Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Storm Born" by Richelle Mead

This is the first book in Mead's new Dark Swan series, and it's quite the departure from her Succubus books that I've been reading. While I did like this work, reader beware - this is definitely an dark urban fantasy with quite a bit more sex than the Succubus books. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Eugenie Markham is a shaman, and her services are sought after by those needing to banish spirits and fey who make their way into our world. Her latest case involves a tennis shoe; yes, it's actually a haunted sneaker. She's got a couple of sidekicks from the other side that are bound to her and must obey, etc. Sounds like the usual sort of fare for an urban fantasy, right? Enter Wil. He needs Eugenie to rescue his sister; she's been kidnapped by a fey to use and abuse as he wants. Having a soft heart, Eugenie agrees, even though it means putting her life at great risk. Normally, she sends her spirit self into the Otherworld, but this rescue will require her to go bodily.

Along the journey to retrieve the girl, Eugenie runs into a shape-shifter named Kiyo, and another fey king named Dorian, both of whom appear to be romantic interests. Oh, and several of the creatures living in the Otherworld seem to know Eugenie by her real name, not her spirit name of Odile (also known as the Dark Swan). Oh, those same creatures all seem to want to have sex with her, too. Turns out there's a prophecy of Eugenie and her future offspring, if she choses to have any. That same prophecy also reveals who her real father is. Cue the music, people...

While I liked this book, I must say that it seemed as if Mead was trying to make it as different as possible from her other work. I've run accross that sort of thing before, most notedly with Charlaine Harris' series about Harper Connelly. The first Harper book was a bit jarring, mostly because I think Harris wanted to be sure that she wasn't anything like Sookie Stackhouse. Mead has the same problem; she wants Eugenie to be a complete 180 from Georgina Kincaid. I gave Harris another chance, and now I'm a huge fan of the Harper books. So I will also give Mead another chance, and hopefully the next Dark Swan book will be better, too.

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