Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 384 pages
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in Cheshire Red Reports series
Source: Amazon Vine Program
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I will preface this review by saying that so far I have liked every book that I have read by Priest; I have read all of her Clockwork Century novels and enjoyed them. Although I loved the Steampunk theme to those books, I love urban fantasy even more. So I was very excited to see that she had decided to release an urban fantasy novel. This novel was wonderful, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it and can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Hellbent.
Cheshire Red a.k.a. Raylene Pendle is a world renown thief and a vampire. When a mysterious letter appears at her current safe-house with no address, she knows it is from another vampire. The letter is from Ian Stott a vampire who is blind after being kidnapped and forced into biological experiments that the government was doing. Ian wants Raylene to acquire his medical records from the secret government research facility. Easy peesy, right? Well of course not. The convoluted path will lead her through a number cities across the nation as well as throw her a new investigator partner in the form of an ex-Navy Seal drag queen.
This book was wonderful from beginning to end. It was fast-paced, had a plot that kept you guessing, lots of wonderful quirky characters, and great action sequences. This book is a lot lighter than Priest’s Clockwork Century series and a lot more fun. Raylene is a bit OCD, snarky, witty, and downright human despite the fact that she, well, really isn’t human at all. Ian Stott is another wonderful character as a blind, yet sensitive vampire and I wish that he had been in the story a bit more. Adrian is also a top character; I mean how can you not love a funny, kick-butt, ex Navy Seal drag queen? He is just great.
The plot is an intricate and interesting one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from the beginning to the end of the story. I especially liked how Raylene did so much travel; we got to read about her in Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and D.C. It also seemed like Priest did her research on the cities Raylene went too. Although I as a little bit put out at Minneapolis’s main descriptor being that it was cold, I really can’t deny that since next Monday we will have a daily high of zero oF, so I guess that is pretty accurate.
There isn’t a lot of romance in this book, a touch here and there but that is it. I love that since I like my books more towards urban fantasy than paranormal romance. The main story is wrapped up nicely but you can tell there will be a sequel to wrap up some plot points that show up in the end of the story.
How does this compare to Clockwork Century books? Well it is more fun and uses a more informal writing style. It is not necessarily better or worse than the Clockwork Century books, it is just different.
Overall a wonderful new urban fantasy book. I love Priest as a writer and she has once again proven what an excellent writer she is and also how versatile she can be. If you are a fan of the Kate Daniels series, the Jaz Parks series, or the Elemental Assassin series I would definitely pick this book up and give it a read.