Fantasy / thriller
Tara Abernathy left the Hidden Schools in fire and lightning, expelled post-graduation in a great battle with her former professors. Despite her irregular method of departure, she's caught the eye of the prestigious firm Kelethras, Albrecht, and Ao, and now she's an entry-level associate tasked with finding out who killed Kos, how, and why. Soon Tara, her only-somewhat-human boss, and their temporary assistant, the chain-smoking priest Abelard, are avoiding assassination attempts, chasing vampires, fending off attacks by gargoyles, and uncovering a web of intrigue that brings them before the reincarnation of Justice Herself to argue their case.
This is that too-rare work of speculative fiction that combines carefully detailed world-building with well-realized characters who feel like real people. Add a thrilling plot with plenty of twists, turns, and adventure, and Gladstone's debut novel (!) is a winner. This book has it all: murder, magic, intrigue, treachery, power, love - and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel, coming in October 2013.
- The book jacket invokes Zelazny, Gaiman, and Grisham. I haven't read Zelazny and I'm not sure I concur with Grisham (the legal thriller aspects are there, but I don't really know that it's the same), but Gaiman's writing seems to have a very similar atmosphere/feeling to it.
- Might be a good stretch for mystery/thriller readers who could be induced to read something in a more fantastic setting.