Under Wraps (Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles #1) by Hannah Jayne
This is the second book I’ve read for Dark Faerie Tales’ urban fantasy challenge for this year and the first time I’ve read anything by Hannah Jayne. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but the cover made me think that the protagonist, Sophie Lawson, was going to be seriously bad-ass. I mean, giant sword, leather, come-here-and-I’ll-seduce-you-then-kick-your-butt stare…all of the makings of a tough, typical, urban fantasy heroine. I should have figured out that this wasn’t quite what I was going to get after reading the back of the book, shown here:
As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny…
Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging ranging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers parker isn’t what he seems, she’s only got one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in…and about to make one wisecracking human it means to ultimate power.
As you may have guessed, the book is a lot more lighthearted than the cover would suggest. Sophie is a rather timid lead, infatuated with her boss, a big fan of conservative clothing, and the only human, or breather, employed in the Underworld Detection Agency, able to work there because she’s immune to magic though she can’t perform it, despite having a grandmother who was a seer. While I found Sophie cute, I didn’t find her that interesting, which made it hard to stay invested in the novel. Similarly, her romantic foil, Parker Hayes, wasn’t all that compelling either. He was, of course, quite handsome and authoritative, but I thought Sophie’s boss, Mr. Sampson, was much more interesting.
I thought the plot was relatively unpredictable and there were some nice reveals through the book but I’m not really sold on this world. If I read the next book in the series, Under Ground, I think it will be as a library book.
Book #2 in my quest to complete Dark Faerie Tales’ 2011 urban fantasy challenge