Originally posted as a guest review over at paranormalhaven.com
Last year I read and enjoyed Jacqueline Carey’s foray into Urban Fantasy with Dark Currents and Autumn Bones is the second book in the Agent of Hel series. The series /characters have a vaguely Sookie Stackhouse type of vibe, including the small town setting of Pemkowet and various monsters ranging from Daisy’s crush, werewolf Police Officer Cody Fairfax to the ghoul that shares a bond with her, Stefan Ludovic. It has more of a light hearted feel to it than a lot of the current UF that’s on the market these days, and that’s actually pretty refreshing.
The protagonist of this series is Daisy Johanssen, a half-demon spawn tasked with the responsibility as acting as Hel’s liason between the human and eldritch (supernatural) communities. Daisy acts under the direction of Hel, the Norse Goddess of the dead, whom rules over the underworld beneath the town of Pemkowet, a premier resort destination located in Michigan. While Daisy is finding her feet over the responsibilities that come with being Hel’s liason, she also has a troubled love life.
Daisy has been dating a human by the name of Sinclair Palmer only to discover that he’s descended from obeah sorcerers and when his sister comes to town to take Sinclair back home, she ends up threatening Daisy and promises to wreak havoc if Sinclair doesn’t come back. As much as Daisy likes Sinclair, they both agree to stop dating and just be friends. Daisy still harbors a crush on her werewolf police officer partner, Cody Fairfax, even as he’s made it clear he needs to mate with a fellow wolf and not Daisy. Meanwhile, Daisy asks and receives help from Stefan, a ghoul whom she has assisted in the past.
This has never been one of my favorite tropes within the UF genre, and while I’m not overjoyed with this aspect of the plot, I find myself intrigued with one of her possible choices, namely the ghoul named Stefan Ludovic. As opposed to Officer Cody Fairfax and Sinclair, Stefan is written as a darker and more mysterious character. He has more of an edge to him, and this makes him the more interesting choice, at least for me. The author also doles out the information very sparingly, so it just makes me all the more curious and I look forward to their scenes together.
The pace meanders something fierce in the middle of the novel, but even as I say that, I enjoyed the way it was written. It was an enjoyable detour if you will. There are a lot of details featuring side characters, and the town of Pemkowet, enough to feel overwhelmed if you haven’t read the first book, Dark Currents.
That being said, if you like light hearted urban fantasy peppered with great creatures, intriguing love interest(s), with an easy to read style, then I’d definitely recommend that you check out Jacqueline Carey’s Agent of Hel series.