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The Grendel Affair (SPI Files Series #1)
     

The Grendel Affair (SPI Files Series #1)

4.1 25
by Lisa Shearin
 

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We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…
 
When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that

Overview

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…
 
When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.
 
Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/04/2013
Shearin’s urban fantasy debut serves as both adventure on its own and enticement to follow the SPI series. The gift of second sight allowed Makenna Fraser to make the career jump from tabloid reporting to working for Supernatural Protection & Investigations, a covert organization dedicated to protecting humans from paranormal beings. Most cases are straightforward affairs, but a routine bag-and-tag for a Bavarian nachtgnome leads to a room full of scattered body parts. A series of brutal murders soon proves to be the prelude to a bloodbath planned for New Year’s Eve, a very public massacre that will force mundanes to notice the monsters around them. SPI itself is being targeted by an old enemy via a clever double agent. Shearin’s light, breezy style suits the simple plot; her naïve protagonist serves as both guide and expository catalyst. Although the justification for keeping mythological beings secret is never made clear, plenty of dismembered people and grand schemes will distract the reader from questioning the plot holes. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Lisa Shearin
 
“Lisa Shearin is on my auto-buy list!”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times Bestselling Author of Magic Rises
 
“Shearin is a definite star on the rise.”—Linnea Sinclair, RITA Award-winning author of Rebels and Lovers

“Lisa Shearin turns expectation on its ear and gives us a different kind of urban fantasy.”—C. E. Murphy, author of Raven Calls

“Shearin weaves a web of magic with a dash of romance that thoroughly snares the reader. She’s definitely an author to watch!”—Anya Bast, national bestselling author of Wicked Enchantment

“Lisa Shearin represents that much needed voice in fantasy that combines practiced craft and a wicked sense of humor.”—Bitten by Books

Library Journal
12/01/2013
When a sickle-bearing serial killer descended from the monster Grendel stalks New York's subway tunnels, agent Makenna Fraser, a seer for Supernatural Protection & Investigations, springs into action in this new urban fantasy series.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425266915
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/31/2013
Series:
SPI Files Series , #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
168,749
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Most people grabbed a coffee on the way to work. I was clinking my way to the liquor store checkout with three bottles of Jack Daniels. One bottle would probably get the job done, but I snagged an extra pair for insurance. There was no way in hell I was doing this twice.

The clerk’s eyes went from the bottles to me and back again before scanning them into the register.

“For the morning staff meeting,” I said. “Gets the week off right.”

The man gave me an I-just-work-here grunt. “Need a bag?”

“Got it covered.”

I started loading bottles into the messenger bag slung across my chest, winding an old towel I’d brought with me around and between them, careful to keep the bottles away from the borrowed thermal night vision goggles that were almost as critical as the booze for tonight’s job. I wasn’t far from where I was going, but I was trying to avoid any icy sidewalk accidents on the way there.

It was two days until New Year’s Eve. The temperatures hadn’t risen above freezing the entire week, and since we had gotten an extra half foot of the white stuff last night, it felt at least ten degrees colder than it actually was. Though when you added in a wind that was cold enough to give an icicle frostbite, a couple of degrees one way or another didn’t make a hill of beans worth of difference.

The liquor store was a block from the subway station, and it was only two more blocks from there to Ollie’s, so I walked and slipped and clinked. A man sitting propped against the outside of the liquor store heard that telltale sound and looked at me like he was a Lab and I’d just bounced a tennis ball. He started to get up, staggering as he did so. I pushed back my coat, giving him a good look at my gun. I wasn’t big, but my gun was.

It was also a fake.

I’d learned real quick that there was a big difference between owning, carrying, and shooting guns in the big city and doing the same back home. There were lots of rules that the NYPD got real bent out of shape about if you messed with. As a result, my new employer had yet to deem me qualified for a company-issued gun, so I’d bought myself one of those water pistols that looked exactly like a 9mm. If the sight of it wasn’t enough of a deterrent, I’d loaded it with tequila. Aim for the eyes then run like hell. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

The man looked at me for a second or two, his eyes shadowed under a tattered hat, and apparently decided that while a small blonde sporting a ponytail wasn’t scary, the gun told him the risk probably wouldn’t be worth it. He actually smiled at me through a couple of days’ worth of dark stubble as he sat back down. Good. Strange, but good. I really didn’t want to start my evening by squirting a homeless man.

