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Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

Lisa Shearin is one of my favourite authors so I was beyond thrilled to hear she'd be writing an urban fantasy series after finishing up her comedic fantasy series about Raine Benares and the Saghred. (I dared you to read the first book and reviewed ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE, the last book in the series, on this site.) And sad as I am to see the end -- at least for now -- of the Raine Benares books, I'm over the moon with the urban fantasy debut Shearin has delivered in THE GRENDEL AFFAIR. THE GRENDEL AFFAIR has everything I adore about Shearin's writing -- wit, action, romance, twists -- transplanted to an alternate New York in which creatures of legend are real but not out in the open, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations), a covert force for good that fights the baddies and their bosses. There are other series out there with similar frames but THE GRENDEL AFFAIR will delight readers with its smart plot, brilliant humour, and fresh take on legendary and mythological beings.

Shearin creates amazing characters and she has populated the SPI Files world with an interesting cadre of heroes. Our narrator is the most intrepid Makenna Fraser, a small town girl with the ability to see through any veil, shield, spell, or ward. As a seer, Makenna is a hot commodity -- there aren't many in the world and Makenna is quite the talent.  She's also incredibly unseasoned when it comes to all the other aspects of life as an SPI agent, which leaves room for a lot of comedic moments. Her inexperience as an agent is a nice balance for her exceptional supernatural abilities and you'll find yourself rooting for Makenna from page 1. Makenna is partnered with Ian Byrne, agent extraordinaire. He joined SPI after his partner on the NYPD was murdered by ghouls and he has major skills. And a rockin' body that Mac can't help but notice. The other characters in the novel are equally interesting. Mac's boss is literally a dragon lady. Her coworkers come from all walks of life and species, like a techie who happens to be a Japanese elf, a sly Russian werewolf, and a vampire lawyer, to say nothing of commando ghouls, goblins, mystery foes, and, well, grendels, as the title suggests.

The worldbuilding in THE GRENDEL AFFAIR is also fantastic, in both the literal and descriptive senses. The may be vampires, dragons, goblins, elves, and werewolves in the SPI Files but they're not run of the mill. Shearin puts her own twist on a lot of the species/creatures, though they are still rooted in traditional legends. I don't want give it all away because some of the reveals come later in the novel but I can say that fans can expect Shearin's trademark ingenuity with her worldbuilding. You can say the same about the plot! For readers who haven't tried this author before, I can say: (1) For shame! Get thee to a bookstore and invest in either THE GRENDEL AFFAIR or MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND; and (2) you're in for a real treat when you give Shearin a try. She won't disappoint!

If you're looking for a book with wit, clever plotting, laugh out loud moments, and style that can't be beat, you must read THE GRENDEL AFFAIR. Shearin's an amazing writer and her urban fantasy debut kickstarts what is sure to be a wonderful new series!

Read an excerptJenn

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. I've not had the chance to read any of her books. But this sounds so awesome. I love the whole setting and idea here. :) Thank you! New book for me. :)