Open Urban Fantasy, where the supernatural and magical isn’t hiding in the shadows, is something that’s intrigued me ever since I read the Kitty Norville series, well over a decade ago. The combination of the fantastic and the mundane raises a whole lot of interesting what-if questions, and it’s just the thing to get my imagination all fired up.
It’s not a common trope though, and until just recently, I’ve had a hard time finding much of it from indie authors (I know it’s out there, but…).
Turns out The Firebrand series falls into this category, though, so I had to check it out (and I have a bunch of solid recommendations lined up, so I’m hopeful there will be more to come).
Emma Bellamy is close to graduating and becoming a detective with the London police. She’s got one more rotation left, and she’s hoping to do it with the Cybercrime department. Unfortunately, the powers that be sees fit to assign her to Supernatural Squad, which is just, like, The Worst…
Getting murdered after just one day on the job doesn’t exactly make it any better.
Emma isn’t one to let that faze her, though, and once she’s back on her feet, she’s determined to push through, find out who killed her, and graduate.
What I’ll whine about
This is Open Urban Fantasy, and the world at large is aware of the existence of werewolves and vampires and all that, which is a concept I find hugely intriguing. Unfortunately, the interaction between the mundane and the magical isn’t explored in any greater detail. It’s there, and we see a bit about the relationship humans have to supernaturals, but I would have enjoyed seeing more.
What I’ll gush about
What the book lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in being well-written, entertaining, and easy to read. I started last night and finished the book this afternoon (yes, I slept in between, and I cleaned the apartment). I have a hunch, if I wasn’t busy, I’d be able to finish the second in the series by midnight. There’s no slack, and while it’s not all action, the story doesn’t let up. There’s always a little bit of tension and a new complication to keep things interesting.
If you’re on the lookout for an Open Urban Fantasy murder mystery, with a bit of action and adventure, you won’t go wrong with this.
Find Brimstone Bound on Goodreads.