Brutus was dead. ~ Opening of Clean Sweep
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Science Fiction/Fantasy; 235 pgs
Source: I purchased this copy for my personal reading pleasure.
You just have to tell me a book is by wife and husband writing team Ilona Andrews, and I know I will want to read it. It doesn’t really matter what it is about. Still, the Innkeeper Chronicles would have caught my attention even without the authors’ name attached. This fantasy/science fiction mash-up sounded irresistible.
Dina Demille seems like just your average person running a bed and breakfast in a small Texas town. When neighborhood pets start winding up dead, killed by a possible wild animal, Dina focuses her attention on the new resident in neighborhood, Sean Evans. Could he be behind the attacks? Dina will protect her neighborhood at all costs. Armed with a rather deadly broomstick and accompanied by her adorable Shih Tze, Dina is an Innkeeper, her home a way station for travelers from other worlds. She is tasked with caring for her guests and protecting theirs and the inn’s secrets.
Sean Evans may be new to town, but he has made the small Texas town his home and will do whatever it takes to protect his territory. Dina pegged him for a werewolf right away, and despite his initial protestations, he does finally admit to it. Dina and Sean reluctantly join forces to find out figure out who or what is threatening their idyllic neighborhood.
Then vampires arrive on the hunt for the predators that are lurking in Dina and Sean’s backyard—and the situation only grows more complicated from there. Dina must stand her ground and find a solution fast.
This series is just plain fun! It’s full of magic, a sentient inn, humor, literary references, werewolves, vampires, and otherworldly travel. I loved Dina and Sean and Beast and even the inn’s permanent guest, Caldena, who was both amusing and frightening.
In Clean Sweep, we learn how attached Dina is to the Inn itself, how the two provide each other with strength and magic. Dina grew up in an inn, both her parents being innkeepers before they mysteriously disappeared several years ago. Dina and her brother searched everywhere for them, but are uncertain of their fate. While her brother still searches, Dina knew the time had come to put down her own roots, and so she brought a dormant inn back to life. The Inn, Gertrude Hunt, is as much a character as Dina, and I wish I could explore her hallways and rooms.
Sean Evans had never known his own ancestor’s history, believing all his life he was some sort of aberration of a human. Dina opens his eyes to the truth, about his parents’ origins and how that tied into who he is, and the pieces begin to fall into place.
I admit I hadn’t paid too much attention to the description and so had really only been expecting fantasy—and so was pleasantly surprised when it turned out there was a very firm science fiction thread in the novel as well. It added to the richness of the world Ilona Andrews created.
Tensions were high, the humor spot on, and with a bit of romance on the side, Clean Sweep had me from the opening lines, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the second book once I finished this one, and that's just what I did.
Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife writing team. For more information about the authors and their books, visit their website.
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