Archive | 8:49 pm

Review: Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman

30 Jan

Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman
Trade: $14.95
Harlequin/LUNA (January 2011)
ISBN: 978-0-373-80324-8

Favorite Lines: “The shiver of sparks flickering from my core out into his skin, the sensation of his current sparking mine, then coming back to me. I shivered again, despite the fact that I was comfortably warm.” (p. 343)

My name is Bonita Torres, and eight months ago I was an unemployed college graduate without a plan. Now I’m an investigator with the Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations team of New York. Pretty awesome, right?

The Cosa Nostradamus, the magical community, isn’t quick to give up its secrets, though. Not even to fellow members. Not even when it’s in their best interests. So we’ve been busting our tails, perfecting our forensic skills, working to gain acceptance. The team’s tight… but we have our quirks, too. And our Big Dog, Benjamin Venec…well, he’s a special case, all right.

But we can’t give up. We’re needed, especially when a case comes along that threatens to pit human against fatae. But one wrong move could cost us everything we’ve worked for….

Pack of Lies picks up a few months after Hard Magic ends. It is told from Bonnie’s point of view, but occasionally it switches to the third person. The story gives us a better view of the paranormal creatures that exist alongside the magic users, also known at Talents.

Book two in the Paranormal Scene Investigations series by Laura Anne Gilman has far more action than book one. There are battle scenes, a budding romance and newly discovered paranormal techniques used to gather evidence. But all of that would be nothing if it weren’t for the characters’ emotions. The indecisiveness of the investigators paired with their attention to detail gives the reader doubts. Doubts about what could have happened and what truly did happen. It’s a basic he-said, she-said battle that doesn’t become completely clear until the end of the story.

I didn’t love the story. However unlike Hard Magic, the tension in Pack of Lies is tight as a guitar string. I like the way old prejudices are clearly explored and the way political machinations were dealt with. But in the end, some of the actions felt forced, unnatural and completely too easy.

Would I recommend this book to a friend? Possibly, if the friend was more of a fiction lover than a romance or urban fantasy person. Why? Because there just wasn’t enough action or romance to clearly put the book in either category. Sure, it’s based in an urban setting (New York), and it has fantastic elements (like magic users, hello), but what I’ve come to expect from UF (a burning love interest and crazy action) just doesn’t exist.

Did I enjoy the book? Well, yeah. Do I see myself reading it again? No. Will I continue to read the series? Yes.