Review: Shadows & Dreams by Alexis Hall


Shadows & Dreams by Alexis Hall
Series: Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator (# 2)
Release Date: June 16, 2014
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages: 312
Source: Book provided by the publisher for review



Second rule in this line of business: be careful who you kill.

My name’s Kate Kane. And right now, I don’t know which is more dangerous: my job, or my girlfriend. My job makes me the go-to girl for every supernatural mystery in London. My girlfriend’s an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince. Honestly, I think it’s probably a tie.

A few weeks ago, I was hired for a simple missing person case. Next thing I know, I’m being arrested for murder, a vampire army is tearing up London, and even my dreams are out to get me. Something ancient, evil, and scary as hell is on the loose and looking for payback. The vampires are in chaos, the werewolves are culling everything, and the Witch Queen can’t protect everyone.

Which means it’s down to me. And all I’ve got to hold back the shadows is a stiff drink, a quirky sidekick, my creepy ex-boyfriend, and the woman who left me for a tech startup. It’s going to be another interesting day.


Review:   It only took me a few pages to realize I was definitely in the wrong part of town. Maybe I received the first clue when there was a reference to the main character’s girlfriend being a vampire prince. Then I considered whether “Kate” could be a man’s name. By that time, I had picked up some context clues that pointed me in what was ultimately the right direction. Yes, the main character is a lesbian.

Kate Kane is a paranormal investigator in London. She is part faery, which gives her some special powers. She’s been assigned a missing person’s case which lands her in the middle of a battle featuring vampires, werewolves and faery folk.

While this would never be among my favorite genres, I was rather impressed by the engaging writing style. Hall obviously has a sarcastic, dry humor that is perfectly channeled through the main character. Although not labeled as being part of a series, there is another book written with Kate Kane as the main character. My guess is that the reader probably would want to read it before this one or face the same dilemma I did of feeling lost.

In a complex set of events, Kate plays a vital role in defeating a powerful vampire. Through it all, the reader gets a glimpse at some rather unusual characters including an animated statue and creatures with names straight out of fantasy land.

With that said, it was certainly an unusual story line. The dialog is hilariously funny in places, especially given that everything is British English as opposed to American English. The heat level gets high and explicit throughout the book, but it doesn’t play a central role in the story line. If you enjoy fantasy stories with humor and drama a la Dungeons & Dragons, this will be one to add to your reading list.