Not the entire genre, perhaps. But for the girl who grew up rotting her eyes out with superhero cartoons, much of it does.
Linda Grimes’s debut novel, In a Fix, reminded me of superheroes. Shape shifters are done all the time, but changing essences to look just like someone else isn’t done that often.
Not only did it bring something new to the table, but it’s also pretty funny.
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.
This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable…that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years-both skilled adaptors-step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.
Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
For me, Urban Fantasy doesn’t have to be snarky. I usually go for the darker stuff. I like my fiction to have a bite, a twist, anything that astounds me and takes my breath away. In a Fix is snarky and funny, two things I don’t look for in the genre, but which I loved in these pages.
There are honest laugh-out-loud moments that stay with the reader. Top the snarky with the fact that In a Fix is a debut novel, and I found myself astounded. I look forward to seeing how the next book stacks up.
In a Fix was published by Tor Books on September 4th 2012. It is 336 pages, and sells for $14.99 in paperback, $9.99 in digital format.