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The Grendel Affair: A SPI Files Novel Mass Market Paperback – December 31, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the SPI Files Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Lisa Shearin
 
“Lisa Shearin is on my auto-buy list!”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times Bestselling Author of Magic Rises
 
“Shearin is a definite star on the rise.”—Linnea Sinclair, RITA Award-winning author of Rebels and Lovers

“Lisa Shearin turns expectation on its ear and gives us a different kind of urban fantasy.”—C. E. Murphy, author of Raven Calls

“Shearin weaves a web of magic with a dash of romance that thoroughly snares the reader. She’s definitely an author to watch!”—Anya Bast, national bestselling author of Wicked Enchantment

“Lisa Shearin represents that much needed voice in fantasy that combines practiced craft and a wicked sense of humor.”—Bitten by Books

About the Author

Lisa Shearin currently works as the editor at an advertising agency.  She has been a magazine editor and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.  Lisa enjoys singing, reading, writing novels, and fencing (foil and epee, as well as rapier & dagger dueling).  She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two cats, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell terrier who rules them all.

She is the author of Magic Lost, Trouble Found, Armed & Magical, The Trouble with Demons, Bewitched & Betrayed, Con & Conjure, and All Spell Breaks Loose.
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Product Details

  • Series: A SPI Files Novel (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (December 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425266915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425266915
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. Lisa's happily freelancing for an advertising agency as an editor and proofreader. In her previous corporate life, she's been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

Lisa is the national bestselling author of The Raine Benares novels, a series of six comedic fantasy adventures. Her next series--The SPI Files--is an urban fantasy that's been described as Stephanie Plum meets Men in Black. It will debut on December 31, 2013.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens both vintage and modern. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell Terrier who rules them all.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I love Lisa Shearin's Raine Beneres series and I had high hopes for this new series... but... it just doesn't jell for me.

The setting is New York, the time is today (or close enough to make no difference). There are things that go bump in the night about which most humans are clueless. And there are the good guys, the SPI, who tries to keep the lid on.

Like all of Lisa's books the writing itself is very good, the dialog is snappy, the action scenes are exciting. But the story just doesn't hold together. I got tired of hearing how ineffectual Mac (the heroine) was with a gun and how much Ian (the hero???) didn't think she could hack it... And I got tired of how much Mac comes off as the ineffectual little girl trying to prove she's a grownup.

And don't get me started on the SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations), it simply doesn't make much sense. It's too big, too well funded and there are too many people involved to have kept it secret for so long.

But... well, Lisa does write a good book. Even with all it's faults I enjoyed reading it and I will certainly buy the next one. I just hope that Lisa manages to plug the holes and make the next one as good as her Raine books...
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By Reeth on February 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had trouble getting into this story. The author used too many clichés in trying for snappy prose and comedy that could have been handled better with less cutesy phrases. I also got tired of Mac's constant self-depredation. She seemed simply whiney about not being the super woman of the team, even though she said she wanted to tackle bad guys through investigative reporting rather face them with force. She did seem to somehow pull herself out of the fire at each crisis.

I didn't stop reading and the story gradually got better, less cutesy. I liked the characters of the various supernatural beings and felt most were well developed in a logical fashion. For me, the story would have been better with a better female protagonist, one who developed into someone we could admire. Her powers were greatly needed, and she came from a successful family. Why was she so wimpy intellectually? Lots of action, not much growth.

The best scene, for me, was when her boss caught her as she fell from the catwalk and she managed to shoot the Grendel with the paintball gun so the boss could see him. I liked the supporting characters, the other agents, better than either of the two "stars." I especially liked Mac's boss.

After reading other reviews, I'll try Shearin's other series, but doubt I'll read more of this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Grendel Affair's Mac was kind of difficult for me to connect with at first. Being a seer named Mac, it took me a beat to separate her from Karen Marie Moning's Mac in the Fever series. These characters are nothing alike and neither is the tone of the stories, but I couldn't get the comparison out of my head. Also, I was frustrated by the lack of training it seemed Mac had received and often felt like she was being set up to fail. I get not wanting a valuable seer to be in danger, but it is obvious the job is dangerous - teach the girl a little self-defense! I did end up warming to Mac and enjoyed her irreverent sense of humor.

The Grendel Affair makes its romantic lead pretty clear, especially based on the ending. I loved how much of a badass Ian was, but I especially appreciated how he realized that Mac was more than capable of learning to take care of herself physically and that he trusted her to have his back. I think Ian is just unequivocally a good guy and I think he would be good for Mac.

The SPI Files definitely had some interesting secondary characters; I especially loved Mac's boss, an actual dragon lady! I hope we learn more about Mac's coworkers in future books because, as of now, only Yasha the werewolf felt like a developed character. Also, I loved that the villian of this book was Grendel! What other books have used Grendel as the villain and incorporated it believably into modern society? No seriously, let me know if there are others so I can read them too!

I felt like The Grendel Affair was lacking in the world building department just a little bit. I never got a real feel for Mac's background or why the SPI was created but the FBI/CIA doesn't know about them. Overall, it just didn't feel believable enough.
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I love the Raine Benares series so I bought this one and I regret it. Characterization, world-building and action are adequate for a first novel in a new series; the real downer is in two fundamental plot holes:

1) The villain's plot is contradictory. Supposedly an ancient powerful smart creature doesn't like humanity's technological power and wants to reduce us to 'food and slaves'; yet instead of plotting to destroy that technological superiority she tries to publicly expose supernaturals - which will change humanity from potentially dangerous unwitting victims into forewarned angry (technologically empowered) hunters.

2) SPI itself is nonsensical. They are an international organization of altruistic supernatural paramilitary cops with no source of funding yet they have military-grade hardware & tech, top experts of all kinds and unofficial government access at many levels all over the world? And don't say 'hoard' because no hoard is sufficient to fund an organization that would have expenses in the billions per year on an ongoing basis. Not even a multibillion corporate empire could sustain it without income resulting from SPI expenses - and there isn't.
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