Monday, January 6, 2014

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

by Doris (
Book 1 in the Innkeeper Chronicles
Isn't the cover beautiful? Ilona and Gordon hired Doris and she did all kinds of artwork for the story and they all turned out really well. I love it. 

Clean Sweep (#1) by Ilona Andrews
5 stars

This was originally a free serial offered by Ilona and Gordon on their blog. We would get parts as the story was written. It is not something that I've ever come across before but it was really cool. My only annoyance with it was I couldn't continue reading until the end. It was never enough and I just wanted them to put the whole thing up to satisfy my need to know what happened next.

This is more of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book rather than Urban Fantasy. It's a completely knew concept and captivated my attention from the beginning. Dina, the protagonist, is an Innkeeper. (I love her name too. It's so unique and just cool.) There are different Inns all over the place. Dina's parents were also Innkeepers but they disappeared one day without a trace. The lot where the Inn had been was vacant and no one has seen them since. After much wandering and searching, Dina comes across the Gertrude Hunt Inn. It's old and it had been vacant for so long that it was almost dying. Dina uses her magic and the Inn's magic and brings it back to life.

I find Dina's magic so interesting. She has this really cool broom that can take whatever shape she wants it to be. She can control the grounds of the Inn and the house itself. She's connected to it and the idea of the relationship between the Inn and Dina is so original.

We have interesting characters besides Dina. Sean is a werewolf who doesn't know his races' history. Werewolves are aliens and not from this world. He's not just any werewolf though. He's a special one which is always ten times more interesting. There is a definite connection between Dina and him. He is a typical Alpha male but I like him.

There is also a vampire element in this story. This particular breed of vampire is amazingly original. They're religious and crazy and I don't know where they came up with the idea. Arland is the main vampire we come across but there are a few others. The politics and the customs of vampires in this universe are crazy. They also have a different metabolism which makes for an extremely funny scene but I won't spoil it. Arland is really cool and definitely took an interest in Dina.

Finally we have Her Grace Caldenia ka ret Magren. She is an alien with two hearts. She paid for a lifetime stay at the Inn and cannot leave the grounds. Apparently she did some pretty crazy things and arrived with a herd of bounty hunters on her tail. She is a small character but she makes me laugh. It's just the things she says. The way she casually talks about eating humans is just so funny.

This is a short story, only 175 pages in the Nook format. There is some rule about word count but it was still good, despite it's length. I really enjoyed it and have reread it. Ilona Andrews even added a reference to the Guild Hunter series at the end of the book which made me smile. Innkeeper 2 will be coming out soon. I can't wait to start reading it again and finding out what happens next in Dina's life.

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