If the cover of this book seems familiar, it might be because I already reviewed the first book in the series, Clean Sweep. You might want to check that out. This book, is the second in the series, and I should say, a whole lot has changed.
If you’ve read my review of the first book, then you know that I’m not a big fan. Not really. There was too much to be improved relative to how much was actually good. But it’s safe to say that Andrews went back to the board on this one and really figured stuff out.
The story starts with the epilogue giving us a brief on George Camarine, the man who mastered life. George was called to work for the Arbitrators who are in real sense the Intergalactic and Inter reality Peacemakers Association. He accepts. The book follows with George asking our favorite innkeeper, Dina Demille, to host peace talks between three warring species; Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the Merchants of Baha-char.
Of course Dina practically grabs at the chance with both hands. Her inn, Gertrude Hunt only has two and a half stars, and one permanent guest; she could use the attention. But the attention comes with lots of trouble as these belligerent parties are not only all trying to kill themselves, but have a lot more baggage than expected. Dina has to upgrade and protect her inn, look out for her guests, while still making sure that the peace talks proceed smoothly.
Firstly, can I just say how amazed I am at how much of an improvement this book is over the first?! The first book wasn’t entirely bad, but the ending wasn’t up to par. This one however, delivered excellently on both the build-up and the ending. I didn’t once feel the book light on details.
That said, it was quite heavy in some places. A number of times, especially during in telling situations, I felt like the book dragged a bit. Descriptions seemed unnecessarily long to the point that I anticipated the break in flow every time. I’m not really a “less is more” person when it comes to describing scenes, and I know that most of it was necessary to give the characters their sentience, but I do feel like it could have been better.
The characters also were pretty good. Most fell in the background, and those who didn’t had roles to play. There were enough people, but no one was out of place in such a manner that demanded reprimand.
Her Grace, Cardenia ka ret Magren was a bit more active in this book than in the previous, and that’s a good thing. Also, being the cannibal that she is affords her an amazing wit, and a bounty that was woven perfectly into the plot. I’m still not exactly sure what she is, but I wouldn’t mind a scene with her having “fun”, because of course she finds murders interesting.
Another returning character is Lord Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr. He isn’t alone this time which pemittedly eliminates the chances of him running naked through the orchard again. What isn’t eliminated though, is his interest in Dina. And this shows up multiple times, sometimes not-so-subtle. It’s a notable addition to the unknown in this book.
George Camarine is also an interesting one. Being his first rodeo, he gives everything he can to the peace talks. It is evident that he’s one of those who can be merciless on themselves for the greater good. Although that always makes sense, it doesn’t always feel right. And there are some eerie risks he takes that had me clinging for breath. But he’s one of the good guys.
The anchor that holds it all together, Dina Demille is as anchoring as usual (see what I did there?) Although this book happens six months after the first, there is still no news about her parents and no word from Sean. Thankfully, Dina doesn’t lose hope, which is inspiring. And she has this scene at the end that’s nothing short of bad assery. Yes. I said it.
I was going to say I wished the book had at least given a hint on the whereabouts of Dina’s parents. But upon further inspection – not really, I was looking for George’s last name – I noticed something. The man who recruited George was named Klaus Demille. As in Dina Demille Demille. I might be picking at straws, but could the Arbitrators have something to do with the Demille’s disappearance? Of course, this is all speculation and I could be off by a mile.
Also, **SPOILER ALERT** Sean’s back. But not as Sean. Even before the explanation when it defied all logic, I still believed it was Sean. I won’t tell you who/what he(it?) is now, but it was quite interesting to see how his presence was explained.
Notably, Andrews did a really good job making this book better than the first. It doesn’t suffer from most of what plagued the first, and is an actually enticing read. I’d like to give a standing ovation to Andrews for avoiding the “seconds syndrome”, the book doesn’t feel too complacent.
There’s a lot of promise for the next book in the series, and I really cannot wait to get my hands on it. Andrews left some interesting doors open + cats. Oh! And Officer Marais is still here, and he’s definitely going to do *something* in the next book.
Thank you for reading this review of Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews. You can get the book on Amazon. Let me know your thoughts on it if you decide to do so. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, drop them down below and I’ll get back to you. As always, have fun reading!