Being an urban fiction fanatic this story held a lot of promise. In between Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs and Devon Monk releasing their new books I try to find those series that are on par with them but I have missed. I thought that maybe I had found one with Hannah Jayne and her series the Underworld Detection Agency. Sophie Lawson is our main heroine and she is a null which means that magic doesn't work on her. She is also the vessel of souls which means... she gets a cute Guardian called Will who is British? I only started on this book which is in the fifth in the series so forgive me for not knowing. It's something important I tell you that.
Anyhoo, she has to go back to high school in order to investigate girls who are disappearing and showing up dead from the angle of witchcraft. She is not a police officer just a PARANORMAL investigator, something Alex, the fallen angel, likes to remind her about. Sophie has some kind of weird history with Alex, I think they used to date but now they are broken up? Regardless Alex is now a right douche bag and takes out his anger on Sophie. She acts horribly weak around him and though I gather their relationship went sour she is usually more kick ass confident than when she is in situations with him.
Back in the high school Sophie is masquerading as a teacher, which is very worrying because she is in no way trained and in addition has horrible memories of high school. She manages to get through her fear/disgust/horror/hate of high school and get the job done. I have to say Sophie came across as a little childish which made me a tad confused about her age because I thought she was an adult. She seems to be on the edge of teenager and adult but not enough of either to make her believable in the important job she holds. Investigating CRIMES, real life people die, crimes... She reminds me a lot of Stephanie Plum and though I just wrote a review on Ms. Plum I read this book before Notorious Nineteen. Sophie bumbles through her investigation with a lot of luck and protection from Guardian Will. She lives with Vampires which was an interesting twist though a bit of a tangential story line that often had me annoyed for being taken away from the action.
Her character was often highly judgmental and didn't change her opinion despite obvious evidence to the contrary. I wasn't entirely sure if this is because she was back in high school for this book or if it is the same throughout the series. Despite supposedly being an experienced investigator Sophie's investigating technique appeared to be nosy, rude and inexperienced. She was blunt, apparently oblivious to the affect her questions had. I think this is what confused me most about Sophie, that she is constantly stuck between two different people not being one or the other. She is smart but ditzy, experienced but rude, solves problems but fumbles through her job? Her personality isn't coherent and neither is the book, stuck weirdly between young adult and urban fiction. I felt a lot of promise with its potential as an urban fiction novel and really loved the ongoing story about the vessel of souls. While I really want to read the next book to find out about it I am not sure I would be able to read through more bipolar Sophie Lawson and asshole Alex. If the characters get a little revamp I could see this series as becoming a fav!
A huge thank you to NetGalley, Hannah Jayne and Kensington Books for the copy!
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