Monday, September 26, 2016

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations: Episodes 1 - 3 (Kate Baray)

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations: Episodes 1 - 3
(The Spirelli Paranormal Investigations series)
Kate Baray
Fiction, Fantasy
*** (Okay)

DESCRIPTION: Jack Spirelli, owner of the Junk Store secondhand shop, just went public with his new business as a paranormal investigator. Despite having no magic of his own, he'll take on most any case for the underground community of magic users and nonhuman beings in modern Austin... but he'll need an assistant to be truly effective. When the dragon Marin walks into his shop (in human form, of course), he's naturally suspicious - dragons don't often leave their families to seek their own way in the world - but he can't afford to be too picky. Soon, Jack and Marin are neck-deep in cases ranging from a missing earth witch to supernatural memory theft to protecting a defector from the dangerous Coven.

REVIEW: This is a spinoff of another series by author Baray which I haven't read. That may explain some of my trouble getting invested in the characters and their world. I felt I didn't really know enough about her urban fantasy setting, the differences between magic users and other possible players in paranormal problems, so troubles and solutions tended to materialize out of nowhere. The characters were decent for what they were, but I never really connected with them. They played their roles competently, if without too much originality in these three short episodes. I could see hints around the edges of potential in future installments. The three adventures contained in this volume follow the usual PI format: a problem shows up in Jack's office, he and his assistant head out to investigate it, they get in a few scrapes, and things get resolved in time for the proverbial closing credits. It's not bad, though the third episode had some repetitions and other issues that hinted at a too-speedy editing round, but it's just not my cup of cocoa. If you're looking for a quick PI-style urban fantasy read, this might fit the bill.

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