Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey


ROC
424 pp.

In Autumn Bones, Daisy discovers that her nice normal boyfriend Sinclair Palmer is not quite as normal as advertised. Sinclair turns out to be related to a powerful judge back in Jamaica who is less than pleased with her son’s bus tour business and choice in girlfriends. This would be ordinary family drama--even with Daisy being hellspawn--if not for the part where Sinclair’s family are also obeah sorcerers and not at all shy about using magic to get their way. (When Sinclair’s twin sister Emmeline decides to strong arm her way into convincing Daisy to help her “convince” Sinclair to go back home, it does not go well for anyone concerned.)

This book is a lot lighter than the previous book, which had some unexpected refrigerator horror. This time around it’s mostly raunchy humor with a few deeply disturbing moments (for example, a police officer needing to be rescued from an orgy instigated by a satyr in rut). The raunchy humor is balanced more or less by shout outs to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the horrors of having to deal with former mean girls who never actually grew up, hobgoblins fleecing tourists and newly risen vampires beating up their alcoholic fathers. Daisy also manages to get herself in trouble when recruits a computer geek acquaintance to build a database for her. He agrees, but in exchange for a glimpse of Hel. The goddess in question does not appreciate being treated like a side show exhibit and is understandably frosty with both computer geek and Daisy.

I think I really like Carey’s approach to the romantic side of urban fantasy. Carey does not do the “pick a team,” romantic triangle that is often a feature of urban fantasy of this type. Instead, it’s more of a “our heroine knows a lot of great guys she might or might not be able to date for a variety of reasons.” There’s no rivalry or jockeying for position or anything like that. There’s just a relatively normal--for values of normal--girl having relatively normal relationships with various guys she likes. This is an extremely refreshing approach that I really appreciate.

This was a fun, fast paced novel with some really great character interactions (plus some interesting foreshadowing). I am really looking forward to seeing more books in this series.




Autumn Bones: Agent of Hel on Amazon  

Autumn Bones: Agent of Hel on Powell's Books