(The Invisible Recruits Novellas, Book 1)
DESCRIPTION: Convicted of a grisly murder, Alex Noziak expected to spend the rest of her life in prison. She didn't dare tell the authorities the truth: that she's
a half-shaman/half-witch who had summoned a death demon to save her brother from a rogue Were. Normal people still think werewolves, vampires, fairies, and the rest of the non-human
world are just the stuff of bedtime stories, or the self-delusions of so-called Wiccans and other New Age freaks... and Alex would rather live out her days in prison than
expose her family and her kind. Despite her silence, someone has figured out who she is, and what she can do. A mysterious pair of strangers come calling, offering
her a choice: join up with a secret government agency created to keep human and non-human relations as peaceful (and quiet) as possible, earning a full pardon in a year,
or rot in a cell. Something smells about the whole deal, and there's plenty the two aren't telling her, but she has little choice - especially when they threaten to expose
her shifter family. Thrown in with a pack of other peculiar recruits, none of whom are forthcoming about their origins or abilities, Alex soon realizes that earning a spot
in the Invisible Recruits agency may be the least of her worries, compared to simply staying alive.
An eBook-exclusive title.
REVIEW: I read this urban fantasy novella in a single afternoon, carried along by the quick action and snarky voice of the narrator. Alex makes for a tough heroine,
yet she has her share of brains and - though she tries to deny it - a weakness for underdogs, not to mention an attitude that tends to get her into trouble that her magic and
her fists can't always get her out of. This being mostly a setup for a novel series about Alex and the Invisible Recruits, it plays out like a TV pilot episode, establishing
the core idea and world while introducing the cast of characters. If some of those characters felt underdeveloped, and if the ending felt a bit abrupt, well, such is the nature
of many origin tales. I almost clipped it a half-star for the somewhat nebulous nature of Buckham's alternate world; there seemed to be almost too many possible non-humans
and magic systems running around, and their powers and limitations came across as a little plot convenient at times. Still, I've read far worse - especially recently - so I was
willing to cut it a little slack.
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