I’m Makenna Fraser. I’m from a place called Weird Sisters, a small town in the far western point of North Carolina that doesn’t show up on Google Earth, was named in reference to the three witches in Macbeth, and where the first word of the town name perfectly describes most of its citizens. I’ll be the first to admit that includes me. I’m not what most people would call normal, never have been, never will be, and I’m fine with that.

Weird Sisters had been settled by the kind of people that normal people didn’t want to have living next door. Most times, they couldn’t put their reasons into words; it was more of a feeling than anything else. Other folks could put words to what they felt while in town just fine. Heebie-jeebies, the creeps, or just plain spooked. Outsiders passing through town instinctively knew whether they belonged there, or if they ought to just keep going.

Weird Sisters was said to be located on a ley line that supposedly magnified psychic and paranormal energies. I didn’t know if there was anything to that or not, but something attracted people—and non-people—to stop and stay here. Quite a few of our townsfolk didn’t exactly qualify as human. They looked human enough, and sounded like regular folks, but make no mistake—they were something else entirely.

Creatures from myth and legend are real.

Members of my family could see them for what they really were. We were what my Grandma Fraser called seers. We could see through any veil, ward, shield, or spell any supernatural could come up with as a disguise. Some used magic; most didn’t. Veils were a survival mechanism, much like how a chameleon changed its colors to blend in with its surroundings to protect itself from predators. Or how predators looked perfectly harmless until something—or someone—they wanted to eat wandered by.

Down through the years, my family has taken it on themselves to protect the prey from the predators. Since the town’s founding in 1786, there’s been a Fraser as marshal, then sheriff, and now police chief. I chose my own way to expose the truth. Supernaturals didn’t have the market cornered on predatory behavior. As a little girl, I dreamed of becoming an investigative reporter for our local paper.

But with the coming of the New Age movement, our main street became lined with shops, cafés, and tea rooms populated with psychics, mediums, crystal healers, tarot and palm readers, clairvoyants, and way too much more. Between that, the influx of tourists from Asheville, and the advent of the Internet, it didn’t take long for our newspaper and its website to become just another way to market the town. And when I came back home with my shiny new degree in journalism, I realized that in a town with more than its fair share of psychics (some of whom were the real thing), unsolved crimes were few and far between.

I decided it was time for me to leave for good.

I came to New York with the dream of running with the big dogs at the New York Times, or even sticking close to my hometown roots and writing for the Weird News section at the Huffington Post. But all I could get was a job at a seedy tabloid called the Informer, where only stories like “Donald Trump Is a Werewolf Love Child” had any hope of making it to the front page. If a story was the truth, great; if not, lies worked just fine. The majority of our gullible readership thought everything we printed was the gospel truth anyway. That particular headline had been an obvious lie—at least it’d been obvious to me. No self-respecting werewolf would have hair like that. But my stories had been the truth and had the dubious distinction of having been on the front page more than once, which had been good for keeping food in the fridge, but bad for my professional pride.

I could write about the weird and the spooky because I could see it. Implying that a mob boss on trial was less than human didn’t make anyone bat an eye. Making the mistake of telling my now ex-editor that said mobster had horns and a tail, and that his lawyer was a literal bloodsucker had made me the darling of his black, profit-loving heart.

As luck would have it, that same story had also put me squarely in my new employer’s sights. By that point, any job that’d let me regain my self-respect was a job that I’d gladly take—even if it took me back into family business. When SPI recognized me for what I was and made me an offer, I’d literally skipped to my editor’s office to resign.

Now I work for Supernatural Protection & Investigations, also known as SPI. They battle the supernatural bad guys of myth and legend, and those who would unleash them.

