Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by Indie
Published on: December 2 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
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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.
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.