Since I got back into reading books a few years ago, the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews has been my favourite. Yet even though the husband and wife writing team of Ilona and Gordon have released other material, I haven’t read any of it until now.
Clean Sweep is an interesting book. It’s mostly an urban fantasy, but if you said there’s a touch of science fiction, I wouldn’t argue. It first released for free on their website, and later released in book form. As a fan of the Kate Daniels series, it felt right to just buy the book. There’s also Sweep in Peace, the second book in the series, and they’re currently releasing the third book online for free, chapter by chapter.
Clean Sweep is about Dina Demille, an innkeeper based in Texas, Earth, whose tenants come from around the galaxy. Both she and her inn are magically powerful, but she must keep this hidden from the humans around her. Meanwhile, her town is under attack by an intergalactic assassin and his ravenous beasts, while she also needs to keep the peace between a local werewolf and a vampire on the hunt for the assassin. That pretty much sums up the plot.
This is a fun and quick read, being only 227 pages long. Dina’s world is rich in history and mythology, yet the book keeps a fairly quick pace with a fair amount of action going on. The magic inn feels like a character in itself and seems to react to its surroundings with vibrations and at one point, hesitance to Dina’s commands. There’s also her only permanent resident who is delightfully disturbing, so I won’t spoil her character.
The only complaint I have is that the two men, the werewolf and the vampire, are both described as very attractive. It’s clear from the start that this book is setting up a love triangle. This is a minor complaint though, and it’s certainly more fun than Twilight (of which I’ve seen some of the movies but refuse to even physically touch the books). This book even makes fun of Twilight in one if its last lines in a subtle way, and that’s ok.
This book won’t draw you into its world like the Kate Daniels series will, but that’s not a problem. You can tell the husband and wife writing team are having fun with Dina’s magical inn, and there’s a lot of potential for her world to grow in future installments. The first three chapters can still be read for free on Ilona Andrews’s website, as can the first 2 chapters of its sequel, Sweep in Peace. If you’re into fantasy and are looking for a new author to check out, why not give Clean Sweep a chance?