One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Published by NYLA on December 21, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Buy It Here! •
Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.
Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.
Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest... the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.
But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!
*NOTE: This is a review of the free online serial. It will be pulled soon and is currently available for pre-order.*
I loved dang near everything about this. EVERYTHING. So… SQUEEEEE! lol
In book three of the Innkeeper Chronicles, the story begins when Dina gets a message to come help her sister, Maud. Maud is stuck on a penal colony and only Arland can get Dina (and Sean!) there. Once the group arrives where Maud is located, Arland is stupefied to discover that Maud is even more fierce than Dina. Maud is discovered wearing blood armor, carrying a blood sword and slicing through her enemies like a hot knife through butter. Go Maud! GO MARLAND!
A vampire grabbed the swordsman’s tattered cloak and jerked at it. The cloak came free, revealing Maud in blood armor, her short blue-black hair flying. She dropped to her knees on the table and buried her dagger in his throat. Blood sprayed her face. She pulled the dagger out with a short jerk, rolled on the table, just as another vampire shattered it with a blow of his blood mace, and sliced across his face with her sword.
Next to me Arland stood frozen.
I reached over and pushed his mouth shut. “Arland!”
He stared at me, as if waking up from a dream.
I pointed at Maud. “Help my sister!”
For a stunned half a second he stared at me, and then he pulled his blood mace, roared, and tore into the mass of bodies like a raging bull.
Arland looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. Yes, the princess you were expecting put on her armor and left to kill the dragon. So sorry.
Dina is surprised and so grateful to have the chance to rescue her sister. But she is confused as to how it all came together…until she learns about the arbitrator.
“An Arbitrator stopped at a Lodge where Helen and I were hiding. No idea what he was doing on Karhari. I’ve never seen one up close before. Beautiful man, golden blond hair. Walked with a cane.”
George. Just like I thought.
“Anyway, he paused by my table and said that I looked like someone from Earth and how odd it was to see someone like me and Helen in that wretched place. And I said that I was from Earth and still had family on the planet. He told me that he wouldn’t be going to Earth for a while, but that he would be stopping in the vicinity to drop off some clients and that a Ku in his party liked delivery jobs, so if I were to write a message, he would see that it reached my family. I let him scan the photograph I had of you. I didn’t even know if you were on Earth. It was a shot in the dark. I never thought it would work. I still can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem real.”
George knew exactly who she was. Of course he did. He probably wanted something in return, if not now, then later. That man never did anything without calculating all the variables. And I didn’t care. From now on he would stay free in the inn as long as he lived.
Dina gets the opportunity to pay back George starting in chapter four, however. I’m sure she was not surprised – George always comes with strings. As Dina is sitting down to the first meal at home with Maud and Maud’s daughter, Helen, a Hiru appears. The Hiru are a race of very peaceful people being exterminated by anther race (the Draziri), reason unknown. Dina is SURE the appearance of the Hiru + the knowledge to find her sister came from [the very expensive] George. The Hiru confirm this belief when he tells Dina that “We have appealed for Arbitration, but the Draziri declined.” Shortly after the hiru says:
“We have no safe place. The Arbitrator suggested that you might keep us safe.”
“Was he a human male? Pale yellow hair?”
“Yes.” The Hiru nodded.
This is where One Fell Sweep starts getting even better. Dina doesn’t want to help the Hiru but she desperately DOES want to help them – its in her nature (both as a person and as an Innkeeper). The problem is that Dina knows that the Draziri will come after the Hiru and almost nothing can stop them – in the past they have thrown away about 250,000 lives to kill 50 Hiru. They are relentless and Dina has to think about her guests as well as the Earth treaty. She has no intention of forgetting these things…
…until the Draziri threaten the Inn and its guests.
“Because nobody threatens me or my guests in my house. They don’t get to intimidate me, they don’t get to harm my family, and they don’t get to kill my guests. The Draziri have been getting their way for far too long. They need to learn what the word no means, and I’m going to teach them that lesson over and over until they get it.”
-Dina, Chapter five
After allowing the Draziri to declare war, the Inn is placed under siege. Sadly for the Draziri…Dina doesn’t play nice or fair. And she just so happens to have Sean, Arland, Maud and the always devious Caldenia on her side. And don’t forget Beast!
I glanced at Beast and pointed to the third Draziri. “Kill it!”
My dog dashed across the street, claws sliding out of her paws.
The officer snapped his taser up. The Draziri jerked and ripped the metal prongs out of his body. Marais went for his gun.
Beast leapt into the air, her mouth gaping open, displaying three rows of razor sharp teeth and tore out the Draziri’s throat. Blood spurted onto the asphalt.
Did I mention I have a Shi-Tzu?? I LOVE this story, lol!
One Fell Sweep has so many fun moments I’d have to copy/paste the entire dang book here to give them all – so I’m just hitting my highlights…Like Officer Marais. Those of us who have been following the Innkeeper Chronicles have known about Officer Marais since Clean Sweep. Officer Marais is one of those humans who just know when something is just not right. And this hunch tells him it has something to do with Dina and her Inn. In Sweep in Peace Officer Marais ended up with a sleeping drought and a magic car…and in One Fell Sweep he almost ended up dead. But these previous experiences prepared him for this one…and he takes it so well. Cool as a cucumber…just like Matty Ice.
Marais picked up the doughnut and took a speculative bite. His eyes widened. He took another bite. “So,” he said, chewing. “Aliens?”
Officer Marais gets his education quickly…and then (true to character) he goes all police on them [the Draziri]:
“…in violation of Article 3 Subsections 1 through 3, 7, 12, and 16 of Earth Treaty,” Officer Marais said with methodical precision. “You’re endangering Earth’s neutral status by facilitating the discovery of outside civilizations and contributing to a breach of said article which will result in a permanent ban of your species from this waypoint. Move along.”
I really can’t describe the burblings of joy that occurred when I read that scene. 😀
There is a pretty dark section near the end of the story that has been described as one of the best written descriptions of clinical depression in quite some time. It is a little hard to read but it’s nothing…that takes away from the [relative] general lightness and action of One Fell Sweep.
And honestly, I have to stop now before I just re-tell the whole book, lol. Suffice to say, Dina wins the day. 😀