Monday, September 8, 2014

Read This F@!%ing Book 23

Welcome to a feature I'm going to post on Mondays called:
Read This F@!%ing Book!

This is a feature for me to push my favorite reads that just aren't getting enough attention! 

I'm also opening it up to anyone who would like to guest post. Do you have a book that you just LURVED but feel like its not getting the play it deserves? Email me to let me know and I'd be THRILLED to have you post about it here! Especially if it's something I haven't reviewed yet - that's even better (but not necessary)! If you're interested email me:

This week's post comes from our very own: 

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 23: The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin 
(Click title for Amazon)

Why I Love It:
Makenna Fraser is a seer for SPI, Supernatural Protection and Investigations. She can see through magical disguises and find the bad guys. Until a few months ago she was a journalist, so she has some investigative skills, but she's still learning about the paranormal and law enforcement aspects of the agency. My first impression of this book was that it really accurately captures the feeling of being new at your job. Mac is inexperienced, but she's not incompetent. She has to rely on her co-workers more than she would like. Her partner Ian is kind of a typical cop/former military badass, but the way he looks after Mac is really sweet.
She's also got a great supporting cast made up of vampires and elves and a lot of other favorite supes. The SPI headquarters is a big melting pot that allows a lot of different types of characters to be introduced in a short amount of time and seeing Shearin's versions of all the different species is a lot of fun. I also love the way she manages to combine characters from medieval literature, like Grendel, with blockbuster films, like Jurassic Park, in the same sentence.
Why I'm Pushing It:
There are a lot of paranormal police procedurals out there. They can get kind of dark and heavy. What I love about this one is its humor. For example, some of the characters take their stereotypes literally. Mac's dragon lady boss is actually a dragon and the agency's lawyer is a vampire. Looking back at it now brings to mind Guardians of the Galaxy. Not in its setting, but in the fact that it's full of action and outrageous characters, but what I remember most is that it's funny.

Pop Culture with a Purpose!
Strangely, my favorite thing about this book about monsters from literature is its use of TV and film. The Grendel Affair has the most helpful pop culture references I've ever encountered. That may not exactly sound like a compliment, but let me explain. When a character is described as having "a square jaw and an aquiline nose," I know what those words mean, but they don't create a clear image in my head. When Shearin writes, "I'd always thought he looked like Anderson Cooper, minus the giggling sense of humor," I know exactly what Alain Moreau looks like. When a woman in the cemetery looks like the Queen of England in a blue coat, I know exactly what that means (and am even more amused by what happens to the woman later.) However, I think this is my favorite character description: "Minus the funky haircut, he looked disturbingly like a young version of the Mr. Spock cookie jar he kept on his desk filled with wasabi-covered peas." All these references add to the fun I had while reading the book, but it also helped to drive home the point that Mac lives in the same world that we do. She's just learned some things about it that the rest of us don't know yet.
The Grendel Affair is the first book in the SPI files series. A prequel novella, Lucky Charms, about Mac's first day (where she has to provide security for a leprechaun bachelor party) will be released November 25, 2014 in the anthology Night Shift. The second book in the series The Dragon Conspiracy is out January 27, 2015
Have you read this book?
Did we persuade you to add it to your TBR mountain?
Let us know in the comments below!

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