An innkeeper, a vampire and a werewolf. You don’t see that combo everyday. In fact, I doubt a lot of books have that trio. But that means there’s an actually blank canvas for Ilona Andrews to work with. But how did they do?
Well, for one, the book delivered on most things. It had a solid “interesting” intro, with well-defined characters. It was certainly easy to identify characters from their words and humor. That’s one place it didn’t feel like the book skipped over.
The book also had some this-is-magic-and-anything’s-possible moments, some more amusing than others. And there was also a scene that was straight out of Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. At least the innkeeper didn’t fly on her broom. She’s an innkeeper, not a witch.
I noticed that the book seemed to be leaning a lot on the following book. If I had read the book in a vacuum, I would’ve thought it was the second in a series. Seconds usually have that beating about the bush thing, and it’s quite evident in this one. Even the final fight scene was a bit muted.
Dina, our innkeeper, is a magician. Well one who knows how to use her magic, as the book explains that even humans have it. But our innkeeper also has a sentient inn, and a pet Shih Tzu. Both of which were given their moments in the book. Though what’s intriguing is Dina’s backstory and how she became innkeeper of Gertrude Hunt. And this intriguing part is still a bit untold. A bit.
The werewolf and the vampire – Sean and Arland – were both reverend characters. Their descriptions and histories had the markings of really great warriors, but they felt underutilized. Save for their weird banter, and their constant vie for our innkeeper. I do feel that they would’ve benefited from a little bit more self-expression. And maybe a brawl would’ve been interesting.
Spotting the main objective was quite easy, in a way that was quite surprising. I expected a misleading turn at the end, but there were no surprises. And that just didn’t do it for me. I felt like from the beginning to the end, was a simple straight line. There was practically no suspense, nothing that made me wonder and ponder. The villain was a bit of the stranger, they literally could have known nothing about him before the fight and it would have gone the same way. I feel like the villain just happened to pass by on the wrong turf and got dealt with. All in all, it was a long stretch for me.
While I normally would recommend werewolf books on a hunch, this one might have to take a step back. It just felt a little less substantial than I would have liked. Almost as if the story was still being pieced together. It’s not a bad book, but you might want to read others first.
Those are my thoughts on Ilona Andrews’ Clean Sweep. If you haven’t read the book yet, you can get it here. If you have, I’d like to know your thoughts. What did you think of it?
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