Sometimes, in spite of my PollyAnna nature which leans toward running down daisy-filled hillsides in the glorious spring, gentle breezes wafting, puffy clouds floating overhead, the sun warm on the shoulders….. <pop> …. sorry, got carried away there, a girl yearns for something grittier, darker, involving, well, violence and gore. She yearns for a female lead, a lady warrior, a chick with
balls courage and tenacity.
Gotcher damsel-dealing-out-distress rightchere, bunky. Mz. Andrews has written a series of knock-your-socks-off books starring a female mercenary in a meticulously complete alternate world in Atlanta, Georgia, where the city is in the hands of two warring factions: necromancers who control the dead (they pilot zombie vampires), and the Pack, a group of shapechangers which are mostly cats of various types with a couple of rodents thrown in for variety. The Pack is led by a totally gorgeous guy with the strength of ten or twenty or whatever.
Our gal, Kate Daniels, the mercenary, works for whoever pays her, and works part time for the Order, which is a group of knights. So you know by the name Order and the fact that they have knights that they are the good guys trying to keep order and balance in the city and region.
When her guardian, a knight, is disgustingly murdered, she is hired by the Order to find out on the Q.T. who murdered him. She gets involved with the Pack, and also with the folks of the necromancers group, the Master of the Dead, both groups having suffered unexplained losses themselves, as they work together in an uneasy collaboration to find the nasty creature/s.
Lots of fight scenes, violence, blood. But lots of cool stuff too, if you are into the urban noir paranormal genre. Werewolves (the Pack), drop dead gorgeous guys, vampires, interesting cast of secondary characters, magic, supernatural events, paranormal daily life, humor of a kind. OK, not the LOL kind of humor, but if you are not taking the whole thing too seriously, the chuckle under your breath kind. Tough lady protagonist, almost mannish, but then, when you are slicing and dicing and decapitating and gutting enemies, just how girly-girl can one be?
So, aside from the mystery, which tends to feel almost incidental to the whole thing, it is clearly unapologetic genre fiction. I rather liked how we are immersed immediately into the world there in Para-lanta with no scene setting, but are left to find out in bits, pieces, chunks and snippets all about the world and its inhabitants.
There are 13 offerings in the series, including a prequel and a short story or two. I think I may have satisfied my blood lust with this one. I mean, just how many zombie vampires can a person take, right?