My family was thrilled to hear about my new job.

And I realized I couldn’t run away from who and what I was.

Most supernaturals come here wanting the same things as the rest of us: a good job, nice house, 2.5 kids, and a dog. The others? Well, their powers are stronger here, their greed is bigger, and any treaties or bindings that might have made them behave back home don’t mean squat here. They don’t just want their slice of the American Dream; they want the whole pie, and they don’t care what they have to do, who they have to kill, or how many city blocks they have to level to get what they want.

SPI’s mission is twofold: keep the world safe for supernaturals and humans alike, and cover up the truth. Because when it comes to supernaturals, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson: people can’t handle the truth. SPI has offices worldwide, and their agents are recruited from various alphabet agencies, top police forces, and military special ops, and are supported by the sharpest scientific and academic minds.

Then there’s me.

My job as the seer for the New York office is to point out the supernatural bad guys, then step aside so the aforementioned commando-ninja-badass monster fighters can take them into custody—or if necessary, take them out. Doing my part to help keep the world safe is gratifying work, with regular pay, and my job description includes three of the most beautiful words in the English language: full medical coverage. If Bigfoot was on the rampage hurting innocent campers, I’d hunt him with a butterfly net if it meant having a dental plan.

But the bottom line was that I liked my job. Since starting at SPI, New York wasn’t just the place where I lived; now it was home, a home that seemed to have supernaturals around every corner, kinds I’d never seen before, sitting at tables in every sidewalk café, and sharing every subway car with me. You’d be surprised at how many supernaturals lived in New York—then again, maybe you wouldn’t. Perhaps that was why they liked it here; they were just another face in the crowd.

When I’d first arrived in the city, I discovered that New York supernaturals were even better than the ones back home at disguising what they were and fitting in with their human neighbors. But I could see them, and they could see me seeing them. I’d give them a little smile and a nod whenever that happened, to let them know that I was cool with what they were. After an initial moment of surprise, more often than not, they’d smile back.

Yes, I’d traded the scent of mountain laurel for diesel fumes, and a ley line running under the mountains for a subway line running under the city, but New York had an energy all its own. I could see why it was called the city that never sleeps—it didn’t want to miss one thing. And neither did I.

I loved New York.

A blast of wind that must have come straight from the North Pole brought my wandering mind back to where it belonged—keeping me from busting my ass on a icy street in SoHo. We got plenty of snow back home; it was pretty coming down and pretty when it landed. When I’d stand in the woods on the side of the mountain, it was as if the whole world came to a stop to watch in complete and awe-struck silence.

There wasn’t nothing quiet about New York.

A man was walking toward me on the sidewalk. Only then did I notice that we were the only people I could see. That was beyond odd for SoHo, regardless of the time. Maybe everyone else had more sense than we did, and was at home and staying warm on a subfreezing night. The snow on the sidewalk was packed down and slick. I didn’t want to risk falling, so I started to step aside and let the guy pass.

He beat me to it. Chivalry wasn’t dead.

But the man was.

Though technically and clinically, he was undead.

Vampires were off limits to me in my job. It didn’t take a seer’s skill to recognize a vamp, and my seer’s skill wouldn’t do squat to protect me from one. Most monsters would eat almost anything. Vampires fed on one thing and one thing only—human blood. I was human, and I had blood. The guy who had my job before me had gone and gotten himself exsanguinated in an on-the-job mishap involving a school of giant North American sewer leeches. I wasn’t going to meet a similar end on an icy sidewalk in SoHo.

My panicking brain told me what not to do: don’t look him in the eye, don’t act like prey. I knew what I wanted to do—run. But my brain was so busy telling me what not to do that it couldn’t send the move-your-ass memo to my feet.

So I just stood there like a chipmunk cornered by a rattlesnake. I was shaking so hard, the liquor bottles were clinking together in my bag. If I ran, I’d probably just slip and fall like some B horror-movie actress. On the upside, if that happened, I’d probably die of embarrassment before he got his fangs into me.

