Posted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks
The Grendel Affair is the first book in Lisa Shearin’s SPI Files series. Lisa is also the author of the Raine Benares series. I have had the first three books of that series sitting in my book closet for years! I just can’t seem to get around to reading them even though they look really interesting. So when I saw that Lisa was starting a new series, I read the blurb and added it to my list because it too looked good.
And good it was.
In The Grendel Affair, we follow Mac as she does her very best at her job as a SPI agent. She is a seer – a human with the ability to see paranormal creatures. She is relatively new to the SPI. Her original plan was to not do what all of the seers in her family have done and that is work in some way with organizations that handle big paranormal baddies. So she became a journalist. But apparently, you can’t outrun fate and here she is, with the SPI, helping humans battle supernatural bad guys that only she can truly see.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “but Julie, this does not sound like a completely new premise for a book series.” Well, you are right…and not. No, a police force that is only made to fight things that go bump in the night is not new. But the idea that they have a seer to help them along is and I liked that aspect. How Mac has to show them what they are dealing with is quite neat. The other thing that I really enjoyed in this book was Mac herself.
This story is told from her point of view. She has a quick wit and snarky humor but she is also a little lost and feeling a little overwhelmed by her new job and the direction her life has taken. I love how she is not afraid of admitting she is worried or nervous. I found that all made her very real even though she is surrounded by a bunch of the totally unreal. Like a dragon lady for a boss. Literally.
The supporting characters in The Grendel Affair were well done. I felt a bond to most of them. I especially liked her partner Ian. At first you feel as she does and that is that he is not her biggest fan. But then moments pass between them here and there and you start to wonder if you are seeing things that might prove that there is more than just dislike or even friendship there. He is your typical tough and gruff cop and he is really cool. Seeing his tender side here and there was a nice touch.
The story is suspenseful and full of action. There are people and creatures dying by losing an arm and their head, Mac seems to be in two places at once (or is she just going crazy???) and there is a threat to all of the supernatural population of being exposed to humanity on New Year’s Eve. Again, it does not sound all that new but it is. The creatures doing the killing are not like you see often and the story is told at such a great pace you can’t help but get sucked in. It is a ride from start to finish and one that will make you anxious for The Dragon Conspiracy, the next book in the series, expected out later in 2014.
I really was impressed with how Lisa told this story and how she wrote Mac. The Grendel Affair is a great read and one I would definitely recommend to fans of urban fantasy.