Title: Clean Sweep
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
5th sentence, 74th page: Some of the Sun Horde got out, but not many.
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.
And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.
This was an incredibly unique book to read. Primarily because it’s a novel that was originally an online series. Instead of the draft being written and edited, parts of the story were released on a regular basis and there was no editing. Andrews talks about what a different challenge this was at the beginning of the novel, but it also made for a very different experience. Instead of having logical pauses at the end of each chapter, every page or two had a point at which you could stop reading. Which would be good if it wasn’t so amazing that I couldn’t put it down anyway. Having said that, it didn’t feel as stilted and stop-start as I was expecting, the narrative still flowed beautifully and Andrews was able to create another fascinating world that you couldn’t help but fall in love with.
Not only is the writing style of Clean Sweep different to the other Andrews books that I’ve read, but the heroine is too. Where the other lead females tend to be a little kick ass and able to completely own the men around them (physically or magically), Dina’s emphasis is on the inn and homeliness. She is powerful in her own right, but she is more concerned with running her inn and caring for her he guests (or guest as is mostly the case). I also loved the idea of an inn that is sentient and able to move around according to the needs of the innkeeper and her visitors. Something that comes in handy a few times throughout the story.
I also loved Andrews’ play on the vampire-werewolf love triangle. It’s such a typical thing in paranormal fantasy these days, but the fact that Andrews turned them into alien species and created a sci-fi aspect to the story made the love triangle all the more interesting. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds further in Sweep in Peace.