The vampire resumed his slow approach. Anyone watching would think he was being careful walking on the ice. I knew he was playing with me, his dark eyes glittering like I was a hot toddy made just for him.

My hand fumbled under my coat for my gun, and I was kicking myself for not buying a second squirt gun for holy water. The vamp smiled, showing me fangs that were way too bright to be natural. Someone had gotten one or five whitening treatments too many. He was also wearing a fancy suit with no coat, though it wasn’t like vampires had to worry about freezing to death. The strap of a laptop case was slung over one shoulder.

Aw jeez. Death by yuppie vampire.

That ain’t gonna happen. I got my hand on my gun. A squirt in the eye with tequila might at least buy me enough time to get back in the liquor store. It might not stop him from draining me dry, but at least there’d be witnesses while it happened.

The vamp graciously inclined his head. “Miss Fraser.”

I froze and my fingers went numb on the butt of my gun. I knew a handful of vampires by name, only one lived in New York, and this guy wasn’t him. What were the chances that a fancy-suited, laptop-toting vamp who knew my name just happened to be walking where I was walking on a night when no one with a lick of sense was outside?

Next to nil.

Faster than I could react, the vamp closed the distance between us and grabbed my hand, his bloodless fingers sliding past my gloves and up under my coat, his grip a paralyzing cold around my bare wrist. I opened my mouth, trying to scream, when the yuppie vamp’s gaze darted over my shoulder and behind me. Now it was his turn to shake in his shoes, though I was sure his had to be much nicer than mine. I didn’t want to risk taking my eyes off the vampire, but if there was something worse behind me, I needed to know about it.

The only other person on the street two minutes ago had been the homeless man. If the vampire couldn’t get me, the homeless man would be easy pickings—that is, if the whatever- was-behind-me hadn’t already gotten him. I didn’t want either to happen.

I turned around.

I’d been surprised by a lot of things since starting at SPI, but this was near the top of the list.

The homeless man was the only person—living or otherwise—that I could see, and he might have been homeless, but right now, he looked far from helpless. He stood with no staggering this time; his movements smooth and predatory. Regardless of the battered coat and hat, if he had been a supernatural, I would have been able to see at least an aura of his true form. Yet, his face—or at least the bottom half that I could see—now revealed much more. Faint impressions of multiple faces, each different from the one before, were layered one upon another, stretching back into the distance, like looking into a wall of funhouse mirrors. My instincts told me that they had all been real enough at one point in time or another.

The vampire must have known or sensed something more about the creature that I couldn’t. His expression went from thinking he’d found dinner, to wondering if he was dinner, as he actually jumped back and landed on his ass in the gutter then crab-crawled backward, desperate to get away. So desperate that he didn’t hear or care that his pants caught on something in the street, ripping them when he scrambled to his feet. The vamp’s fancy shoes found traction, and he ran across the street, slipping and sliding, half the ass torn out of his pants, showing the world one red-satin-boxers–covered cheek. I dimly wondered if there was a Santa on the front, or maybe Rudolph.

“Give my regards to your partner,” said a silky voice from behind me.

I sucked in my breath and spun back toward the homeless man—or whatever he was.

Gone. As in no trace that he’d ever been there.

A real person couldn’t have vanished that quickly. My seer vision wasn’t something I could turn on and off. The man had been just that—a man. Maybe. Perhaps a man who had lived a lot of lives. That wasn’t cause to freak out, but the little hairs on the back of my neck were telling me otherwise.

Give my regards to your partner.

My partner, Ian Byrne, had been a SPI agent for the past three years. For the five years before that, he’d been with the NYPD, and the prior seven had been in the military doing things that no one else at SPI knew about; and believe me, I’d snooped around. That information wasn’t around to be had.

I stood there, unmoving, my quick breaths visible as tiny puffs of steam in the subfreezing air. I was alone on the street. That is until the next monster who knew my name or my partner showed up. I clutched my messenger bag to my chest, and got the hell out of there. Fast.

