The dramatic cover, with a leather-clad huntress wielding a smoking gun in one hand and a Taser gun in the other, might suggest this book is about a kick-ass demon warrior on a quest to evicerate the forces of evil. But don’t be fooled – this book is not what it appears to be! And for me, that’s a good thing because I’m much more into fun and frothy urban fantasies involving quirky crime-solving sleuths and preternatural hotties. So if you, like me, enjoy characters like Sookie Stackhouse or Stephanie Plum, you’ll really get a kick out of Sophie Lawson, the leading lady in Hanna Jayne’s Underworld Detection Agency series.
As a human immune to magic, Sophie is somewhat of an anomaly at the Underworld Detection Agency, a beurocratic office that helps paranormal beings blend into San Francisco society. As the executive assistant to the agency’s director, she uses her magical force shield to her advantage while dealing with disgruntled trolls, vamps, weres and pixies. But after a brush with evil at – where else – Starbucks, she realizes her resistance to magic is no match for Satan’s Spawn.
On a quest to retrieve the Vessel of Souls, a mysterious artifact filled with the souls of the recently departed, Satan’s minion (in the form of Elle Woods) plans to tip the balance and control both worlds. And when she discovers Sophie is the key to finding the divine vessel, all hell breaks loose – literally!
To save the world from Satan’s wrath – and to avoid dying a slow, painful death – Sophie teams up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Alex, and her vampire best friend to find the vessel before it lands in the wrong hands. As they piece together clues, they unearth some dangerous secrets about Sophie’s family. And the closer they get to the vessel, the more they learn about her unusual ability.
As if being stalked and tortured by the devil incarnate isn’t bad enough – Sophie gets the boot from the Underworld Detection Agency after a new micro-managey director takes over. With no other prospects, she ends up working at a re-sale pants shop called People’s Pants. I don’t know what’s worse, having to save the world from an impending apocalypse or working at a store filled with polyester pants and embroidered capris. Ick!
Things really get complicated when Sophie discovers Alex, a fallen angel, may have an agenda of his own. Should she trust him to use the vessel for good? Or is he just using her in order to restore his fallen wings? You’ll have to read to find out! But you’ll have to wait until it’s released on November 1.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Hanna Jayne’s new series. Sophie’s sassy first-person narrative is as charming as it is hilarious. She keeps the quips coming without overdoing it. While the tone is generally light, there is an undercurrent of danger. If you’re a fan of Molly Harper, Richelle Mead, or Charlaine Harris, you’ll love this new series. My advice: Get it, read it, share it!