This was a straight 3 star book. Nothing really grabbed me, but it wasn't written poorly. I just thought way too much was going on for this first book and have just a general state of confusion occurring while I was reading this. I kept checking to make sure this was the first book in the series, and it is. I was told after the fact that I should have read something called the Scarlett Bernard series first before reading this and my reply was "Seriously? I don't have time to read three other books before I read a series starring this same person? Also why was there even a spin-off? This makes no sense!" So yeah, that turned into a 30 minute conversation I will never get back.
Olson sets up a world in which there is something called the Old World that deals with supernatural creatures (witches, vampires, werewolves).
One of our main characters is Scarlett Bernard who is a "null" someone with the ability to null the magical effects around witches, vampires, vampires. For example, if Scarlett is around a vampire, the vampire becomes human. I have no idea why the person wouldn't just turn into dust if they are a 1,000 years old, but I learned to stop asking questions like that while reading.
The other main character is a former friend/partner whatever of Scarlett's, former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz. Jesse is bitter over a divorce and feeling like he got played by the Old World people (I barely manage to figure out what happened based on all the hints floating around).
When a former vampire friend of Scarlett (goes by the name of Molly) asks for her help, Scarlett goes up against the Old World to prove she was set up. She enlists the aid of Jesse who agrees to saddle up to work alongside Scarlett again.
There was no there, there for me while reading. Scarlett got really annoying. I have no idea what her issues were, but she apparently has a long term boyfriend that she treated like an annoyance, a supernatural dog (that I never want to hear about again) whose every mood and tick she can pick up on. Jesse got a bit self righteous for me. Molly's character made no sense to me after what we see of her. I am speaking of the ending and the terribleness that is found out about why exactly Molly was targeted.
There are additional characters in this, but none that really stuck with me while reading.
The writing was okay. The book just got a bit awkward when it went from Scarlett to Jesse's POV. It didn't work that well.
Look, I am always looking for an urban fantasy to sink my teeth into. This one just didn't move me either way. I may read the second book or I may not. I just hope that the author manages to fix the world building and develops the character. I get this was the first book in a series. But there was way too much information being thrown at me that didn't work seamlessly into this story. For example, we just got told that Jesse used to have feelings for Scarlett and they haven't seen each other in three years. There could have been some dialogue about that between the two of them. The only thing that I did like was Scarlett being happy she could just be friends with Jesse without any romance going on. I am sure that gets thrown out later, but I swear I loathe love triangles. If any of the future books seem to be heading in that direction just let me know.