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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Characters
This is my first book in this series. I've learned to shy away from starting an Urban Fantasy in the middle of the series, but the first book in this series has been on my Wishlist for a while so I couldn't resist giving this one a try. Unsurprisingly I found myself a little confused in the first couple of chapters. Tess has a lot of people in her group of friends, so I...
Published on August 27, 2011 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing
This book could be a bit difficult to follow. Very often the characters devolve into one-upsmanship quipping which, while entertaining, can detract from the pace of the book. I enjoyed the characters and WILL read the next book, but this one left me scratching my head more than anything else.
Published on June 29, 2011 by Wildwily


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Characters, August 27, 2011
This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is my first book in this series. I've learned to shy away from starting an Urban Fantasy in the middle of the series, but the first book in this series has been on my Wishlist for a while so I couldn't resist giving this one a try. Unsurprisingly I found myself a little confused in the first couple of chapters. Tess has a lot of people in her group of friends, so I kept confusing the names. I also found myself bewildered by the character relationships. There were a lot of people living together and until I found out one of them was gay, I was confused over who was actually her love interest--the guy playing daddy or the one who she didn't want to tell her boss was at her house. But after the first few chapters it all became clear.

I was impressed with the way Tess was written. She wasn't bitchy or bitter or hardheaded, which I run into too often in UF. She didn't pretend she had all the answers and was willing to let her insecurities show in her relationship. She was also part of a family and it showed. Her interactions with the other characters spoke of familiarity and comfort. It was a nice change from the usual loner heroines. Although I liked seeing family and friends all crammed together in one house, I didn't really enjoy the parts where Tess played mom. I liked the teenagers on their own, but for some reason I didn't like having to watch the parent/teen dynamic. I was also doubly impressed when I found out that the author was male. I think he captured a female voice very nicely.

A lot happens in this book and I think if you are a long time reader of the series you'll be thrilled with the new information that's revealed. Tess learns more about the demon half of her family and she finds reason to wonder if what she's been told about her father all her life is really true. She also finally gets her necromancer boyfriend, Lucien, to open up a bit about his past. Unfortunately for her she doesn't like everything she learns and has to adjust to the new insecurity she feels. There's also a surprise event at the end that has me curious about where the series is going.

One thing that really surprised me about this book was the lack of climax. It was extremely odd to find that missing. The bad guy was defeated in a fight, sure, but it didn't have the buildup and release of tension I usually associate with the climax of the story. I was surprised to find that without a clear cut high point I was left feeling a little adrift when the book ended. It wasn't a huge problem for me, but it was something that bothered me.

The humor in this is pretty great. The characters are all friends together so they joke and laugh easily. I thought the jokes and one liners were funny, but I have to admit that after a while I got tired of it. When almost every character in the book is cracking jokes it wears on you a lot faster than if just the main character was doing it. The humor wasn't just found in the jokes, though. The situations the characters found themselves in--like a patient waking up right as it's about to be autopsied (this reminded me of a House episode)--provided a lot of the humor, too. It was also cute and funny to watch the little demon they found, Ru, try to adjust the world.

Overall I ended up enjoying this book a lot. The world and the magic were interesting, and I liked what I saw of their investigation agency. The friendships and the relationships were the strongest point of the book and seeing all the characters has made me want to read the older books to learn more about what got them to this point in life. I think I'll be on the lookout for more OSI books in the future.

P.S. I don't know why this was the line of disbelief for me, but when we got to law system and I learned that most of the lawyers were animals, I just couldn't believe it. I can accept necromancers and demons and magic, but I can't accept lawyer animals? Lol. I amuse myself.

Favorite Quote:

"Has this always been here?" I asked.

"It's new."

"But--just to be clear--we have a high-security hotel suite in the lab. With cable."

"You can't use it."

"But I hate sleeping on the couch in the break room."

"You don't have to. You can sleep at home, like other people."

"Is that bed a queen?"

"You're never using this room. Understand?"

I sighed. "It's not like we have paradimensional demons staying with us all the time. What about when it's not in use? Am I just supposed to ignore it?"

"Yes. You need my key card to get in, so it doesn't matter."

"Where was this room when we needed somewhere for Mia to stay?"

"It hadn't been built yet."

"Is there a bathroom over--"

"Forget it."

"Fine."

Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific urban fantasy, June 1, 2011
This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Occult Special Investigators (Tess, Derrick, Lucian and Miles) head to the morgue to claim the corpse of a boy found on a nearby beach. The lad may not be human and almost definitely is not dead.

At the morgue, a demon attacks the four agents. The unit subdues the adversary capturing adult demon Basuram. They take him and the not dead boy who is the child Ru to OSI headquarters. Basuram demands they hand Ru over to him, as the High Court of the Ferid directed him to bring back the boy to face criminal charges though the demon admits he does not know what they are. However Earth is considered sanctuary so Tess, backed by her three teammates refuses to hand over Ru without further information. As she and her partners, investigate the claims Tess begins to uncover information about her own still cloudy heritage.

