The New Authors Challenge 2013 is hosted by the Literary Escapism blog.
by Hannah Jayne
Underworld Detection Agency, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Kensington, 2011
Synopsis: As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes.
Dodging ranging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn't what he seems, she's only got one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in...and about to make one wisecracking human it means to ultimate power.
This wasn't my favorite new author or urban fantasy. It didn't quite work for me. I've read several books recently about the main character who is a null (Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, for example). In Under Wraps Sophie is immune to magic and the supernatural creatures around her become normal creatures. Sophie works for a secret organization called the Underworld Detection Agency (UDA). It's located 37 floors under the San Francisco Police Department. Sophie describes her agency:
We’re kind of like the DMV for the demon world—long lines, lots of windows, forms up the wazoo. It’s our job to get all the demons registered, documented, and legal and take care of any Underworld disputes. UDA is pretty forward thinking when it comes to demon life. We’ve got job counseling for the demon who has decided to leave the Underworld careers of terrorizing children and hiding under beds and move to something more permanent and substantial—like working the register at the Pottery Barn on Chestnut Street. We even offer a cutting-edge demon-human immersion program. It usually culminates with an exorcism on the part of the human, but still, it’s a start.Sophie, the only human working for the UDA, is the administrative assistant for Pete Sampson the head of the UDA who is also a werewolf. When a policeman is sent down to the UDA by the police chief to speak with her boss Sophie finds herself in the middle of an investigation. I found this rather odd as she has no experience and given her internal thoughts she's thinking about a lot more than the case:
I looked up into the cop's beautiful blue eyes, and although I had no idea what swooning was, I was pretty sure I was doing it. I started to think of the two of us, hands joined, spinning in a meadow somewhere while the theme to Love Story played in the background.The book is a light, fluffy read, but tries to also be a mystery. Sophie ends up helping Detective Hayes with the investigation of a murder of a lawyer who had all his blood drained. This is just the first of several murders. Her boss disappears and it looks like he might be guilty of the crimes. The world building is on the light side and I didn't find most of the characters very likeable or memorable. I only read the book a month ago, but have a hard time remembering it.
I'm sure this series works for a lot of people, just not for me!