My destination tonight was Barrington Galleries, a glorified pawn shop on the edge of SoHo. The owner, Oliver Barrington-Smythe, called it a collection of antiquities, artifacts, and curiosities.

I called it a store full of spooky shit that only even spookier people would want. Most of Ollie’s merchandise looked like it’d been dug up, either from the ground, a crypt, a basement, or a psycho’s imagination. Among the stuff for sale that packed Ollie’s place floor to ceiling were Victorian exorcism and vampire hunter kits, squishy things preserved in jars, dried things not in jars, funeral portraits, voodoo paraphernalia, and a sarcophagus that stood next to the counter with an actual, honest-to-God mummy inside. Well, there was until one of Ollie’s saner customers literally caught wind of the occupant and alerted the city health department. So now the mummy was a well-wrapped mannequin.

Ollie’s present problem was a stowaway in his latest shipment from Germany. He had a Bavarian nachtgnome running loose in his shop. Ollie liked money, and the green stuff would stop coming in real quick if word got around that something with fangs and an appetite for exposed body parts was loose in his shop.

That was where I came in. This wasn’t an official assignment; nachtgnomes didn’t register on SPI’s radar, unless there were a couple hundred of the little critters overrunning Grand Central Terminal at rush hour. This was a favor for a friend—and my best information source for supernatural activity in the city. As a former reporter, I knew the importance of a good snitch. I’d only been working for SPI a few months, but I’d been introduced to Ollie during my first week. A big part of being a seer was knowing where to look for the bad guys. Any flake in town with supernatural connections or leanings was drawn to Ollie’s place like a kid to a candy store.

Oliver Barrington-Smythe was short, beady-eyed, balding, and resented being all of the above, so it came as no surprise that Ollie rubbed most people the wrong way. I definitely wasn’t most people, and liked the borderline rude little guy. I liked his accent, and he liked mine. We’d hit it off—once I’d made him understand in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t a hillbilly—and he kept me in the know. To keep that gossip wheel greased and the goodwill coming, I was going to use a fifth of Jack to lure a Bavarian nachtgnome out of hiding and into a cage.

I’d never actually seen one before, but I’d studied the company manual. Nachtgnomes were short, shy, and wasted after one drink. Kind of reminded me of my last date. I’d had an easier time finding monsters in New York than a nice guy to spend time with. Ollie had promised to leave an iron cage to scoot the little guy into until morning. My job was just to catch it; Ollie had made other arrangements for getting it out of his shop. And no, I hadn’t asked what those arrangements were, because I really didn’t want to know. Though I suspected the population of the New Jersey marshes was about to increase by one. I’d learned in training that it was one of the more popular spots with the local criminals for getting rid of a dead body—or a disagreeable supernatural critter. On second thought, Ollie might not know that according to the manual, nachtgnomes could reproduce all by their lonesome. Maybe I should leave him a note.

At anywhere from a foot to eighteen inches tall, a full-grown nachtgnome would be big enough to drink right from the bottle. And as their name indicated, nachtgnomes were nocturnal, hence the NVGs. I’d learned how to use them in one of my training classes, so I saw no reason why I shouldn’t take advantage of Ollie’s gnome problem to get some practical application of my newly gained classroom knowledge.

I’d brought an old pair of plastic Scooby-Doo cups I’d dug out of the back of my kitchen cabinets. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to be using them again after tonight. I bought two instead of one because I wanted the gnome to drink enough to make it catchable the first time. I’d fill up both cups and leave the rest of the bottle. First call should be last call.

I was about half a block from Ollie’s place, and had been looking over my shoulder almost constantly, when a tall, shadowy figure stepped out of the shop’s recessed doorway.

Aw crap.

At least I knew who the shadow belonged to, but I also knew that I’d been busted. Though right now, after what had already happened to me tonight, I was kind of relieved. Almost.

