City of MonstersRating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Hunter Burrows lives in Dev, a literal city of monsters.  In a different dimension, the only occupants are that of the paranormal variety.  He arrived six months ago, after he’d been turned into a were of some sort.  He doesn’t know what, and he has no recollection of his last time on Earth.  Despite that, he’s made a life for himself, and in order to get by is a finder.  He takes jobs from others and finds what they are looking for.  His latest job is finding a missing reverse tooth fairy.  And it’s when he’s out on the job that he runs into Sakari.

Sakari has literally just arrived in Dev and has no idea how he got there.  Since Hunter was in that place not too long ago himself, he takes Sakari under his wing, gives the man the lay of the land, and reluctantly agrees to let Sakari tag along while he hunts for the missing reverse tooth fairy.  Hunter tries to ignore his attraction to Sakari, but the man proves to be an asset when the investigation lands them in trouble.  The two men solve the case, all while remembering to supply fruit to Hunter’s haunted and demanding blender.

Guys, if you’re a fan of Speed’s Josh of the Damned series, then you’re going to want to snatch this one up too.  While it’s not of the same series, it has the same feel and trademark humor that I enjoyed about that series.  It’s cute, funny, and takes place in a well-developed world.  I really enjoyed it, from start to finish.

Hunter has only been in Dev for six months, and though he had to acclimate himself, he’s made do.  Of course, he still has his human vices of drinking and gambling, and that’s how he finds himself in desperate need of money.  He owes a gambling debt, which is why he can’t turn down the job of finding the reverse tooth fairy. Hunter is sort of self-suffering realist, and I loved his outlook on the world in which he lives.  He realizes that the world is crazy, and he’s just along for the ride.  He’s a fantastic narrator for this story.

Sakari is the perfect foil for exposition, as he’s brand spanking new to Dev, and Hunter has to tell the man exactly what the world is all about.  We get to learn about it that way too, and while this could have felt like an info dump, Speed did a really great job of injecting humor and Sakari’s personality into it that never made it feel like too much information.  Sakari is a great character, both disbelieving and accepting at the same time.  And I loved how he was willing to take risks, both because he was still acclimating and because he was a bit of an adrenaline junky.

The side characters we meet are all well-rounded, distinct characters that really gave a flesh-out feeling to the world.  From Terry, the foul-mouthed reverse tooth fairy that hired Hunter, to Fang the Chinese-American vampire, to Mustafa the vegan vampire, I loved the diverse personalities.  It gave the story a really rich feeling, and really made the book for me.

City of Monsters is a really great, short, easy read with a fantastic little world and wonderful characters.  Absolutely recommended.

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