Synopsis : Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm – if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires. As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend – a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing – and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil – whether she likes it or not…
H&W Investigations, Book 1
Review : Another new series that I was eager to find out! Indeed, Melliane said a lot of good things about the H&W Investigations series, so when I learned that this series would be released in France, I had only one desire: to read it.
Shiarra Waynest has created a private detective agency with her best friend Sara Halloway. But the finances are ailing and if the situation does not get better, they may close down soon. When a mage asks Shiarra to retrieve an artifact held by Alec Royce, a powerful vampire, Shiarra has no choice but to accept, although she always kept her distance with the Others. But the mission is far more difficult than expected and Shiarra finds herself involved unwittingly in a complicated story.
I must admit however that I had some difficulties to get into the book, mainly due to Shiarra because she did not seem very nice to me at the beginning. Indeed, throughout the first half of the book, we have a heroine who can not stop complaining and talk about her prejudices against the Others. The least we can say is that she does not particularly like them and she wants nothing to do with them. We can not say that she is very open minded and at times I even found that she was doing too much. Her reactions when Royce is facing her are excessive. A nothing frightens her. For a private detective supposed to face danger every day, it is not very logic. Moreover, the action is long to arrive but fortunately, once here in the second half of the book, things change, and the heroine changes too. She is a little more self-confident and from there the story becomes more captivating.
However concerning the other characters, I really liked them. Sara the best friend and Shiarra’s partner, Arnold the geeky mage and Chaz, Shiarra’s ex-boyfriend, all of them seemed to me very endearing. Chaz is really touching. He is jealous, possessive and very protective towards Shiarra but we love him. Of course I was also very intrigued by Royce! Besides, I wanted him to be more present in this book. We don’t learn much about him considering what happens to him but the end of the book suggests that he will have a much more important role to play in the next books, at least I hope so because he seems to be a very interesting character.
The world created by Jess Haines is fascinating, although it is not really new. On the one hand, there are supernatural creatures who have made their coming out and who have acquired the same rights as humans. They are called the Others (vampires, werewolves, mages, etc.). Then on the other hand, there are extremist groups (including the White Hats) who claim for the abolition of these rights and the elimination of all the Others, not to mention of course the internal conflicts of this supernatural community. All of this does not remind you other urban fantasy series? Yes, and yet I still love it. What differentiates this series from another one is essentially the magic which is very present in this novel. Another originality of this book lies in the relationships between humans and the Others. Humans must first of all give written consent if they want to have a relationship with an Other. In other words, both in business and love, everything is done by written contract! I found the idea very interesting although I can not imagine the existence of such a world.
In the end even if I had a little trouble at enjoying the heroin, it’s still a nice first book that sets the basis of a series that could be more exciting in the next books. I’m curious to see how things will evolve for Shiarra.