The latest occult special investigator Tess Corday urban fantasy (see A Flash of Hex and Inhuman Resources) is a terrific thriller as the heroine struggles with balancing her personal life with the demands of 24/7 on call duty. The story line is loaded with action from start to finish while the heroine and readers begin to learn more about whom (perhaps what is the better descriptor) Tess Corday is; while she and her teammates struggle with being in the middle of a demon fight.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to see a new one., July 26, 2011
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This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
I love this series and am very glad to see a new book after so long. Looking forward to the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing, June 29, 2011
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This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book could be a bit difficult to follow. Very often the characters devolve into one-upsmanship quipping which, while entertaining, can detract from the pace of the book. I enjoyed the characters and WILL read the next book, but this one left me scratching my head more than anything else.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Undeveloped plot makes this a filler book, August 4, 2013
This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
(3.5 stars) There didn't seem to be as much of a plot in this book. It starts off strong, but then meanders through all sorts of intense issues. It eventually comes full circle, but without a climax to the initial demon conflict. There is almost too much going on as the author is building towards the next book, making this almost a filler book. Like book 3 in the series, the "bad guy" is dispatched almost too conveniently at the end. The reveal about Tess's father at the end is through exposition rather than through real action/conflict, and her decision to make a big change at the end didn't have enough of an emotional buildup -- rather, we just see her under her every day stress without the deeper emotional angst that results in life-altering decisions. I still enjoyed the book because I've become invested in the characters through the previous books, but it could have been better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Infernal Affairs (...), August 17, 2012
This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm not usually a big fan of the Police Procedural, in Thrillers or in Urban Fantasy, which is why this review should be high praise. One of the reasons I read fantasy is, I know the odds of a Werewolf jumping out at me in the parking garage or a Vampire grabbing me for a snack are slim. I won't read books about serial killers or rapists because it is too real, and I don't find anything like that entertaining. In fact, I don't understand people who do.

By the very nature of the job, the characters in Police Procedurals tend to be, like many of their real life counterparts, depressed, and bitter. I like my fantasy more upbeat then this variation of the genre usually dictates. I'm reading to forget the news, not to give me reasons to sit home alone with every light in the house on, fixating on man's inhumanity to man and wondering what that noise I heard was. I don't mind being scared; I just prefer it to be something that can't scare me in real life.

There are exceptions to everything of course. Authors who write with a certain twist that grabs me despite the formula these types of books usually follow. Off the top of my head I can tell you I do like Diana Rowland's Urban Fantasy Police Procedurals, and I like Jes Battis who writes the OSI Novels. OSI stands for Occult Special Investigations, and they are the CSI of the Paranormal in Vancouver.

Battis has a new OSI novel out today - May 31st: INFERNAL AFFAIRS, published by ACE. The publisher promo paragraph says:

A dead body on the beach turns out to be a live demon on the run from some of the nastiest bounty hunters in this dimension-or the next. Protecting one demon from another, Tess gets wrapped up in a case that's as dangerous as it is mind-boggling, especially when it begins to involve her own past.

Tess is the equivalent of a CSI investigator. If the Vancouver Police Department gets something that looks paranormal, her department is called in. They have the mix of science and magic to get the job done, and the weird shit always lands on their desks. Tess, like most of these characters, is suffering from job burnout.

She lives in a large apartment with her best friend and co-worker Derrick, who is gay and in a relationship with Miles who moved in, who is deaf, and who works with the lab. Much of the conversation in the house is in Sign language, which is cool and is convenient when they want to say something to each other without being overheard.

Tess and Derrick are co-parenting two teenagers they have adopted, Patrick and Mia both of whom are Vampires, one fully and one latent. Mia is able to take medication to suppress it, like a virus, and much of the book has Tess worrying that Mia will decide to become a Vampire. Tess says she doesn't think she has become a supernatural soccer mom, but she spends a lot of time worrying about the kids, which is what any mother does, and she keeps picking up strays, so I'm thinking that is exactly what she is, minus the soccer.

Tess's boyfriend is Lucien, a consultant for OSI and a necromancer, and he has moved in as well. You'd think it would get to be a bit much, all these people working together and living together, but it seems to work. There is the occasional roommate spat but they have more on their hands to worry about then whose turn it is to make coffee, although they do argue about it.
In addition to being a forensic scientist, Tess has an affinity for Earth magic. Everybody has something they are good at on the team and they all work together great.

Half the team is in relationships with each other, which means when they are called in, they're all usually at the same place, Tess's pad, which while potentially awkward at work, does save gas on the commuting.

Selena is the long-suffering boss, the cool boss you all wish you had. She also pretends to look the other way, at the coupling going on in the office. Let's face it, if you work in police forensics, on the night shift, and the jobs are all paranormal....you're going to have a tough time finding someone who "gets" what you are going through. Throw in magical abilities and...you must shop at work for a significant other.

