WarningMight contain spoilers.

I enjoyed this very much aside from the decapitation and the skinning, both of which are too much of a recurring feature. This is a story that doesn’t just acknowledge conventions and clichés but plays with them and affectionately mocks them, without veering into parody or pastiche. It abounds with class, but doesn’t reject sensuality to do so.

I was reluctant to set it down even for a moment and look forward to reading more. Irene is an interesting, compelling heroine; Kai promises to be a fascinating character; and it’s a treat to see them interact with Vale.

That said, there are a few other images I could have done without, such as the silverfish. My heart breaks for the unfortunate alligators commandeered by Alberich, who are killed by the police despite having been neutralized. Alberich himself, surprisingly, doesn’t leave much of an impression.

Next in series: (#2 in Thoughts & Spoilers: Books: The Invisible Library (2014))