Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 4, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy / 75 Comments

Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by Indie
Published on: December 2 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 235
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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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.


I’m just gonna say upfront—Ilona Andrews is my absolute F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E.

I always get uncomfortable when writing about her/them because as some of you (MOST of you?) fellow Ilona fans already know, “Ilona Andrews” is a husband/wife writing team. So if I’m talking about her<—–see there it is right there, I either look like a noob who doesn’t know that they are, in fact, a “they,” or, if you aren’t quite as big a fan as the rest of us, I look like an idiot for referring to what on the surface appears to be a singular individual, as a plural. So. For the purposes of this review, “Ilona Andrews” will be a her/she.

But I’m not a noob. Fyi. *facepalms self* (b/c dorkness).

Anyway, like I said—my favorite. SO imagine my surprise and delight when Andrews announced on her blog a little over a year ago that she would be posting a FREE WEEKLY SERIAL on her website.

If I was not an internet stalker before that announcement (and that’s debatable), I most definitely was afterwards. Her blog took up residence in my coveted bookmarks bar space, and I began to ritualistically check the site. Anytime I did anything on the internet: email, facebook, pinterest, goodreads, etc., I checked for a new Clean Sweep installment. It was borderline ridiculous, but that’s just how I do things—ALL in.

And it was. So. Worth. It.

Then, back in December, the story became available in its entirety, PLUS an all-new epilogue, PLUS artistic renderings of the main characters, in paperback and ebook form. And here we are.

Dina Demille is an Innkeeper. An Innkeeper? you ask. Yes, but not-your-ordinary Innkeeper. Dina runs a sentient Bed & Breakfast (a B&B that can connect with it’s Innkeeper, and rearrange itself to better suit her wishes) whose guests are exclusively A-L-I-E-N-S and creatures from parallel dimensions. Dina can wave her magical(?) broom and open Stargate-like portals to other worlds.

It’s kind of cool<—–I misspelled friggin’ awesome.

But unfortunately for Dina, one of Earth’s WAY-out-of-towners, who is not a  guest at her Inn, appears to be viciously killing neighborhood dogs. Initially, Dina suspects Sean Evans, the new, local (A-L-I-E-N) werewolf, but after observing his shock and disgust at the canine murders, she decides that he’s not responsible, and that the attacks are to provoke him.

Dina tells Sean to clean up his mess.

Sean plays dumb.

Dina says, “Fine, I’ll take care of it myself.”

Sean says, “Like HELL.”

Basically that’s what happens anyway, and off they go to find and stop whatever is killing animals before it escalates to killing humans. Together.


Have you picked up on the fact that I have a thing for aliens? B/c I totally do. And there is something, to me at least, that is SO cool about SciFi explanations for supernatural creatures.

Got a man who can turn into a wolf and/or a man-wolf hybrid? He’s an alien from a planet whose government genetically modified its people with nanotechnology in order to survive a war. Oh, and the reason his shifts don’t hurt is b/c the nanites suppress his pain sensors.

Totally legit.

Clean Sweep is the first installment of Ilona Andrews’ Innkeeper Chronicles. It’s part Science Fiction, part Urban Fantasy, and you will love both parts equally. Keep an eye on her blog for information about the next serial installment which is due to start any time now. Any. Time. Now.

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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75 responses to “Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

  1. I thought this was such an original story. Believe it or not, it was my first Ilona Andrews read (for shame!) and I loved it. I had no idea the serial would continue so soon but I am so glad. Now, must read Kate Daniels. 🙂

    • That’s what no one will ever accuse Ilona Andrews of lacking—originality. And I fully support that you MUST read Kate Daniels 🙂 It is my absolute favorite UF series. The first book is really good, BUT it has a definite creep factor. You don’t seem to have had a problem with nasty lizard/alien things (or the spiders!), so it probably won’t bother you. I hope you check it out!

  2. YES!!!! I LOVE this one too! The alien twist makes me get giddy too. Love it!!! I followed it when they were posted weekly and was soooo beyond excited when they decided to publish it. I can’t wait for more! My only low moment – it’s not a full fledged novel series – it deserves a bigger light.

    • It really is series-quality, but that’s one of the things that I love about the Andrews—they’re writing this for the fans and for the fun of it, and that’s enough for them. Plus working on three series at the same time would be a lot for anyone. I’ve already pre-ordered the first book from their new Hidden Legacy series 😀

  3. I’m in love with her/them, too. Have been for years now. While I saw that serial on the site and kept track of them posting chapters, I was waiting for them to get a ways into to it before reading. Then I saw that they posted as an ebook for a few dollars, and I have no problem spending to buy from them. I loved this book. It was wonderful. I was so excited when I saw that they are making it into an audiobook too. I will buy and listen again. They can do no wrong in my opinion. Great review.

    • I wish I had that kind of restraint, LOL. It would have saved me a lot time and frustration if I didn’t feel compelled to check for a new installment every hour or so. And I’m with you—they are perfection. I hope you like the audio version, and thank you 🙂

  4. Wonderful fun review! I’m a HUGE fan of the husband/wife team and have read everything out there. I stock the blog as well. Just something about the written has me always wanting more. As soon as I herd Clean Sweep was coming out in book/ebook I bought it. I can’t wait for the next installment to Innkeeper and OMG I already have Magic Breaks pre-ordered. Ehh July can’t come soon enough.

