I enjoyed Olson's previous urban fantasy series, Scarlett Bernard, so when I saw her releasing a new one I jumped on it. But of course I forgot about it, piled it up under so many to-read books. Until yesterday when on a whim (plus I was in my urban fantasy mood) I decided to finally pick this up. Well, Olson surely knew how to begin the first chapter, that's for sure...
The third time I died was early on a Monday morning, a week after Labor Day.
How could I NOT get intrigued??
The story opened with quite a bang. Allison Alexandra Luther (call her "Lex" not Allie) was working her third shift in a convenience store when she encountered a couple trying to buy baby diapers... and found out that the baby was her own niece, Charlie. Realizing that the couple has kidnapped Charlie, Lex tried to stop them, even got stabbed for her attempt. She succeeded but it also opened her self to a whole new world. Apparently the couple was vampires who wanted Charlie because she was a null (human who nullifies the magic within a certain space around them) and Lex herself was a witch.
For readers who read Scarlett Bernard would already be familiar with the null concept (Scarlet was a null herself). With additional witches and vampires, the world building was not exactly complicated. Having said that, Olson was still able to offer a new concept of witch: a boundary witch. I'm not going to spoil much, but it's a new type of witch with affinity for death essence ... and since Lex has only discovered her power, I can see her grown more ease and control over it. I seriously cannot wait to see more things that she can do with it. She already showed the potential of her power (one scene just creep the hell out of me) and I thought it would bring complications to her life, for sure.
I definitely thought that Olson had improved her writing skill. She paced the plot really well, combining the action-thrill of the threat towards Charlie's life, Lex learning about her magic (with the help of two witches from Clan Peller), Lex finding out more about the Old World rules, Lex teaming out with Vampire Quinn to find out who was responsible for Charlie's kidnapping attempt, with a little touch of budding romance near the end.
I liked that Olson kept that future romantic entanglement near the end because for me, Lex is not exactly at the place in her life to deal with it in the beginning. She still suffered from her time being out of the army, added with the death of her twin sister, Sam. Plus having a knowledge that she was a witch with dead blood was probably too much for one to take. I just hope that Olson doesn't fall to the trap of love-triangle for the next book though, since that what she did with Scarlet (despite the fact that I liked Scarlet's choice).
There might be a hint of a cross-over plot, since one character's name from Scarlet Bernard series was mentioned here (Jesse Cruz, a.k.a. Scarlet's detective partner). I'm quite intrigued to see how that plays out. All in all, this is a really good start of a new series in a familiar universe. I already have book two with me, and I might gobble it up this weekend ...