forever.
This is a cool story of a monster-hunting bounty hunter who won't back down from a fight and has a few supernatural powers of his own. There's plenty of action and mystery to thrill and even a bit of romance.
"Blood and Silver" is published by Kensington. It is $7.99 and 293 pages long.