Rating: 4.25 stars
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Sloth and Other Delights is the fifth book in T.J. Nichols’ excellent Mythos series. The books carry over a series-long plot and this review will spoil some events at the end of the previous book. If you are interested in a spoiler-free review of book one, check out my review of Lust and Other Drugs to get started with the series.
The situation with L.A. vampires continues to be a mess. They managed to survive the dragons destroying their enclave and are keeping their sights set on taking over San Francisco. They are also holding Jordan’s sister hostage and requiring a unicorn in exchange for setting her free. However, even if Jordan and the others wanted to give in the vampires’ demands, it’s not as easy as just capturing a unicorn. They aren’t actual animals, but instead a form of wild magic that is near impossible to contain or direct. The situation is incredibly stressful, as Jordan is terrified for his sister, but also not allowed to get involved in her rescue attempts. Edra, too, has been sidelined from being involved and, with the upcoming vote on Mytho rights, the protests at Mytho Servo mean he isn’t even allowed near the building to do his job. When activists attack Jordan’s home and his cat, it is about the last straw.
The situation has left Jordan so mentally and emotionally depleted, he finds himself susceptible to the wild magic that is plaguing the city. But it is not just Jordan. Both humans and mythos are falling prey to the wild magic, losing inhibitions and acting out in dangerous or simply bizarre ways. Edra and the Mytho leaders know that their only hope in stopping the vampires and reining in the magic is finding a way to lure the unicorn to a place where they can encourage the wild magic to settle. And it needs to be done fast, before the L.A. vampires (or traitors within San Francisco) can claim the magic for the other city first. The situation in the city is getting more dangerous, with violence, protests, and wild magic fueling all sorts of chaos. Now, Edra and Jordan must do all they can to fight for their city — and hope when it is all over, they will still be welcome in the city they are trying to protect.
Sloth and Other Delights is another great installment in this excellent urban fantasy series. The story picks up pretty much just as Vanity and Other Monsters ended, with Jordan learning that the vampires have kidnapped his sister. Here we are seeing things really come to a head for Jordan, who is still relatively new to the supernatural world and everything is just coming apart at once. The men had barely recovered from Edra’s capture in L.A. and now Jordan’s sister is in crisis. But it is more than that. It’s the vote for Mytho rights, a vote that could leave Edra considered less than a person, make their mating illegal, and possibly see both of them in jail. It is the protests and attacks, including the attack on Jordan’s home and beloved cat (don’t worry, the cat is not only fine, but ends up better than ever). And it is the wild magic that is causing havoc all over the city. The titles here play on the deadly sins, and I don’t want to give too much away, but Jordan falls prey to a play on sloth. Things basically become too much for him and he sort of emotionally breaks and not everything gets put back together perfectly in the aftermath. This book is the fifth of seven and I think it is a transition point, the culmination of a lot of what has been building over the past books. It is exciting and intense and I like the way that Nichols really frames all the big picture chaos that is going on through the lens of what Jordan is experiencing, really bringing focus on our main characters.
I continue to really enjoy Edra and Jordan as a couple and find their dynamic really engaging. I am ready to see them together more, as it seems like they have spent a lot of time the past few books separated and fighting problems on two different tracks. There are a lot of external conflicts in this series, so I would love to see the two of them more banded together fighting as a team, rather than often doing their own thing. That said, the guys do get brought together during this book and get a chance to team up and help address the current crisis, so I’m hoping things are moving more in that direction. We also get some interesting changes for the guys in their relationship. The magic causes some changes for Jordan and it adds an interesting new dynamic to the connection between him and Edra. So it is nice to see so many books into the series that things are still building for them and I just really like them together.
This series is such an engaging urban fantasy and Nichols has really creative world building here. I found this to be another great installment and, as we get close to wrapping things up, I am really eager to see how it all comes together.