I was away for a few days and wanted a bit of light relief from some of the grimmer Fantasy offerings I’ve been recently sampling – and this new addition to my Kindle, courtesy of Himself suddenly seemed like a very good idea.
Meena Harper has bitten off more than she can chew… She has a special gift, but only now does anyone appreciate it. Her ability to predict how everyone she meets will die has impressed the Palatine Guard—a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican—and they’ve hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. Sure, Meena’s ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames, and now she’s sworn off vampires for good—even though she firmly believes that just because they’ve lost their souls, it doesn’t mean they can’t love.
Convincing her new partner, Über-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf, that vampires can be redeemed won’t be easy. Especially when a deadly new threat arises, endangering not only the Palatine, but Meena’s friends and family as well. As she unravels the truth, Meena will find her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare.
Yes, yes, I know. Vampires. Again. But this offering has a welcome sprinkling of humour, and as you see from the cover, neither does it deal in
indecent boring detail about their sexiness, either. Meena is struggling to cope with the aftermath of what went down in the first book – as well as continuing to cope when she’s confronted with how people might die. And she keeps annoying Alaric, who to be honest, initially comes across as something of a berk. Although when juxtaposed with Lucien’s smooth patter, he quickly grew on me. But it’s Meena who holds the plot together. Her strong belief that no one is doomed forever, as well as her frantic efforts to try and head off the deaths of people she encounters are by turns humorously dappy and hopelessly idealistic. While I often want to shake such heroines till their teeth rattle, I just wanted to put an arm around Meena and gently explain to her how the world really works.
So why? I suspect it’s the way she’s written. Cabot is an experienced writer with a slew of successful books behind her and it shows. The characters are well depicted and enjoyable, the storyline was engrossing and provided some twists and turns. And for all the chirpy tone, there were still some death and destruction that had me fearful for the surviving cast in case Cabot offed someone I really cared about. I had the strong impression that she wouldn’t be afraid to kill off a major character…
The story arc raced towards the inevitable climax – and came to a satisfying ending that had me reading waaay into the night to find out what happened. If you enjoy urban fantasy, then give Overbite a go, but my firm advice would be to read Insatiable first. This series is worth savouring.