Selena has paged everyone on the team to show up at 2:00 AM because a body has been found on the beach. Selena suspects that it is A. a demon and B. not dead, so everyone has to pretend to work at the morgue, get to the autopsy room, stop the autopsy, and cover up anyone's memories of seeing them on the way out, which is just another night at work.

The team assembles, changes into appropriate undercover clothes, gets past the guards and into the room just in time to stop the Pathologist Dr. Rashid from cutting open the corpse. Turns out, Selena was spot on, it is a Demon, it isn't dead, and surprisingly it is a child, albeit a 200-year-old one (on his planet they mature slowly.)

Just as they are calming the Dr. down after he starts to cut into the body of the boy and the kid rises up screaming, a very bad dude from another dimension appears. He has followed the other one over and is trying to return him, dead or alive.

A lot of shit talking starts up, then a serious battle breaks out in the Morgue and somehow they subdue the big baddie and transport both the demons to their lab, after having to do some extensive brainwashing behind them. They then begin to interview both of the demons to try to find out, what is really going on. The young one is named Ru, and he is pretty darn adorable, but he has amnesia so he isn't very helpful as to why he is on earth or how he got there. The other one is seriously bad news and not helpful except to say he was hired to bring Ru back, that he is a terrorist on their planet, oh yeah and stuff like, "let me go or I will liquefy your brains." He has to be kept doped up just to keep him from escaping, which of course he later does. This also kicks off an interesting subplot regarding Tess's origins as the doped up evil Demon spouts some surprising things about Tess.

Everyone on the team takes turns babysitting Ru, teaching him about the important things on Earth, like TV and Microwaves. He's from a very advanced civilization and is damn smart, so it's fun watching the interaction between him and the various team members.

I enjoyed Infernal Affairs a lot. It had just enough action to keep it from slowing down, but its real strengths are in the relationships between the co-workers, the friends, the lovers, and the adopted young vampires. Infernal Affairs doesn't have to hit you over the head every five seconds with dramatic violent action. With Science, Magic, police calls, lovers spats, intergenerational parental spats and mysteries, and sparkling dialogue it keeps you turning the pages into the night.

Infernal Affairs has some of the best dialogue I've seen in Urban Fantasy. It is filled with snark, wit, emotion and charm.
There is a lot of it. It was almost like reading a screenplay, with just a little description thrown in, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I adored the relationship between Tess and Derrick, it felt incredibly real and was very touching and was actually more nuanced then her relationship with Lucien, which maybe needs some kind of crisis to move it a long.

There were some serious revelations at the end of the book regarding Tess and the mystery of her Father. I also expect that Ru will be living at the pad by the next book, while they try to figure out how to enroll a 200-year-old baby demon into grade school or something. I suspect Tess and Derrick will have one more magical young misfit they have taken under their less than conventional wings to help raise. I hope so, it adds to the fun. What happens next with Ru, Tess's new knowledge, and a decision made in haste leave me very eager to read what happens in the next installment.

PS:

One thing I don't understand is why so many authors call characters in their books Demons, when they are just beings from a different dimensional plane of existence, or another planet and just like humans are both good and bad. Not exactly what I think of when I hear the word Demon, but I guess it sounds more exciting. I'm going to write a blog post about this at some point because it is interesting to me how the word Demon has been dechristianized in UF/PNR and either turned into something erotic or just co-opted to provide a new type of character.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but . . ., February 23, 2013
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Jes Battis' novels are pretty typical urban fantasy: about as substantial as cotton candy, and just as much fun to consume. I've enjoyed every book that I've read in this series, and I give them points for both an original take on magic/vampires/demons and for being LGBTQ friendly. However, Infernal Affairs contains a massive error that should have never made it past the copyediting stage. During a scene where the OSI is investigated a site where a demon-boy was found washed up on a Vancouver beach, reference is made to the use of dark-matter detectors which contain "[n]eedlethin wafers of xenon, a heavy metal". Xenon, as any educated person should be aware is a noble gas, not a heavy metal, and it definitely doesn't come in wafers. When I hit that passage, it knocked me right out of any sense of immersion.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "anyways" is not a word, August 7, 2011
By 
Nori Lamphere "ElfNori" (Washington, the state.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Infernal Affairs (OSI) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have really enjoyed the entire OSI series with two exceptions. I would prefer less strange sex (just my personal preference and no real reflection on the author) AND I wish someone would tell Battis "anyway" is already plural and requires no "s" on the end. This is the first time I've run across an author who used "anyways" and I wince very time I see it. I *hear* it a lot, which makes me wince, but that's not nearly as bad as seeing it in print. That Battis is a professor and a teacher makes this close to a hanging offense. If Battis had consulted the dictionary more and used big technical words less, the series would deserve a much higher review than I'm giving it.
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Infernal Affairs (OSI)
Infernal Affairs (OSI) by Jes Battis (Mass Market Paperback - May 31, 2011)
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