Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spiral Hunt by Margaret Ronald

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Some people have the Sight. Genevieve Scelan has the Scent.

They call her "Hound," and with her unique supernatural sense Evie can track nearly anything—lost keys, vanished family heirlooms . . . even missing people. And though she knows to stay out of the magical undercurrent that runs beneath Boston's historic streets, a midnight phone call from a long-vanished lover will destroy the careful boundaries she has drawn. Now, to pay a years-old debt, Evie must venture into the shadowy world that lies between myth and reality, where she will find betrayal, conspiracies, and revelations that will shatter all she believes about herself and the city she claims as home.

I read this one while I was out of town for business and I must say while I'm not head over heels in love with it, I'm pretty damn close.  This was an interesting introduction to a new series that will have a long, and prosperous futures, at least I'm hoping so.  As some of you may know, I'm a little new to the world of urban fantasy, and while I sill prefer traditional or high fantasy, I'm learning to love the world of magic and monsters set in our modern world.

Evie is a unique character even in the world of urban fantasy, well at least for me she is.  I've never run across another character who's sole magical ability seems to be a really strong sense of smell.  She can sense the scent of anything, whether it's a person, object, or even an event.  Everything, and I mean everything, leaves behind an odor and Evie can pick up on it.  She uses this ability as a detective to supplement her income as a bicycle messenger. 

Evie has been straddling the world we all know and that of magic all her life, never really fully in one of the other.  The magic world is controlled by the Bright Brotherhood, a cabal of magicians that seeks to control everything that goes on in the city of Boston.  She has tried to stay out of their way and as a result, while she may know about the world they inhabit, she really doesn't understand the rules.  When she gets that late night call from her ex lover, Evie is forced to learn those rules really quickly.

Outside of a few close friends, Evie is a loner.  She prefers her own company and that of a Red Sox game most of the time so when she is forced to team up with a sexy magician, she isn't sure whether or not to trust him.  He seems to be all right and is always there to get her back, but is he who he claims to be?  Or should she trust the guy she's known for years who is raising his kid sister, who seems to have talent of her own, but is unaware of the world that Evie is finding herself being enveloped by.  The back and forth pull that Evie feels for both of these men is an interesting dynamic to the book, and one that I thought the author did a wonderful job in portraying.

This book is flavored by Irish and Celtic mythology, which the author must have spent an inordinate amount of time researching.  Fin Mac Cool makes an appearance and he is actually the vehicle to explain Evie's ability.  I won't go into too much detail of what happens in the book, though there is a lot of action and characters making decisions, that while you many not completely understand at the time, all make sense by the end of the book.  I have already finished the second book in the series, Wild Hunt (review to come later), and I can't wait to see what happens to Evie next.


Staci said...

I love that there is Irish/Celtic mythology in this story. I too have been a fan of the traditional fantasy set in another world but like you have read and enjoyed those set in current time. I for one appreciate that you don't go into too much detail in your review. That is a good thing because I may want to read this and experience it for myself. I wish more of us would think that way when we post our reviews...tell me what you thought about it, how it made you feel, and why you did or didn't like it...that's what I'm looking for.

Ceri said...

Wow, this sounds like an awesome book. I'm not a big reader of fantasy but, when I do read it, I prefer urban. I like the idea that all of this could happen in the world we know. :)

Alexia561 said...

I'm so glad that you liked this book Ryan! Evie is such a unique character, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Simcha said...

I don't think I've heard of this book before but it sounds really interesting. I've kind of taken a break from urban fantasy since a lot of those that I have irritated me for one reason or another but I think this is a book that I definitely want to try this one now. Thanks for the review!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this book. I enjoyed this one as well. I really liked the basis of the Hound idea. I really enjoyed the Celtic mythology too. :) Thanks for the great review.