Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Release Day Review: The Grendel Affair (SPI Files #1) by Lisa Shearin

Mac went to New York to follow her dream. She wanted to make a difference, just like the rest of her family, but in a different way. Everyone in her family is in law enforcement in one way or another. Mac wanted to go after the bad guys, but not with guns drawn and fire blazing around her ears. She wanted to deliver them on the front pages, battle with the big guys in New York Times. Just one problem…. No big newspaper will hire a newbie with a new degree in journalism. So Mac ended in the Informer, a seedy tabloid that doesn’t care if it truly prints the truth or not – as long as it sells. But Mac IS telling the truth, and soon she comes into SPI’s radar.

SPI ( Supernatural Protection & Investigations) protects humans and other supernaturals against the really bad monsters. See, Mac has a special gift, she is a seer, a person who can see through disguises, shields and spells. So whatever you are and no matter how you hide it, Mac can see straight through it. Which suddenly is a VERY handy skill when SPI suddenly stands with a murder who can become invisible, have claws that can go through steel and with a hunger for human flesh that is enormous. There is ONE itsy bitsy problem….. 48 hours to midnight, Times Square, all those people to celebrate and not only ONE monster, but TWO…. Time is ticking away, and SPI with Mac and Ian (her partner at SPI) is running against time to find ALL the monsters before the entire community of supernaturals is exposed in the worst way possible.

For those who know me all the way back from Dangerous Romance, knows I’m a huge fan of Lisa Shearin. I LOVE her Raine Benares series, and was sad when it ended, although Lisa made All Spell Breaks Loose a beautiful and wonderful read.

So when Lisa told everyone she was working on something new, I was excited. Don’t get me started on how I felt when I received an e-ARC of The Grendel Affair.

Finally sitting down to start reading, I was easily and quickly caught up in The Grendel Affair. Mac is new to SPI, and her partner Ian is a much more seasoned agent. It does give them some conflicts, especially due to the fact that Mac is a Seer, and she isn’t trained in combat. Which was normal procedure for Seer’s working for SPI, but then after that small incident where their last Seer…. Uhm…. Well… he didn’t come back from the mission, SPI had to reconsider their policy.

Mac is a determined young woman, she wants to be a part of the team, wants to make a difference, and she goes into danger even if her head and body screams at her to run the other way. She’s brave, and she cares about the people she works with. I think it’s really cool that she can see through veils, shields and other things, to see people true forms as auras.

Ian is a complex, and yet simple person. His story when told made me understand him so much better, and I liked how protective he was of Mac. Ian is very professional, combat trained in pretty much anything, and misses… well, almost nothing. And yet, I have a feeling he has underestimated Mac in more than one way. :-)

Since SPI is an investigation and protection of Supernaturals, it would be odd if there weren’t any of them working there. There are. Plenty of them. SPI is even lead by one special lady; Vivienne Sagadraco. You might wonder what’s so special about her? Well, she is one tough old lady, drives the SPI with an iron fist, have a wonderful sense for sparkly things, and is called the dragon lady. With good reason. Vivienne is a dragon, a very old and powerful dragon. (Note her LAST name *grins*)A dragon who doesn’t take it very nice that someone is attacking her HQ and her employees. Wrong lady to piss off.

There are of course the “usual” vampires; Alain Moreau (Vivienne Sagadraco’s right hand, and lawyer), Yasha (a Russian werewolf), Kenji Hayashi (tech elf), and so many more. I like all the diversity, all the different personalities, working together.

Something else that I truly liked about this book was the fact that Lisa had taken something close to my home (I live in Denmark), and used some of our mythology – the Grendel. I can’t begin to describe how cool it is, how fun it is to read about your own mythology written in the pages from one of your favorite authors. And let me tell you… I so do NOT want to run into a Grendel – EVER. Lisa scared the crap out of me with her description of those beasties!!

Last, one of the things I truly enjoyed from Raine Benares was the humor. Despite everything, I could always count on Lisa delivering a wonderful sense of humor in her books, and she still does. Even in the midst of a fight, a panic attack, I found myself chuckle due to a line or two delivered beautifully.

Being an old fan of Lisa’s, I can gladly put my hand over my heart and tell you that The Grendel Affair is absolutely, freaking awesome. Wonderfully written, action-packed, a race against time, sprinkled with Lisa’s wonderful sense of humor and loads of hints for more to come. I am NOT disappointed with her new series at all, and I’m looking forward to the next book; The Dragon Conspiracy, which will come in 2014.

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out—usually saving my skin in the process.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.


Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. Lisa’s happily freelancing for an advertising agency as an editor and proofreader. In her previous corporate life, she’s been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

Lisa is the national bestselling author of The Raine Benares novels, a series of six comedic fantasy adventures. Her next series—The SPI Files—is an urban fantasy that’s been described as Stephanie Plum meets Men in Black. It will debut on December 31, 2013.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens both vintage and modern. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell Terrier who rules them all.


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