Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Roc Hardcover
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Agent of Hel series
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is the second book in the Agent of Hel series by Carey. I was a huge fan of Carey’s Kushiel’s books and enjoyed her Santa Olivia series as well. I don’t like this series quite as well as those two, but overall this is a well done urban fantasy series. The third book in this series, Poison Fruit, is scheduled for an October 2014 release.
Things are settling down for the town of Pemkowet. Daisy has gained respect as an Agent of Hel and is continuing to work as a liaison with the police department. She is also happily dating normal human Sinclair Palmer. At least she thought Sinclair was normal, until his secrets start coming to light. Ends up Sinclair’s family has a history of Obeah sorcery and they want Sinclair to come back to Jamaica. They will destroy Pemkowat if necessary in order to gain Sinclair’s cooperation.
There are some other side storylines going on as well. There is a mysterious lawyer of demonic origin who is trying to buy up property and of course Daisy’s struggling to balance her good and evil side.
Daisy has grown some as a character from the first book. She is more comfortable in her role of Hel’s Agent and is learning how to protect herself better from outside influence (both physical and magical). She’s a mostly happy go lucky girl, who just happens to be half-demon. She is continually struggling with her demonic nature, although we never see much of that in the story. Honestly she is probably the least interesting character in the book
However the side characters are very interesting. Sinclair obviously has some deep secrets and those are revealed in this book (although they aren’t as deep and dark as I had hoped). Cody is your typical werewolf, but him and Daisy have some history and I am interested in why he refuses to get serious with Daisy. We also spend a lot more time with the local coven and that was enjoyable as well.
The best side character by far is Stefan. He is the ghoul that has been helping Daisy out. I love the way ghouls are done in this book. They are basically emotional vampires, but it is more complicated than that. They are Outcast, stuck between heaven and hell forever. They cannot die and they cannot fully live. We learn more about Outcast and how Outcast become that way. There is a lot of tension between Daisy and Stefan. However, Daisy always holds back because she is worried about the temptation outing her demonic side.
This is a decently written and overall enjoyable urban fantasy (but set in a small town). It’s definitely a light urban fantasy (not really fluffy, but definitely not dark). There is some romance and some action as well; mostly this is a mystery though. The story can get a bit scattered at times. There is a lot going on here and it’s not tied together as well as it could be.
Overall a decent urban fantasy. There are a lot of elements I like here. I like the different races, the mystery, and some of the side characters. However, I am not a huge fan of Daisy. Daisy complains about struggling against her demonic nature, but we don’t see this a whole lot in the story….things stay pretty light throughout.
The writing is not nearly up to the same beautiful quality as the Kushiel’s books, it is much more casual…which I guess fits this type of story a bit better. Still you can write something that is more casual and still generate good imagery (which is not done here). I do love the world of little town Pemkowet. I would recommend to urban fantasy fans. Give the first book a read and if you like it, this book is more of the same.