    • Thank you! And clearly I’m a huge fan as well 🙂 They are WAY ahead of anyone else for me. To the point that if you asked me who my second favorite writer was, I’d probably have to give you a Top 5 list, but I never hesitate about the #1 spot. Oh, and I pre-ordered Magic Breaks the second it became available. Same with Burn for Me 😉

  5. I’ve never read anything by Ilona Andrews (this should have been on my list as well) but I’ve heard great things about the other series, so there’s no surprise that this one is good too. Man I need more time to read hah.

  6. YES! I had this one on my Kindle for a while, I might have to just go ahead and read it, I was saving it for whispersync, but you are making it really difficult to keep my plans 🙂

    • It’s SO good. And this would be a good one to go ahead and read if you’re getting impatient, b/c it’s only 235 pages 🙂 Either way, I can’t wait to hear what you think!

    • Man, I wish I could do that. I’d be so much more productive, LOL. But I’m too distractible! Anyway, I hope you L-O-V-E it the audio—I think it’s up for pre-order tomorrow 😉

  7. Pronoun conundrum: How about IT? LOL

    I haven’t tried any of her books but I have some KDaniels so I better get to those SOON. I’m also kicking myself because I remember she asked for readers for this and I didn’t sign up because my calendar was so full at that time! Bah!

    Anyway, lovely review, Jessica!

  8. you’re right I always refer them at “she” too and I agree it was a wonderful book! The images, the story, the ideas, I love them all. It was the first book I read which wasn’t a Kate Daniels book but now I know I need to read all her work. I’m glad you also had a wonderful time with it and I so can’t wait to read more!

  9. I need a good swift kick in the ass for not reading this author. I have her Magic series on my TBR list this year to get to. I heard about this serial and I wish I had gotten in on it. Sounds like it was a blast!

    • It WAS a blast, and it’s a short novel (only 235 pages), so it would be a good place to start if you wanted to try her out. But Kate Daniels is all things bad ass, so I hope you get to graduate her from your TBR pile. Whatever you pick (if you decide to) is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome b/c it’s Ilona Andrews<—–awesome in its basest form 🙂

  10. Haha I also like alien books and weirdly enough I have only read like 3 I think. I also have not read anything by this author yet I KNOW I SUCK EEK! I had no idea it was a husband and wife team though that’s kind of cool! Fab review, hun!

  11. I have the SAME pronoun issues. In this case, I think her works, too—I think Ilona is the one who handles social media and blogging, which is good enough for me.

    This story sounds excellent, though it’s also reminding me I need to catch up with the Kate Daniels series. =O

    • This story IS excellent! And “catching up” implies that you’re already familiar with the series and just need to read the last couple of books, and if that’s the case, may I just suggest that you WAIT until Magic Breaks comes out in a few months. Magic Rises is . . . upsetting. It’s an awesome installment, I loved it, but I needed reassurance when I finished it, and I’m stilling waiting to get it. Also, Magic Rises is the end of this particular story arc, so you’d be able to wrap it up all at once 😉 Just trying to lessen the gut-punch for anyone I can . . .

  12. Oh My friggin’ GOD!! Don’t bonk me on the head but I still haven’t read Ilona yet!! I have BOTH On the Edge and Magic Bites in paperback sitting on my shelves. Now I’m adding this one and I’m further in the hole – she’s like THE UF author that everyone reads that I just haven’t started. UGH… But I loved your review!!! *snicker* I loved your re-enactment. Pretty soon you’ll have stick figures in your reviews!!!

    • I won’t bonk you on the head (lolz), BUT you N-E-E-D Ilona Andrews in your life, you just don’t know it yet 😉 The only complaint that I regularly hear about her books, is that the world-building can be confusing, so if you start reading Kate Daniels, and are like, “What is going on here?” there are a multitude of reviews that explain it fairly well. I personally found that everything important got explained as the story progressed, but even if I was confused, Kate and Curran<——BEAST Lord (that is his title) are SO worth it 😀

  13. I feel like I am the only person in the universe who isn’t their biggest fan. I’ve read the Kate Daniels series and while I enjoyed it, it never really did anything special for me.

    I heard about Clean Sweep I while ago and I REALLY want to read it but but I heard about a love triangle so I am waiting for all the books (or at least the one where she makes a decision?) to come out..

    I am glad you enjoyed this though!
    Great review, Jessica! 🙂

    • You know, I actually enjoy a good triangle from time to time. I must be the only person in the universe, but it’s true. I like rooting for my favorite, and the anticipation about who will she choose?!

      That being said, I don’t think Clean Sweep had a triangle. There were two male characters, sure, but (IMO) only one of them registers on a romantic level. The other one flirts, but I don’t think Dina took him seriously. Maybe that’s how I wanted to read it. Idk. Whatever 🙂 If and when you choose to read it, I hope you like it!

