Science fiction and fantasy
Pros and Cons
by Jenna Black
The first half of this novella is very low fantasy. Apart from Nikki's hunches, it could be a standard modern crime novel. Then we meet Jack, a descendant of the trickster god Loki. Nikki finds Jack annoying and difficult to work with, because he's motivated by a sense of fun more than any consideration for safety or even profit.
I found Pros and Cons to have a very satisfying mystery. Even though it's very short there's room for quite a knotty tangle of twists and con tricks. Nikki Glass is likeable, although she's a fairly standard type of character for the genre: she makes up for her lack of physical stature by being capable and determined. I liked Jack more, due to his unpredictable and mischievous nature. On the whole though this is an entertaining story which is fun, pacy and tightly written. There is some violence, but it's not especially graphic. The story hints at a bigger conflict when we learn that Nikki is concentrating on this case in order to avoid Anderson Kane, an immortal who also seems to be her boss. This thread doesn't go any further than a hint, but I was intrigued by it. The characters and style of this novella were definitely good enough to make me want to explore the rest of the Nikki Glass series.
4th February 2013
If you like this, try:Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton
How can Anita Blake defeat the Mother of All Darkness, an ancient vampire with no body of her own?
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Rachel Morgan has to figure out who she can trust if she is to survive more than a few days as a supernatural bounty hunter.
Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
A series of murders threaten the fragile peace between vampires, mages, and the other dark races. The fourth in the Sabina Kane series.
Review © Ros Jackson