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In this first installment of the Innkeeper Chronicles series we meet Dina Demille, Innkeeper of the Gertrude Hunt Inn, a quirky Victorian-ish/Antebellum-ish house (that just happens to be sort-of sentient) in Red Deer, Texas, sitting at the corner of a new subdivision. We quickly find out that the Gertrude Hunt caters to clients of a more unusual background - the various races spread across the galaxy that use Earth as a waypoint or crossroads. The Innkeeper's job is to keep the guests safe and to keep the regular people of Earth in blissful ignorance. Dina's hoping to raise the status of her Inn and bring more visitors through in the hope that they will recognize her parents who have gone missing.
Unfortunately in this first installment, something nasty, and not of Earthly origins is killing dogs in Dina's neighborhood. Dina gets involved, along with her neighborhood werewolf, Sean Evans and Arland, a vampire Marshall, as well as his house. We're also introduced to the intergalactic bazaar/market world of Baha-Char, the tragic history of werewolves, and a little bit of how the Inns and Innkeepers function. It's a short book that covers a lot of ground with a lot of humor. I'd call this Suburban Fantasy at its best!
Girl with magical powers living in a small town in Texas runs an Inn for travelers all across the cosmos whilst trying to discover what happened to her missing parents. Meets a local werewolf and alien vampire, shenanigans ensue when Inn is threatened by a psychotic alien.
First off, you should know that I have loved everything written by the extremely talented husband and wife team that authors the Ilona Andrews books. This book is no exception. Welcome to the Innkeepers Chronicles where magic is just physics that is too complicated to explain and a broom is more than something to sweep up messes.
The book isn’t a normal length book, it is only 235 pages long and took me around 3.5 hours to finish but I enjoyed every minute. It is the story of Dina Demille, a normal girl in her 20’s running a Victorian Bed and Breakfast that isn’t what it appears to be. It’s an Inn – yes that is a capital ‘I’ for Inn. You see Inns are magic! They are way-points for intergalactic aliens on Earth as we are neutral zone.
Dina grew up as the daughter of two Innkeepers so has been exposed to this world her whole life. She has an older brother and sister out in the universe who are mentioned but not seen in this book. Whilst Dina has remained on earth to run an Inn it doesn’t stop the adventures coming to her with her only guest a vicious aristocrat wanted for murder (among other things) and a pesky law enforcement officer poking around.
The other two main characters is Sean Evans, a local werewolf who is ignorant of the larger universe and Inns but who enjoys marking Dina’s apple trees much to her annoyance. Then there is Arland an alien vampire who has come to Earth to capture the creature threatening Dina’s town and Inn. Both guys are written as Alpha Males but I liked both characters.
The plot doesn’t really mess around and moves along at a good pace, I didn’t find anything too slow. Dina is a wonderful heroine, maybe not as tough-as-nails as others but she holds her own and doesn’t back down when threatened or in trouble. Sean and Arland are great with a few funny and vulnerable moments thrown in to balance them out. The conclusion of the novel leaves the story wide open for additional books in the series, closing off a few minor plot points but leaving enough unresolved to keep you interested.
I really enjoyed this book, the characters are well written and likable and the plot has enough suspense to keep me turning the page. It’s not a heavy book, in that it is an easy read, not bogged down with overwhelming detail or multiple story-lines. If you have read any of Ilona Andrew’s other novels I highly recommend reading Clean Sweep.
Dina is a great character, she's tough, serious but also lots of fun. I liked that she was willing to break the rules and the mystery surrounding her parents. I loved Sean and hope to see a lot more of him. n fact, I found all the characters in the book very interesting. There's just enough humor in the book to mix with the action, suspense and the beginning of a romance.
Overall, the beginning of what looks like a great series with the fantastic world building I've come to expect from Ilona Andrews.