Review: Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman

23 Jul

Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman
Harlequin (July 24, 2012)
Trade: $14.95; ebook: $10.99
ISBN: 9780373803484

Favorite Lines: “Someone who came down looking for a romantic wooing–or at least some hot and heavy sexing–might have felt cheated at being cooped up in a dank subbasement listening to two guys bicker as they worked. I was, god help me, enchanted.” (p. 130, e-galley)

In my time with PUPI, formally known as Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, I’ve seen a lot. Learned a lot. And not all of it’s been good. But what we do-make people accountable for crimes committed with magic-is important work.

Still. Even I need to take a break every now and again. Or so I’ve just been told (ordered).

So hey, vacation. Maybe I’ll finally figure out what’s going on with the “special bond” between me and the bossman, Benjamin Venec. Venec seems to like that idea-he’s invited me down to join him on a jaunt to Philly. But no sooner do I arrive in the City of Brotherly Love than we’re called in to look at a dead body.

And that’s when life gets really complicated….

Warning: This book is part of Laura Anne Gilman’s Paranormal Scene Investigations’ series. Do not try to read it as a stand alone. Another thing: I don’t keep up with Gilman’s Retriever series, but its heroine popped up quite a bit in Dragon Justice. As did mentions of some major uprising that the Retriever prevented.

Each book in Gilman’s PSI series has built upon the previous book. From a company being built and friendships made to murders being solved, the series has increasingly gotten better. I wasn’t impressed with the first book. It was so-so, but not a must have book for me. By the time I turned the final page of Dragon Justice I actually liked one of the narrators.

Bonita Torres has grown in the two years she has worked for PUPI. She no longer jumps in bed with any man or woman who catches her fancy, but she’s not willing to open herself completely to the merge which connects her to one of her bosses, a man named Benjamin Venec. Their relationship is on the cusp of changing, but is waiting for them to both accept and allow the change.

Out of the four books in the series, Dragon Justice is the least focused on paranormal forensic techniques. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, but the emphasis is placed on characters and their interactions. It’s plot driven which is why I enjoyed it.

I’ve got to tell you Dragon Justice doesn’t feel like the final book in the series. It has a conclusion, but there are many places Gilman can still take the characters. Major things happen in the book (some of which I’m not convinced is permanent). However, there’s a sentence which summarizes my feelings of the book as a whole.

“Fire in the sky, the deep, burning chasm of emotion, the hunger and anger…and the sense of something still waiting.”–p. 322

Hard to decipher? That’s on purpose. I won’t give the plot away! I simply felt like I was waiting for something major to happen the entire length of the book. That slight feeling of “bad to come” never paid off and I’m going to feel cheated if another book isn’t published to address that notion. Although according to Gilman’s website which was updated May 2012, I might just be left unsatisfied. She has only been contracted to publish four books in the PSI series.

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