The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI) are paid to keep the peace. But that’s not so easy when an endless evil threatens to tear that peace to pieces…
A vampire gangster’s nephew is abducted off his yacht by a bunch of low-rent Creatures from the Black Lagoon. A slew of banks are knocked over by what looks like the cast of Night of the Living Dead. All of this may seem like the movies, but, I promise you, it’s not.
I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and I know the culprits aren’t wearing disguises or makeup. They’re real. Deadly real. Especially their leader—an ancient shapeshifter who leaves a trail of chaos and blood in his wake. Now, he’s taken my partner, Ian—and his intentions aren’t pretty.
The worst part? This is only the beginning…
The beginning of the end of the human race.
Worldbuilding: Mix New York with a wealth of fantasy -gnomes, dragons-, paranormal-shifters, vampires, mages-, and mythological -Tuatha de Danann- elements, and you get the fabulous world of the SPI series. Loved the hell out of it!
Characters: Makenna was an interesting MC in terms of typology. Aside the whole agent angle, which I always but always love, she also had this fun – and funny! – personality, she was loyal, dedicated to doing the right thing, but she also missed this “senseless hero” gene that many MCs actually have. You know the type I’m talking about, those MCs which are not in any way equipped to deal with whatever plot twist comes their way, but they jump in blindly and just somehow manage to get it done (sometimes on their own, too) because special skills just magically pop up? It’s fun to witness, particularly in certain settings, but there’s something about realistic fantastic fiction that speaks to me. In our case, Mac behaved in a responsible way. It was SO refreshing to see that! I just loved the hell out of her approach. She was loyal, involved, hands-on, brave, but she was also responsible and behaved like part of a team. It was exactly what I wanted to see from her, and I loved seeing it.
Other characters were also cool, Ian for sure, Rake abso-freaking-lutely, but all other characters were interesting too. I just loved the whole cast.
Plot: The whole suspense part, with Janus and his antics, was very cool: some mystery, some chases, heists, magic action – a whole lotta yummy. The story had an alert tempo without becoming too agitated. The romance angle was kind of like a teaser, like it was so good and slow burn and yummy, but it also left me wanting SO much more of Mac&Rake. Loved the story, all in all.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Mac’s POV. While I loved her voice and sense of humor, the style a bit more narrative than say dialogue, and I tend to love that balance leaning in the other direction. It wasn’t annoying or anything, but it’s a personal preference kind of thing. It worked, but it would have worked even more for mee with the balance leaning more in the other direction.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – definite impulsive buy material for my agency UF cravings.
The Ghoul Vendetta was a fun, rich read, with all sorts of emotions and elements combined in an entertaining way. The fact that I could jump right in the series, and it all made perfect sense to me, speaks to the author’s mad skills.
I recommend the novel to lovers of agencies and UF mixes, to fans of realistic MCs and rich worlds full of all kinds of fun magical elements. Loved the ride!