Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.25 stars

Narrator: Kirt Graves
Length: 10 hours, 32 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

Dallas Wilde is a chaotic, somewhat charming asshole (with a bit of a death wish and danger kink) who drowns his traumatic past under bad decisions, sex, and altering substances. When he takes out a powerful necromancer, Dallas inherits necromancy powers and a vampire Thrall bodyguard named Zane; given the horrific glimpses into his past and how much Dallas DESPISES necromancers and vampires, acquiring necromancy powers and being bonded to a vampire is rage inducing, nightmare fuel.

Neither man is thrilled by the new arrangement, but Dallas can’t worry about it because he’s been hired by his incubus client/f*ck buddy, Sias Llon’nai, to kill the jinn who crossed him. As good as he is at killing and quick thinking, Dallas is impulsive and finds trouble no matter what he’s doing. He also hates dealing with unpleasantness, so instead of listening to Zane and learning about his new powers, he only takes in information when it’s pretty much life or death—a dangerous habit when finding the jinn turns deadly.

Find the Jinn is fast-paced and wild fun with a complicated main character and fascinating potential. Dallas is an hunter turned assassin-cum fish trainer who bit off more than he could chew when he killed an extremely powerful necromancer. When powerful necromancers are killed, their abilities are only returned to the void from which they arise when the proper rituals are done; otherwise, they transfer to whoever killed the necromancer, fine print Dallas failed to read. Dallas is his own worst enemy and is as infuriating as he is interesting. The only connection Dallas allows himself is with his best friend Kevin—the beta fish. He’s allergic to deep emotion and runs away from the emotional and/or complicated faster than Usain Bolt. Being unable to run away from his bond with Zane and his nightmares being on a hair trigger makes him even more reckless and avoidant, and Zane is forced to save him from himself many times.

As a Thrall, Zane was created from the void centuries ago for the sole purpose of guarding his necromancer masters and has only known servitude. So despite being stuck protecting the hunter he was doing his best to kill the day before and who has no regard for his personal safety, Zane is level-headed, rational, and accepting, though his more measured grumpiness and resignation in the face of such a disturbing situation may stem more from being a slave rather than his personality. Given the fast pace, the story being in first person from Dallas’ POV, and Dallas’ hatred of vampires, the reader doesn’t learn much about Zane (other than that he is extraordinarily long-suffering), but like with many of the characters, there are glimpses of compassion and softness (and a fondness for a rat-shaped kitten) under the external hardness constantly on show in this world.

The world building is solid urban fantasy with humans and demons living together and deities being the source of power and magic. The demons have magic based on their species and some humans are magic practitioners as well. Vampires are thought to be extinct, though I have to wonder if it’s a concerted government effort to keep that myth alive, as the necromancer Dallas killed had plenty of bloodthirsty, mindless vampires known as Grunts and at least one cop was attacked and almost turned by one. As the action takes place over the span of a few days, the pacing is breakneck, but there is plenty of Dallas interacting with the world to get a good feel for the setting, secondary characters, and how Dallas navigates his life.

The turmoil caused by Dallas’ history, the whispers of sadistic pleasure from Dallas’ necromantic powers and bond with Zane, as well as the unexpected and unwanted arousal that occurs when feeding Zane are fascinating (and will hopefully have more space to be explored in the next book). Additionally, Dallas’ nascent feelings for Sias and hints that Sias cares about Dallas are intriguing. From Dallas’ perspective, the pair have a straightforward sex and assassinations relationship, and Dallas doesn’t know what to do with the idea that he or Sias may actually care about one another and he is very Scarlett O’Hara about it all. Romance isn’t the focus and, as there are no couples/triads established in the story, there isn’t an HFN, but the promise for more is there.

This whirlwind of chaos and Maddox’s cheeky, dark humor are captured well by Kirt Graves’ narration. Since Dallas does his best to not do emotions and most of the characters are just as guarded and unfazed, there isn’t much on display, but Graves makes the most of what Dallas shows behinds his laissez-faire attitude, Zane’s stoicism, and Sais’ cultured coolness. I commiserated with every “you’re an idiot/child” Zane uttered and the moments of emotional realness and vulnerability from Dallas and other characters. I look forward to seeing where their next adventure takes them and listening to Graves’ performance of the mayhem.