This book had me laughing way too much. Right from the first chapter it was clear that this author’s humour was meant for me. I’m definitely a fan of witty banter. Miles was hilarious, Havoc was what every demon should be. Evil, spunky and classy all in one. And the side characters added just enough depth to keep the story vibrant and entertaining.
What I really liked about this book is that it was a romance not stylised as a romance. A lot of times you go into these LGBT themed books and it’s all about the relationship. It could be a mystery, a drama, fantasy, or even espionage but the budding relationship takes centre stage and the actual plot just flits away into the background. This story, however, was about people dying, about finding out who the murderer was, and finding them before more people die. The relationship was something that happened on the side of the main focus of the story which is as it should be.
The pacing was good. The clues were dropped at the right moments to help move the case along and I never felt bogged down by the book. There was enough mystery about the main villain that I knew they might not surface in this instalment but wouldn’t feel cheated by this fact because this story had it’s own present mystery to solve. Which is good, there’s a big guy out there but you know that the crime in this book will be solved in this book so there wouldn’t be a cliffhanger, or incomplete type feeling.
The author does a clear job of explaining mages and how they work without leaving the reader bogged down with exposition. It sits naturally in the form of everyday conversation and usually leads to the next scene. I rarely was confused about what was going on and everyone stayed in character except for one incident involving blood, that had Miles fainting and not using an opportunity for a wisecrack. I get where the author was going but considering that he and Havoc’s partnership is almost entirely based on wisecracks and witty banter, and Miles has killed probably hundreds of people in his life that whole scene from the stabbing to him having an anxiety attack, the only one he has in the entire book, was just all sorts of odd and awkward for me.
As far as comedic murder mysteries go this one was as good as the best of them. Especially when it did lapse into more serious territory, you could feel it just as much as the laughs. My only other problem was Havoc getting mad at Baron for something totally not his fault. Havoc knows better than anyone what it feels like to not have control over your actions. For someone who was once held prisoner and probably the oldest person in this story he should know better. This with the blood incident were the only two things that almost took it into the relationship more important than plot territory. I honestly could not see any other reason for these two incidents.
Miles is strong enough to hold this book on his own, however, the side cast was immaculate. A caffeine-addicted forest spirit who can not understand sarcasm is too sweet not to love. Marco’s narcissism was too over the top to take seriously and clearly the cast agrees with me–clueless and annoying but harmless. Lanni is just all sorts of kool. She’s written to be awkward but she always makes sense which is part of her charm. She delivers sense in awkward ways. Sam is definitely the cop of my dreams, swoons. And lastly Iya. He is by far my favourite character. Never says the right thing but always wants to do the right thing. He’s like the friend you want in a bar fight, the friend you want to cry on, on bad days, basically anyone’s fav best friend. Tall sexy, half-bull, preoccupied with sex and only lives to do right by his master, in this case Miles. I really really hope he and Sam get more page time. Like Sam’s sheer embarrassment that he likes Iya and Iya’s complete obliviousness to this embarrassment gets me my biggest laughs. Iya climbing out of the summoning hole in chapter two is the best thing in this novel. Seriously Iya and Sam need their own spin-off detective series. I’m here for it. And not just cause I want to read that sex scene, well not entirely just because of that.
Iya and Sam’s lusting aside, this book was a hilarious fun ride. It hit the mystery notes, the comedic ones, the erotic ones and definitely the deep emotional ones that come with loss death and even enslavement. It left me satisfied even though I know the main bad guy won’t get his comeuppance until the next book. An easy five stars and I can’t wait to read part two.