Book Review | Vicious Grace
Author: M.L.N. Hanover
Urban Fantasy is perhaps my favorite genre. If you are unfamiliar with the genre, it’s really quite simple: it’s a fantasy story that takes place in an urban setting. It’s usually based in a contemporary time period (example: if the book is published in 2011, then the story takes place in 2011) and features supernatural characters like werewolves, vampires, ghosts, or something else altogether. In my experience, urban fantasy typically has a female heroine and is also written by a female.
M.L.N. Hanover, the author of The Black Sun’s Daughter series, deviates from that mold just a little. Hanover is a male author, and his protagonist is a female. The series also spans several cities and even countries, so it’s not just one urban setting.
Vicious Grace is the third book in the series. To recap, the series is about a woman in her early twenties named Jayné Heller, who gets drawn into the supernatural side of the world after her mysterious Uncle Eric dies and leaves her a vast fortune and a legacy. She drops everything in her life to take up with her uncle’s friends and continue his work: fighting off demonic leeches that attach themselves to humans and commit ghastly deeds while “riding” in them.
The first book introduces a complicated love triangle between Jayné, her uncle’s colleague/friend Aubrey, and Aubrey’s sort-of-wife, Kim. Now in the third book, this love triangle is still going on, and Jayné is torn between her feelings for Aubrey and the fact that she really likes Kim. The exact same conversation between these three people has been going on for all three books, and I’m pretty much tired of the drama. Jayné needs to find a new man, or work things out with Aubrey.
The first book was extremely difficult for me to get through, the second improved upon the first, and the third took a nose dive back down. Part of the problem is that I have never really been able to visualize how Hanover’s world works, because it’s quite a bit different than urban fantasy that I have read in the past. On the one hand, I like that it’s new. On the other, I wish I had a clue what was going on. There are all new rules, and not enough explanation for it to make sense to me. I wish that all of the books included some kind of glossary in the back so that I could refresh my memory on who the characters are, what they do, and what they are fighting against.
I did like the setting of Vicious Grace, though, which takes place in a hospital where Kim works. There is something evil going on there, and Kim wants Jayné to get rid of it. I felt like more of the book was about the love triangle than about the “riders”, but the Big Fight Scene seems to set up some very fun complications for Jayné, which is the only reason that I will continue to read at least one more book in this series. If I am right in what I think is going to happen next, then I’m very excited.
While this isn’t my favorite series out there for Urban Fantasy, I’d tentatively suggest giving it a try if you are really sick of vampires or werewolves. They do exist in this world, but they don’t play a major part in it.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*