The game has changed.
Rook is a wisecracking hacker, a shapeshifter who prefers the name ‘were-crow,’ and former underling to a Talented crime boss. But as supernatural powers go, he’s no heavy hitter.
After a job blew up in his face, Rook thought the worst thing he’d have to deal with was criminal unemployment. But when he starts losing his mind to mysterious voices, being broke takes a backseat. And once his apartment goes up in smoke, Rook knows he’s in trouble.
Out of his depth and trying to dig his way out of a hole not entirely of his own making, Rook must put his survival—and his sanity—in the hands of people who have their own mysterious reasons for helping him.
With trust in short supply and time ticking down, Rook will need to find a way to make this uneasy alliance work before even more of his life goes up in flames.
"I was impressed with the seamless consistency, despite being written by two authors. Cris and Clare’s writing blended perfectly to showcase this underground urban world of thieves, hackers, grifters, shapeshifters and magic wielders.”
Other Books in the Criminal Elements series
Book 1: Playing with Fire
About the Author
Clare Meyers is the co-author of urban fantasy with her husband, Cris. Their current project is an adult urban fantasy heist series that features a band of supernatural criminals. Born and raised in Illinois, Clare still makes the Midwest her home. She met Cris in college, where they were both majoring in English. She wrote a few short stories on her own, but then two years ago, she and her husband decided to combine their efforts and see where it led. Their debut novel was just released.
Cris Meyers is the co-author of urban fantasy with his wife, Clare. Their current project is an adult urban fantasy heist series that features a band of supernatural criminals. Born and raised in Illinois, Cris still lives in the Midwest. He met Clare in college, where they were both majoring in English. He has experimented with horror and high fantasy, but two years ago, he partnered with Clare on an urban fantasy series. Their debut novel in this series was just released September 2016.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you’re a bird, I’m a bird. Great line from a great book—The Notebook. And if you just so happen to be a smart-mouthed, skinny, binge drinking, computer hacker bird… then I am most definitely a bird. Fly by Night, the second book of the Criminal Elements series by Cris and Clare Meyers is the story of Rook, a shape-shifter criminal crow with more baggage than a Kardashian vacation. He is the living, breathing Quote of the Day. The master of mockery. A sergeant of sarcasm. Rook’s past includes more than a few ruffled feathers and all his lampooning can’t hide his pain. His self-ridicule is his mask and his life is a never ending masquerade. The puzzle pieces of his sad past lock into place, chapter by chapter revealing the real Rook, the man behind the mask. The man who went through the most unorthodox method of detoxification known to man… or bird. Yes, I’m being cagey about the details. Read the damn book. The first book, Playing with Fire ends with Rook taking the heat for the screw job in Seattle. Rook returns to his nest, Philadelphia. Emotionally, he’s broken. Financially, he’s broke. Mentally, he’s breaking. His life takes a swan dive and the bird-brain tries to drown his sorrows with alcohol. Rook finally admits he’s gone crazy as a loon and caws the coyote for help. Medium, also known as Carlos the shape-shifter coyote arrives, but he cannot help his friend. Rook is battling demons. Demons that can only be tamed by the Talent that detests him, Renee Devereaux. But before Rook can make an appointment with his shrink, Medium is hit, badly. Rook and his crew of angry birds want revenge on those greedy pigs and the king of swine, Nick Dorian. The Seattle flock is in the V formation, V for vengeance. What happens next is epic—epically awful. I yelled at my iPad, “f-you Nick”, and then apologized to my son’s soccer team. Note to future readers: Do not read Fly by Night at soccer practice. The team is broken. Devastated by their loss but slowly they mend their broken wings with Rook taking the lead in the retaliation and making himself the target. Another epic battle, this time with a “f-you Renee,” and a win for the team but Renee has some serious explaining to do. I read Fly by Night in two days. Rook rocks. Read the damn book. It’s a no brainer. If you don’t like this book, gather your geese and get the flock out of here. You’re dumb as a dodo.
I am really enjoying this series. I loved the first book which introduced all the characters and this book really evolves them, making me want to know more. It's such a fun ride, with some really unique twists! In this book, the point of view changes from Renee and Stone to seeing the world directly through Rook's eyes, which is a really fun change and incredibly entertaining! He's a character that you just can't wait to see what comes out of his mouth (and what he keeps in his head is even better!) I can't wait for Book 3!
Into the Mind of Rook: a smart-mouthed criminal techie! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The story and characters we were introduced to in book one of the series, PLAYING WITH FIRE, are brought back to us in this fun read. However, this time, we are seeing life through Rook, which is fascinating. You get to see events and characters from book one in a whole new perspective, and Rooks personal dialogue is humorous. This novel ticks all the boxes you'd expect for an urban fantasy crime story. There's plenty of action, double-crossing, and murder, as well as, entertaining conversations and relationship complexities. There are still some unanswered questions about certain relationships, but I'm okay with that since I know there's going to be at least another book in the series! And, no, it doesn't diminish the storyline in any way. It sort of added to the plot for me. I have to say that, of all the characters, my favorite is Grace. She really resonated with me. Perhaps because she is a shapeshifter with her 'were' animal being a cat (*snort* - I am so a cat lady), but mainly because she is talented, intelligent, strong, and compassionate. I liked Renee because she was not only fascinating but she had a strength most people couldn't muster. I like Medium because he was so innocent, even when he wasn't. Rook and Stone I liked equally. Their discord not only added to the story for me, but I enjoyed seeing how they were actually cut from the mold, though in different ways. Meaning, one is neither better nor worse than the other - just shaped to react differently by circumstances of their lives - though, to me, they're different aspects of the same guy in many ways. I definitely recommend this book. It has some curve balls you will certainly miss until they're revealed and it will keep your interest. It was a really fun book to read and I am looking forward to continuing the series! Well done!
After the heist in Seattle, the gang Renee, Stone, Rook, Carlos and Grace all went their separate ways. In this story, we follow Rook who after moving back to Philadelphia, is struggling to find work after everyone has shunned him including the rest of the gang. After he starts to hear voices and not even alcohol can drown them out, he decides to call his best friend Carlos” Medium” to see if he can help. But when an explosion in his flat puts them both in danger, he knows that he has to get the gang together to get to the bottom of who is out to kill him. It was great to see that the characters hadn’t changed, Stone and Renee were still the strong silent type, Medium was still naive and Grace was still the confident savvy one. Written from Rook’s POV, whilst reading this story, you learn more about Rook’s former life and you understand why he comes across as annoying to some people. The comedy element was still there usually involving Rook and it was good to see Grace’s softer side. I enjoyed reading this book and felt it was better than book 1, the collaboration by the 2 authors were seamless and you could not tell who wrote which scene. This story had more suspense and was full of action. The magical element was still there which added to the danger that the gang were in. A great read which will keep you gripped from page 1.