Summary: The world alternates irregularly between periods of high and low magic. For many centuries, magic was low and tech was high. In the last decade or two, magic has come back and now it alternates between the two frequently. When magic is high, modern technology does not work which means everyone has two sets of light bulbs, incandescent for tech and fey lanterns for magic. Major institutions have adapted with dual systems blended construction of buildings. New agencies were formed, both government and private, to handle magical problems.
This story follows Kate, a mercenary with the Guild. She is hired to fight monsters and resolve magical trouble. Her mentor, a Knight from the Order, is found dead and the murderer is on the loose. As Kate investigates she picks up some allies and enemies. As there is a sequel, I will let you speculate on how this book ends.
What I Liked: The setting is very interesting, especially the idea of a magical tide that rolls in and out. The scenes describing it come in and everyone switching their lights is fascinating to think about. Also, the thoughts on how a major city like Atlanta would change are fun.
What I Didn't Like: I could not follow the characters' emotional states. One would be mad or sad and it was not clear to me why. Friendships were strengthened or weakened for inexplicable reasons. In one scene, a man comes up with an idea that the group then acts on. It turns out he was wrong and blames Kate for coming up with the idea, I have no idea why. Similarly, I found that I did not trust the narrator. In other books I've read, the narrator spends a lot of time proving to the reader that they are telling the story as accurately as possible. Kate did not seem to care what the reader thought and would just say something is true and move on.
Rating: I'm not eager to read any more of the series.
Also Read By This Author: None.
Note, Ilona Andrews is the pen name for Ilona and Andrew Gordon.
Reviewed By: Nick