Nyalla is dog-sitting for Satan. It’s a sweet gig for a girl who, up until recently, had been a slave to the elves in Hel. The house is amazing, she’s got the key to the Corvette, and although Boomer is a Hellhound, he’s also a lovable, slobbery companion.
When a newly interred corpse vanishes, followed by a series of grisly murders, Nyalla can’t help but wonder if Boomer’s odd diet has taken a deadly turn. Could the dog be to blame or is there a more sinister creature on the loose? Nyalla must stop who is behind it all before more die – and before the county puts Boomer on death row.
This was a much better put together story than I was expecting based off my memories and what I encountered in No Man’s Land. This is a very solid side story. I enjoyed myself while reading this much more than I thought I would.
While you don’t need to read this for the overall series, I wouldn’t recommend reading this without having read the series up to this point. There is just too much that Dunbar relies on the reader already knowing for me to really recommend this as a total standalone or an introduction to the world.
The story itself was fine. Instead of searching for who created a dead body, Nyalla is trying to find who created an undead body. Also, she ends up befriending a (very uncop-like) cop (who isn’t a detective, and really has no business in this at all) who helps her along the way. This is a bit different than other books in this series so far because it has zombies and ghouls and specialized magicians (necromancers). As far as I can remember, none of this has been in the series so far.
The story isn’t good because of all of what I just mentioned – honestly those parts were pretty boring. It was good because it focuses on Nyalla still adjusting to a human life. I wish it would have focused on this part more, even. It is amazing how she changes over the course of this book. I expect great things from her in the future. She is funny, too. And kind, and strong, and great. We haven’t been able to see much of her so far in the series, and I’m glad she got a moment to shine.
We also get a bit of perspective from Boomer, and honestly I’m highly disappointed. I was expecting more… demon or even hound out of these perspectives. Boomer just sounds very..human. Disappointing. I liked the role he played in this book, though. I now wonder what Boomer does when Sam is around, if this is what he gets up to when she isn’t.
The romance was annoying. I felt like Dunbar felt like it was expected that there is a romantic interest in every story. This story didn’t need it, Nyalla doesn’t need it. I think it actually took away from the story a bit. Nyalla isn’t set up for it, at all. I hate forced romances like this on characters who cannot handle it and don’t even want to try. Nyalla felt like it was expected of her, too. I really liked the ending of the book because of what happens in the relationship, though.
Something I haven’t brought up to this point in this series that is especially transparent in this book. Every person that finds out about the other side of things (magic, demons, etc.) is 100% fine with it. Nyalla’s love interest, Eric, just skips over the fact that everything exists like it is no big deal. Sam is constantly coming across people who know what she is and just accepts it without a world. I feel like every human is taking crazy pills. None of them have any doubt at all at what they are getting told.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It was a fun, if mostly unnecessary, addition to the Imp World.