watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor ([personal profile] watervole) wrote2017-03-20 03:09 pm

book review -Clean Sweep by Illona Andrews

 I've just finished this book.  It only cost a few pounds for the Kindle version, so it was worth what I paid for it, but I didn't enjoy it enough to buy the next in the series.

It's an urban fantasy featuring Dina, who is an innkeeper.   Innkeeper in her case means that she has a symbiotic relationship with a building that is semi-intelligent, can modify its shape, produce defensive weapons and various other tricks besides.

The task of an innkeeper is to provide a safe place for aliens visiting Earth.

Rather disappointingly (from my viewpoint) the aliens to date include vampires and werewolves.   I must admit that I've had too many vampires and werewolves and I get bored with attempts to use bad pseudo-science to make them believable.  I cannot think of any kind of twist on genetic engineering that will convince me a werewolf can gain large amounts of mass when it changes form.

The inn suffers from the same problem.  I love the idea, but the claim that it is advanced science that can't be distinguished from magic fails to convince me.

I'd rather have real science or pure magic.  One masquerading as the other just annoys me.

On the plus side, the novel is very well written with excellent descriptive text.  The characters are engaging (I particularly liked the mass murderer using the inn as a safe place.  Not a character I would ever want to meet, but well and entertainingly written)

If the book had had original aliens I'd probably have enjoyed it more.  However, what is a minus for me may well be a plus for others.

If you like your werewolves strong and with buckets of sex appeal and your vampires to be clannish, scheming and to have complex, devious politics, then I recommend 'Clean Sweep; to you.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)

[personal profile] feng_shui_house 2017-03-20 04:55 pm (UTC)(link)
*nods* The attempt to have magical elements hand-waved as science, with really illogical justification, is a flaw. I found it didn't bother me because I dismissed the bogus science and just think of it as modern urban fantasy.

For me the fun characters and scheming plots made it well worth while, but it would have been greatly improved by honestly saying 'I can't explain it, it's magic' and just carry on with the story.
vilakins: (SF)

[personal profile] vilakins 2017-03-20 10:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Huge changes in mass always annoy me, though I can handwave it in magical universes like Once Upon a Time. In SF I want explanations, dammit! In my story about Avon and Vila being miniaturised, I used the molecular reduction theory of Gambit and their mass remained the same (although, let's face it, they would really have caused one hell of a nuclear explosion).

I'd be interested in this book if it wasn't for werewolves and vampires. I like aliens to be interesting and inventive. I also look forward to future reviews. :-)