34 points/100 (1.75 stars/5).
Complete duology with 2 books.
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Laura Blackstone is many people. She is highly skilled in glamour to become anyone she needs to be. Good thing she is an undercover agent. When things threaten the stability of their political world, Laura is the one that has to step up and keep things together.
Christ, I wanted to like this, I just couldn’t. This was flawed at it’s very core. So much of this story was phoned in that I gave up trying to make sense of it by the end.
First off, this actually isn’t a standalone series. It is actually a spinoff of del Franco’s Connor Grey series. I know, it doesn’t say that ANYWHERE! Even on the author’s website. I only really know that it is because of reviews on Goodreads for the first book. Once I knew that, the complete and utter lack of worldbuilding which felt like I was already expected to know things started to make a lot more sense.
The most damning thing I can actually say about this series is that the worldbuilding is phoned in. This was a very, very political series. Each of he plots were rooted in politics in some form or another. The fact that I was expected to understand what was already going on before the series started, yet absolutely nowhere is that actually stated, is the worst thing I can say about this series.
I still have no idea what Laura Blackstone is actually supposed to do at her job. She has so many jobs doing so many things with so little oversight, it feels like she is everything. One person cannot be everything. Terms like “we have broad discretionary powers here” are used with medium frequency through these two books. Yet the actual goal of what they’re doing isn’t actually stated.
Laura Blackstone and each book in this duology carry too many problems going on at once. There is enough plot to fill 5 books within these two. They’re all squished down into meaningless nothing by the time they actually play out. The plot skips all over trying to accommodate 10 plot lines in about 90k words.
I actually really do not recommend this series unless you have already read Connor Grey. Despite there being so much going on, nothing actually happens that makes sense. Everything is a confusing mishmash of “Why is this happening?” “What even is going on right now?” and “Sure, okay you’re doing that thing, I see that, but why?”.
Sidenote: this is actually a traditionally published series, through Ace. They got the main character’s name wrong in the blurb for Face Off. No kidding, they cared so little about this book they actually failed to get the name Laura Blackstone correct.
Check this out if:
* you’re looking for another generic urban fantasy with a female lead and some kind of governmental, detective, protective, something job
* you’ve read and liked Connor Grey
Don’t bother if:
* you like stories that makes sense
* you hate forced romances
* you have anything else to read