Shadows & Dreams
Author: Alexis Hall
Kate’s back! I liked her a great deal while reading the first story in the series, Iron & Velvet, but she’s even better this time around. Having survived (barely) the perils of her last case, during which she did, indeed, get the girl, she’s just been hired to find the missing brother of a former fling. Of course, nothing in Kate’s world is ever simple, and she’s soon embroiled in a war between nearly all the supernatural beings in the city and a crazed vampire queen who wants to kill everything in sight. One thing is for certain: when the odds start stacking up against Kate, they do so quickly—and quite spectacularly.
I’m not entirely sure where to start with Kate, except to say that she’s the funniest character I’ve read in a very long time. Now that she’s got a steady girlfriend, she’s plagued with dreams that are connected to the Witch Queen of London (one of her ex-girlfriends), has to track down a murder and thief (who happens to be another of her ex-girlfriends), and gets rescued by a mortal genius named Eve who wields techy gizmos better than Batman (and is—yes—another of her exes). I won’t even get into the alpha wolf and the vengeful unicorn. Things get… complicated. But, Kate handles things as drily as always, and, although they were a little much every now and then, her internal monologues left me cackling regularly throughout the narrative.
Shadows & Dreams isn’t a comedy, however, and I found the mystery Kate’s trying to unravel impossible not to get wrapped up in. Less icky than its predecessor (no sewer parts!), this story tosses Kate from one piece of the puzzle to the next and back again, getting more and more convoluted with each step she takes. Adding to the difficult situation, Kate is both hated and liked by various members of each faction, and constantly finds herself walking the line between being saved or killed simultaneously at any moment. Not one to panic, Kate seems to face her trials with plenty of morbid resignation and profanity, and frequently uses her readily modified catchphrase that I loved from the previous story:
“Here lies Kate Kane. Executed by vampires underneath a portrait of a hot woman. Beloved daughter. Sorely missed.”
Good thing she still likes to drink a lot, otherwise things might just be fairly unbearable.
Definitely not your average mystery novel, Shadows & Dreams is a fast-paced trip into a bizarre world where even the most common supernatural devices are bent into something different and new. Although not everyone will likely appreciate Kate’s outlook and zingy deliveries, if you like your heroes snarky as well as (usually) capable, I think this series will be just the thing. Kate Kane is one of a kind and, while she isn’t the most powerful player on the board, she’s absolutely the most entertaining. Mr. Hall has crafted a highly unique and fun series, and I would very much love to see more of Kate in the future.
Second rule in this line of business: be careful who you kill.
My name’s Kate Kane. And right now, I don’t know which is more dangerous: my job, or my girlfriend. My job makes me the go-to girl for every supernatural mystery in London. My girlfriend’s an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince. Honestly, I think it’s probably a tie.
A few weeks ago, I was hired for a simple missing person case. Next thing I know, I’m being arrested for murder, a vampire army is tearing up London, and even my dreams are out to get me. Something ancient, evil, and scary as hell is on the loose and looking for payback. The vampires are in chaos, the werewolves are culling everything, and the Witch Queen can’t protect everyone.
Which means it’s down to me. And all I’ve got to hold back the shadows is a stiff drink, a quirky sidekick, my creepy ex-boyfriend, and the woman who left me for a tech startup. It’s going to be another interesting day.
Release Date: June 16, 2014
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Series: Kate Kane: Paranormal Investigator #2
Genre: Paranormal Suspense, LGBTQ, Lesbian Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (366 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Shadows & Dreams (Kate Kane: Paranormal Investigator #2)
Reviews in the Series:
Iron and Velvet by Alexis Hall (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #1)