Thursday 3 December 2015

#CBR7 Book 130: "Sweep in Peace" by Ilona Andrews

Page count: 237 pages
Rating: 4 stars

This is the second book in the Innkeeper Chronicles. It can be read as a stand-alone, but to really get the most enjoyment out of this book, and to get a proper feel and understanding for some of the characters, you may want to read the first one, Clean Sweep and also two of the Andrews' Edge books, Fate's Edge and Steel's Edge.

As I did last time, I'm going to let the authors sum up the book themselves:
Dina DeMille doesn't run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies the laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina's door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps at the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde and the devious Merchants of Baha-Char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn...and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it's all in a day's work for an Innkeeper.  

Back in 2012, husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews wanted to try something new, to give themselves a challenge and give something a bit different to their many fans. They started writing a story in instalments, posting it every so often on their website, a chapter at a time. Writing in such a way, they were unable to go back and edit previous chapters until the story was finished. The story,  Clean Sweep, a sort of suburban fantasy/sci-fi hybrid, became popular enough that the authors decided to self-publish it, and it sold in surprising quantities. This year, they wrote a sequel, delighting fans by incorporating characters from their Edge series and expanding the premise set up in the first book. Once again, even though it had been available to read for free on their website for months, it sold in huge numbers once they released it for sale, hitting nr 31 on the USA Today list three days after release.

Currently juggling two other urban fantasy series, the Kate Daniels books and the Hidden Legacy trilogy (where book 2 and 3 have sadly been delayed until 2017), the Innkeeper books does something a bit different, but still contains all the things that fans love about the Andrews' books. There are well-rounded characters, a focus on strong family bonds, whether biological or "found" families. There's great world-building, interesting and dangerous situations, clever quips, thrilling fight sequences and hints of romance. I very much appreciated seeing the return of some of my favourite characters from the latter Edge books in new roles and a new setting and am extremely pleased that the Andrews' plan to continue to write Innkeeper books alongside their other projects.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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