There was no mistaking Ian Byrne’s silhouette of relaxed readiness.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Lisa Shearin
 
“Lisa Shearin is on my auto-buy list!”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times Bestselling Author of Magic Rises
 
“Shearin is a definite star on the rise.”—Linnea Sinclair, RITA Award-winning author of Rebels and Lovers

“Lisa Shearin turns expectation on its ear and gives us a different kind of urban fantasy.”—C. E. Murphy, author of Raven Calls

“Shearin weaves a web of magic with a dash of romance that thoroughly snares the reader. She’s definitely an author to watch!”—Anya Bast, national bestselling author of Wicked Enchantment

“Lisa Shearin represents that much needed voice in fantasy that combines practiced craft and a wicked sense of humor.”—Bitten by Books

Meet the Author

Lisa Shearin currently works as the editor at an advertising agency.  She has been a magazine editor and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.  Lisa enjoys singing, reading, writing novels, and fencing (foil and epee, as well as rapier & dagger dueling).  She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two cats, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell terrier who rules them all.

She is the author of Magic Lost, Trouble Found, Armed & Magical, The Trouble with Demons, Bewitched & Betrayed, Con & Conjure, and All Spell Breaks Loose.

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The Grendel Affair 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
lookingforgoodwriting More than 1 year ago
Loved her spells series, and looks like I'll love this one too! The characters are all just as well developed and funny as the cast of characters in her Spells books. Really fun read!
Masquerader888 More than 1 year ago
I loved just about every part of The Grendel Affair. The unique world-building overlay that had blended Psychics, Vampires, Werewolves, Dragons and Ghouls into a believable reality that was both light enough to allow for jokes and absurdities and gritty enough to keep the stakes high. The interesting characters...from the spunky heroine who had me in her corner even when her only back-up was a tequila-filled water pistol to the disapproving partner that grew on me...even the cantankerous toupee-wearing-sailor-swearing shopkeeper added a special kind of charm to this utterly enjoyable read. While I will admit that the plot in places was a bit obvious (if you're trying to find out what a creepy creature causing chaos is and one of your choices is a Grendel, and the book is called The Grendel Affair, chances are...that's it) and some things were a bit conspicuous as future devices for intervention, I still found the whole book, from beginning to end, entertaining and downright satisfying.
Silver_Crow_Woman More than 1 year ago
Buy this book! Story line is intriguing and character development is good. I can't hardly wait till the next one comes out.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Could not put it down. Looking for the next one.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
Exciting new UF series by “new to me author” Lisa Shearin.  I read the prequel to this story Lucky Charms in the Night Shift anthology and it was so much fun I had to find and read this story.  I was not disappointed at all.  This is a fast paced romp filled with snark, danger  and lots of supernatural bad guys.  If you wish to get in on the ground floor of a series that is bound to be addictive pick up a copy of The Grendel Affair.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first volume in Shearin's SPI Files series is fast-paced and exciting. Makenna and Ian are terrific characters: she's an engaging combination of adorable and resolute, while he's just badass. Plus, their boss is a dragon. A very *old* dragon; like, dawn of human civilization old. My only complaint is the amount of info dumping. Makenna is the newbie at SPI; rather than starting with her first mission, though, Shearin jumps ahead several weeks; as a result, some vital information has to be relayed to the reader after the fact. That is a minor complaint, though. I thoroughly enjoyed The Grendel Affair, and I can't wait for the next book. Highly recommended to fans of Ilona Andrews, Annie Bellet, Erzabet Bishop, and Seanan McGuire. -- lyradora
LoveToRead1963 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I really liked the author's Raine Benares series. This is a good start to this series. I look forward to reading the next one.
MaggieJones More than 1 year ago
