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on March 23, 2009
This is the third in the Retriever series and the books continue to get better. Of the urban fantasy genre, the book contains a nice mix of the magic and the mundane and makes the mix "believable". The books are well written with a good use of language. Plots are complex, characters well-developed (and quirky enough to be very human, even when they're not) and the pacing is good. Multiple story lines are well managed and keep you guessing - the great thing is, the author doesn't see the need to wrap things up quickly as so many other do, often to the detriment of the story - the plots all develop well and end at what seems to be an appropriate time, not all necessarily in the one book (which isn't a problem - you can still read them as stand alones and pick up a good read). Not all goes as planned, the main characters have flaws that make them even more interesting and generally I find I need to keep reading. They keep me engaged and looking for the next one. Highly recommended.
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on March 14, 2016
Love this book series
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on February 18, 2014
Really interesting and lovable characters, very good story, great humor and good drama. An excellent series, has all the elements to keep me hooked.
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on October 21, 2013
Awesome series, unique idea behind the main characters and great writing, other series off the Retrievers are awesome to enjoy
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on July 16, 2006
This is the third book in the Retreiver series and it just keeps getting better! In this one, Wren decides to take on a project without Sergei, her business partner, manager and lover. After all, it's just a simple job.

Nothing is simple any more and Sergei is keeping his own secrets as well. There's something going on at the Silence and he's trying to keep himself and Wren out of it while holding the Silence to their promise to protect Wren.

PB, Wren's demon friend, has an agenda of his own, trying to promote harmony between the Fae, the Nulls and the Lone Jack Talents. Unfortunately, there's Lone Jacks missing, Fae dying and the hate groups rising. The Council (which rules the Talents and the Lone Jacks ignore)is definitely involved as well.

Between Wren & Sergei's attempts to make their relationship work, the "simple job", the problems with the Silence, the clashes of the Fae/Human/Talent and Wren's attempts to calm everyone down when her talent makes her "invisible", this is a very exciting book.

This is a well written series. The characters keep evolving. I can't wait for the next one!
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on August 16, 2008
Usually I get bored by the third or forth book in a series, but not with this series. Each book is better than the one before it. You really get into the characters and the romance that is developing. And you really need to start with the first book.
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on November 5, 2012
Very exciting can't wait to read next one! I have just discovered this series and I will definitely be reading all of them!
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on August 14, 2006
Although this was not as action filled as the first two books, it was obviously written to expand the plot lines. I think the next one will probably be more like the first two. That said, I did enjoy reading this book and will continue to buy the series. I like the dynamics between Sergei, Wren, and her Demon friend, who has decided to act in the role of familiar for Wren.
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on September 4, 2012
Our heroine is Wren Valere, a talented young woman in her late 20s who is a lonejack, a solo magic user raised up in a soloist tradition. She works as a "retriever" - essentially a thief with considerable magical talents. Someone stole something from you - something magical, dangerous, powerful? You pay Valere and her "manager" Sergei Didier, and she'll steal it right back.

New York City is a vibrant place at any time, but in LAG's world talents (those who feel and manipulate current) and nulls (those who neither feel nor manipulate current/magic) intersect constantly, and it's not always a pretty sight. We have the Cosa Nostradamus -- the fatae who live their own magic, the nonhuman griffins, piskies, dryads, etc. - and those humans who are either lonejacks of varying power and skills, or members of The Council. The Council prefers to run everything in its own city. They want control of all magic-users - but they'll settle for intimidation.

And then there are the humans who have no magic of their own, but know it exists and want to know what's going on in every nook and cranny of the city. Among the most powerful are a group called The Silence. They hire lonejacks to work with them, their interface staff called "handlers" who manage the "talent."

Wren, who specializes in never being seen, who keeps to herself and avoids all Council and fatae politics, slowly finds herself being drawn into the intricate games of The Council and The Silence. The first rule of the lonejacks is "Don't get involved." But Wren loves her city, her people - can she really step away from what is growing throughout Manhattan? And this time, Sergei may not be able to help her.

Laura Anne Gilman's books are intricate, and she has a trick of dropping you into her characters' lives so at first you can't see the story for the trees, shall we say. But her work rewards patience. For intricate urban fantasy, give her books a try. There are benefits to starting with the first book, but I think they stand alone. They do get progressively darker, though.
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on April 4, 2013
This one is a little different from the first two in the series. The actual retrieval mission is a very small part of the book, with is starting up midway in, picking up in another chapter or two, and ending before the 2/3 point.

The main plot here is the vigilante attacks on the fatae (magical creatures)--and, possibly, on Talents (magic using humans). This merges into Sergei's plot with The Silence (his old secret society of agents that clean up magical and non-magical messes) as well as the Mage Council ploy whereby the local head of the council is consolidating power by absorbing other cities' councils.

So this isn't really about Wren as a retriever. Her "don't see me" powers are used, but mostly in spying type situations and to avoid boring meetings. She organizes the fatae and the mages--lonejacks, independents, and council alike--to work together to make the city safe from vigilantes, Sergei works his contacts to discover the truth behind a major shake-up in The Silence, we learn that someone is torturing Talents and to learn how to brainwash them, and Sergei and Wren have their first major fight since starting a non-professional relationship.

If you liked the first two, as yourself how you'd like them if they were about organizing a small-scale war instead of sneaking into buildings and stealing things. We do get some great fight scenes, including one mass battle involving all manner of fatae, Talents and Mages on both sides, and normal humans with weapons ranging from baseball bats to machine guns. We also get lots of good boardroom politics on several fronts (within The Silence, within The Council, and within Wren's "Truce committee.")

For me, the most fun plotline is the growing relationship between P.B. and Wren. In this book the meaning of his attention to her becomes evident and she becomes somewhat aware of the situation and what it means to her. She may be headed down a road of power that will blow apart her no-see-me shield. P.B. and Sergei's growing friendship is also great. It threatens to put P.B. in the middle of a Wren/Sergei breakup, but we know where P.B. loyalties lie. He may have actually given up the ability to have any other loyalties.

So, it's a good book; be aware that it's very different from earlier books in the series, though. It's hard to say which direction the next book will jump.
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