  14. *perks up* Aliens did you say Jessica? Aliens AND Ilona Andrews? SIGN ME UP!!!! I’m such a huge fan of this writing team as well, I couldn’t love Kate and Curran any more if I tried, so I can’t wait to meet Dina and Sean. And apparently I need to brush up on my internet stalking skills because I had no idea they were writing this! *hangs head in shame* Fabulous review!!!

    • Not just aliens, Jenny. A-L-I-E-N werewolves (there are all kinds of other aliens too, but the werewolves are my favorite) And always a pleasure to meet another Ilona fan! ALSO—if you’ve read The Edge, you will be pleased to know that there is a cameo from a couple of our favorite Edge inhabitants 😉

    • Apparently the same force that you have over me, as you were the one that convinced me I needed to re-read Written in Red (which I am currently doing). Also–YAY! and thank you 😉

  15. I haven’t read Ilona Andrews yet (don’t judge!) but this sounds like a fantastic read. But first I have to read Magic Bites…haha Thanks for a great review Jessica!

  16. Christy

    Soooo I’m pretty damn sure I need to read this! I haven’t read the Kate Daniels series yet either. But I actually like the sound of this one better.

  17. Pabkins  

    So I wasn’t going to pick this up – but now I totally am. A sentient B&B and you singing it’s praises. Course you are biased if she’s one of your favorites – don’t shoot me cause I’ve never read anything by her yet lol.

    • Right?! Isn’t that a ridiculously cool idea? The B&B can literally rearrange itself, grow rooms, create localized elevator-type holes that open up in the floors, etc. And I don’t judge. I actually ordered the first couple of Kate paperbacks MANY years ago, and let them collect dust for a couple of years before I got bored enough to read “those books with the hideous covers.” I sure we all have hidden gems on our bookshelves 😉

      • Pabkins  

        Totally! I have hundreds of books in my library (Yes I have my own library!) that I haven’t read. (It’s a lovely upstairs loft/living room that my husband let me completely have to myself….I wish I hadn’t painted the walls pink..)

      • And now I’m jealous. Who cares what color it is?! You have your very own library!

        I don’t have my own library, but I do have a shared office with three floor-to-ceiling bookcases (one of which my husband built AND stained himself, with the help of my grandfather). It’s nice to husbands that understand us, yes? 🙂

      • Pabkins  

        Yes! Hey thats pretty darn sweet! My husband was saying we could look into possibly having a “add on balcony” put in. I guess you can have them done like sunrooms but instead its an upper level sunroom!? Wouldn’t that be freaking amazing!!!??

  18. This sounds so creative and original! I’m definitely going to have to pick up a copy ASAP! Your review is just making me more and more excited to start reading this!

    As always, fabulous review and thanks for sharing Jessica! 😀

  19. I actually met Ilona Andrews (the husband and wife writing team) before reading anything by them so I knew. But I know what you mean about that. I’m doing promotion for Eliza Gordon who I refer to as ‘her’ mostly because I am working with the ‘her’ side of the writing team, but also because it’s a girls name and it sounds silly to say ‘they’ all the time when not everyone will know. Anyway, I get it.
    I have only read a couple books by them, but I really liked them a lot and I’ve heard great things about this one so I’ll definitely have to to give it a try!

    • It should come as no surprise that she is the writer I want to meet most in the world. And as jealous as I am<——GREEN with envy, I have to admit that though that ship has sailed for me, it would have been better if I could have met her before reading her books too. Then she might have been about to think of me as a normal person. I'm afraid that if I meet her now I'll either 1. faint dead away, or 2. out fangirl every fangirl in the world, LOL.

  20. Alise (Readers in Wonderland)

    I love originality in any novel so this one is already on my good side 😉 Plus I hadn’t heard of it before so it’s great to discover it. Love the way you wrote this review, too! Fun!

  21. I’m not so sure I’m very happy with you now, Jessica! Because even before I finished reading your review, I went and added Clean Sweep to my TBR shelf! Kick-ass, unique and with an alpha male – you realize there’s just no way to resist, right?
    Awesome review!

  22. I’m a noob who did not know Ilona Andrews’ a husband and wife team? That’s cool! I’ve also never read anything from her, is the weekly version of this book still available? Hot alpha aliens…i’m totally in! Or is there a particular book that I should start with? Awesome review Jessica!

    • I think you can read a chapter or two on their blog, but I’m pretty sure it’s what you would get it you downloaded the sample chapters from Amazon (or wherever). And anything by Ilona is aces as far as I’m concerned, so starting with Clean Sweep or Magic Bites (the first Kate Daniels book)–either/or, I love them both. And thank you, Amir. You’re a doll 😉

  23. jenniferbielman  

    The Andrews team are my fav authors ever!!!! I know what you mean, I end up referring to the couple as her because it’s annoying to keep mentioning them as a couple.

    Oh yes, the Clean Sweep blog updates. Memories. I need to get the complete book though. it just wasn’t the same reading in segments.

    • Me TOO 🙂 And about the complete book—it really isn’t the same. I didn’t get the book until I decided to review it b/c I thought it would be, but if it’s possible, I liked it even more after reading straight through it.