Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!
You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^
This week I'm daring you to read a fantastic author: Laura Anne Gilman. She's written so many great books that it was hard for me to choose which one to start with but I've decided to go with HARD MAGIC because it combines two things I love: urban fantasy and crime procedurals.
HARD MAGIC is the first book in Laura Anne Gilman's Paranormal Scene Investigations series, which is an spinoff from her Retrievers books (a dare that you will receive at some point). There are references to the other series but you don't need to know them to enjoy HARD MAGIC and its sequels. This series may not be the only one out there that tackle crime scene investigation via paranormal means but the stories and the world are so well constructed that I have to recommend them.
I reviewed the fourth book in the series, DRAGON JUSTICE, a while back and I'm going to copy the series explanation I wrote there:
In this world, there are two types of people: Talent, who can use Current (magic that works a lot like electricity) and Nulls (who can't use Current and/or don't know about it or the Cosa Nostradamus, a.k.a. the magical community). Talent have a mentoring tradition and are divided into two main groups: those who are Council and those who are lonejacks. Bonnie is considered Council because her mentor was Council but most of the rest of the team are from the lonejack camp. There are also fatae, (non-human) supernatural creatures who live among us. PUPI [the acronym for the investigative team] was established to be a CSI team for the Cosa, using Current spells or cantrips to forensically examine crime scenes.
HARD MAGIC is your chance to see the beginnings of the PUPI, the Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations team. You'll get to see the team come together through Bonnie Torres' eyes and it's a lot of fun. Bonnie is a wonderful protagonist with a unique voice and a special way of viewing the world. She's definitely not a cookie cutter character but that doesn't mean she's not also a team player. Bonnie is this wonderfully independent, complex woman who's smart, talented, curious, funny, and comfortable in her own skin. She's also bisexual, which isn't something we see very much in lead characters in a lot of UF and PNR (though it's becoming more common), and I think it's very cool that Laura Anne Gilman has a diverse cast of characters in her novels.
If that's not enough to entice you, the crime focus gives these books something a little different from other urban fantasy series and something more in common with books you'd find in the mystery or thriller section. Plus, there are some other amazing characters you'll want to know better (*cough* Venec *cough*), series plot points that are woven through every book, and intricate mysteries and magic to explore.
Interested in finding out more? Here's the scoop on HARD MAGIC:
A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can't touch—crimes of magic.
My name's Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn't applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work—so off I went.
Two days later I'm a PUPI—me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.
The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We're sniffing out things they'd rather keep buried.
Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we're making it up as we go along…
And here's the rest of the series:
What do you think? Have you read this series? Are you willing to accept my dare?