Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Urban Fantasy Review: In a Fix
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.
This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.
Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
Ciel isn’t what you’d call a serious or deep character, but she certainly has plenty of spirit and she's always in the company of daring hot guys (who doesn't love that?). I was particularly intrigued with the invention of this apparent magical ability she shares with her family of aura adaptors, which gives them the ability to take on the appearance of other people often for very comic effect. In fact, some of the humor is so ridiculously slapstick that you wouldn’t think the story could hold up as anything but silly drivel, but somehow the thrilling adventure still comes through.
The fact that every person in her life treats Ciel like a baby sister gets a tad repetitive, but leaves lots of room for the character’s growth. Plus, the snappy dialogue between Ciel and Billy pulls the plot along so quickly that you get sucked into it till the end. These characters have a great relationship and a lot of heart, and it's impressive how easily the author brings these things across.
Although I prefer UF that has a broader range of myths and creatures, I still appreciate the shift toward lighter fare in this typically dark genre. It might even be a little too light for my tastes, but it won’t stop me from checking out future titles in the series if they come. If you’re looking for something funny and a heroine with lots of moxie, this one’s for you. Check out Linda Grimes's website for more info.