The Grendel Affair is hilarious! I haven’t laughed so much in a long time. The humor is reminiscent of the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Here is one of the chuckle worthy moments from the story: Ian was coming down the hill behind me. ” Subject is an elderly woman in a blue coat and hat,” he said into his comms. “She looks like the Queen of England,” I screamed back at him. Ian didn’t add that to his description. -p. 82 The cover and description were misleading about the vibes in this book. The cover shows a team duo, both who look pretty bad-ass. The description does nothing to change that impression. The reality is waaaay better! Our main character, Mac, has been headhunted from the seedy tabloid she was writing for because of her inherited ability to see through all forms of supernatural “veils.” i.e. if a creature can cast a glamour to alter their appearance, or become invisible, Mac can see right through it. This rare talent brought her to the attention of SPI, an organization whose mission it is to keep supernatural existence a secret from the norms. Mac is a normal country girl from North Carolina who had hoped to make it big in the Big Apple. This job was a dream job, and she was settling in well. Until another power decided they were ready to show the existence of supernaturals in the bloodiest way possible utilizing  the most televised venue on Earth… NYC Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Mac’s job is to point out the nasties, then get out of the way. Her partner, Ian Bryne wants her to do exactly that. Their partner chemistry is excellent and amusing. Mac’s stubborn attitude and genuine desire to fit in is appealing and keeps the story and her character moving and growing. Her bumbling attempts to fit into this elite organization are heartfelt and hilarious. This sums her up “normal girl in a crazy world” vibe: Agent Ian Bryne.  Poster child for calm. Me. Poster child for panic. – p.176 There were only a few problems with the story. One was that if the main bad guy wants to out supernaturals, Times Square is nice but hardly necessary. The other was the lack of romantic chemistry between Ian and Mac. That would have been fine, but I think that tension was supposed to be building between them to move into the romantic arena. I would prefer them to see other people, I wasn’t buying the attraction. Mac’s “country girl” vibe was also off, she seems way too NYC to claim country girl. The largest issue was that I felt like this may have a prequel short story before it. This book is labelled as the first, but the way the back story is given it feels like you missed something. Moving from the tabloid to SPI would be a fun story to read! If it exists as a short story somewhere, make sure to read it first.  While this is a long list, they are all really minor in light of the excellent writing, development and humor in this book. I was more than ready for this series. I love funny. I love urban fantasy. Put the 2 together, and you’ve got yourself a winner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It had action, humor, and characters that are actually LIKEABLE! I look forward to more in this series and plan on looking up her other books'
LDWriter2 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one a lot. I have told people it is a worthy read. Lisa sets up things-including the characters-well. It's not like her other series and even though not quite as good it is a good read as I said. The ending could have been done a bit better but still she stayed away from one cliche ending for one scene, not what I expected there. Which was good.  So read it and you will enjoy it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the Norse mythology in this book. That is one of the things i look for when reading urban fantasy...that and strong characters which this book has. Can't wait for the next one!
knobren More than 1 year ago
I won a paperback copy of this book. It was a good, solid urban fantasy novel with a female law enforcement officer as the lead character. She and her team are trying to stop a villain, who intends to terrorize the public by alerting them to the existence of supernaturals in a big way - by having grendels start eating people in New York City's Times' Square as they ring in the New Year. Grendels are the descendants of Grendel from Beowulf, and they get violent around noisy partying, just as Grendel did. Worse, the villain has figured out how to cloak the grendels and other badies, so that only a few special seers, such as the main character, Makenna Fraser, can see them. Along the way, we meet various types of supernaturals - witches, vampires, werewolves, ghouls, dragons, and grendels. Some are on the side of law-and-order and some aren't. I would happily read more books by this author.
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Read_Compulsively More than 1 year ago
I've been waiting impatiently for more from Lisa Shearin, and this book was worth the wait - really liked it! She laid the groundwork very well for future relationships (of all kinds), while delivering an entertaining and engrossing story. As for one reviewer's complaint that the leads lacked 'fire' - like any good relationship, the foundation was laid and the potential is there. I'm sure that all the relationships will grow and change as the books advance the story. In the meantime, I will be reading and enjoying each book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm bummed...i was really looking forward to this book...i love the "Raine Barenes" series, so couldn't wait to try out this new series by the same author...however, it was missing that extra spark her other series has...i didnt get engrossed in the characters half as much...the humor was, well just not that humorous...no real fire between the two main leads...ended up skipping ahead numerous times, just to see if it would get better...i will buy this author again since i know she can write awesome stories, i just won't buy anymore of this series...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to see more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Half a page sample.