Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ARC Review: City of Monsters by Andrea Speed

City of Monsters
From the blurb:

Hunter is a human turned animal shifter in Nightshade, a literal city of monsters in a near-Earth dimension called Dev. All sorts of beasts reside here, unable to return to Earth, yet still plagued by the same jealousies, rivalries, and needs of any human. Resolving them is Hunter’s job.
Hunter faces supernatural perils at every turn: vampire debt collectors who most decidedly don’t sparkle, werewolfs who literally piss on everything you love, and surprise shifters. And just like back on Earth, there are mundane struggles too. Like paying the rent—which isn't easy for a guy with more vices than virtues—and keeping his haunted blender happy with pricey produce. So he takes a job from a foul-mouthed reverse tooth fairy to find her missing twin.
Just when things seem like they couldn’t get any worse, Hunter meets Sakari, a hot newcomer to Nightshade with a taste for danger. Will Sakari change Hunter’s bad luck, or will he only mean more trouble? Can Sakari help him solve his case? And how will Hunter explain the new man in his life to his blender?

Rosa's rating:

This book is my 127th reminder why I should be reading more Andrea Speed. (That's a guesstimation, by the way.) It's a safe bet I'll enjoy anything involving a jaded PI, but add in Speed's wry sense of humor and it's a guaranteed good time. For instance, allow me to share five things you'll find in City of Monsters:
1. Nightshade, the city itself which is, as promised, full of monsters and a surprisingly excellent WiFi connection.

2. A snow cone-enamoured vampire.

3. One pissed-off tooth fairy who's fond of such endearments as "dick sweat," "fuck bucket" and "ass head."

4. A haunted blender who tends to be a little judgmental of a certain jaded PI's personal choices: I had tried to talk it into making cocktails, but it didn't want to encourage what it called my "incipient alcoholism." Now that's just rude.

5. The certain jaded PI, Hunter Burrows who, like all the best PIs, is down on his luck and determined to make himself miserable. But he's not without a sense of humor: Look, I never claimed to have my act together. Or money to pay my debts. What am I, a responsible adult? Well, I should hope not. How boring would that be?

6. Sakari, the cute new guy in town, who may or may not be willing to sleep with our detective: He was giving me puppy dog eyes, which was totally unfair, especially since they seemed to be hitting me right in the dick. This convinced me that he knew he was cute and was just a little cocktease. And because my taste in men was so shitty, I found that appealing.
That last one was a freebie just for you. Yes, you. You're welcome.

My only major complaint is that I would've liked a more compelling mystery and a more convincing romance. I never really cared about Hunter's missing person case and I didn't feel a lot of heat between Hunter and Sakari. Maybe that’s due to the length, but Speed seemed to push them both aside in favor of her (nevertheless excellent) world-building. However, if you’d like to see world-building done well and read about a PI trying to tame his frappe obsessed haunted blender while attempting to get his head out of his dick, you’ve opened the right book.

By the way, you can find this story as well as stories by Abigail Roux and Anne Tenino in My Haunted Blender's Gay Love Affair, and Other Twisted Tales.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**


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