Josh Reviews: Under Wraps by Hannah Jayne
Title: Under Wraps
Series: Underworld Detection Agency #1
Author: Hannah Jayne
Format: Paperback, 330 pages
Published: March 1st, 2011
ISBN #: 9780758258922 / 0758258922
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: borrowed
Sick of wrongful-death lawsuits every time a full moon comes around? Call the Underworld Detection Agency.
As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .
Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in. . .and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power. . .
I am tempted to take Under Wraps to town for its bland title, throwaway drama, annoyingly plain narrator, and revolving door of side characters which come off more as caricatures. But that would be to waste gas. Under Wraps excels at shining light on the little guy, specifically a troll by the name of Steve, who refers to himself in the third person, dresses like a porno agent, smells funky as rotten potatoes, cheese, and rotisserie chicken, moves furniture in Sophie’s office, and has an undying ache for our protagonist Sophie. It would be silly of me to praise Under Wraps for cultivating a character that like Zach Galifianakis’s appearances in the Hangover and the Hangover II energizes people just because of how little he understands reality. There are numerous other movies, books, TV shows, and plays that do the same, making us hope for just one more scene with this hopelessly out-of-place character. Under Wraps just happens to fulfill the satisfying quotient of appearances and, by some complete grace, incorporate several other faces that I don’t mind seeing over and over again such as a fashion-obsessed vampire roommate (a contraption that is fast going cliche), a morbid sixteen year old trapped in a one hundred seventy year old vampire’s body (a contraption that really works here, especially with him being the nephew of the previously aforementioned vampire roommate), and, who can forget, our red-headed, five foot five protagonist who, more often than not, certainly more often than she is supposed to, and knows it, imagines herself as an agent on CSI. These touches on the symptoms and quirks of the characters, rather than say the shape of the plot, are what make Under Wraps a worthwhile read.
||For those troll huggers
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||Earth Witches series by Lee Roland and the Shades of Fury series by Kasey MacKenzie