"On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shi-tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is... different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can't leave the grounds because she's responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, 'normal' is a bit of a stretch for Dina. And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night... Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans -- an alpha-strain werewolf -- and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she's facing is unlike anything she's ever encountered before. It's smart, vicious, and lethal; and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything."--Page 4 of cover.
- ISBN10 1494388588
- ISBN13 9781494388584
- Publish Date 20 December 2013
- Publish Status Active
- Imprint Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Format Paperback (US Trade)
- Pages 234
- Language English
time to enjoy this series again before the year ends. I need some light-hearted urban fantasy this Halloween
Clean Sweep was a delightfully fascinating sci-fi story with some romantic elements blended in. The romance element is not over powering, though. At the heart of the book is the desire to find and eliminate the threat that is terrorizing the town’s residents. This story is a quick and nice read that kept me laughing the entire way through. I highly recommend!
Aside from the basic plot premise not being "my cup of tea", I was a bit disturbed by a couple of points. Firstly, the story opens with the protagonist investigating a string of gruesome dog murders in her neighborhood. For some people, that may not bother them at all. However, animal abuse is extremely difficult for me to tolerate in literature (and life). My motto is "kill the character, save the dog". No apologies. So obviously, this bit of the story struck me the wrong way. The second thing was that I found the writing in some scenes to be a little graphic in contrast to the overall feel of the story. The writing was very descriptive, which was generally a positive thing, but it sometimes came off a teensy bit scifi horror-ish. Maybe I've gone soft from reading so much YA, but I wasn't prepared for that type of gore in this particular story. Coincidentally, that is also one of the primary problems I had when watching Supernatural. But it's not anything that would deter me from continuing on with the series. However, my general lack of interest in the story is. Unless one day I suddenly become majorly interested in all things alien/paranormal, I don't think I would particularly gain anything from listening to the rest of the series. I don't feel bad about having listened to this installment, especially because it was only 7 hours long, but I don't exactly feel like it was time well spent for me either. But I must emphasize that I do think a great number of you would feel very differently, especially if you already know you are attracted to this type of genre. I would recommend this to someone in a heartbeat if I felt that it was their "thing" because it is extremely well-written, witty, the characters are refreshing, and it has a great plot. I'm just not into aliens. It's that simple.
Narration review: If I didn't know better, I would swear this audiobook was narrated by Dolly Parton herself. Raudman's voice has a warm, velvety tone that I absolutely loved. Her "Texan" accent definitely added to the story's atmosphere, but did sound a little overdone. However, it didn't bother me as much as I initially thought it would and I actually came to enjoy it as the story went on. I have listened to a sample of another narration she did without the accent and preferred it much more. Her voice really is pleasing to the ear. It's a shame that her considerable repertoire doesn't include more titles that immediately appeal to me, because I would definitely love to hear more of her. ♣︎
Dina Demille is the innkeeper of the Gertrude Hunt. This Inn is no ordinary Inn and if you're human, you had best be finding a local Holiday Inn because Gertrude Hunt is not for you. Dina's Inn caters to supernatural beings. Of course, right now, she only has one guest who looks like a sweet elderly southern lady but just happens to be an intergalactic fugitive responsible for millions of dead, and quite possibly because she ate them all, with a little BBQ sauce. But everyone knows that an Inn's grounds are neutral territory and as long as she doesn't leave the grounds, none of the bounty hunters looking to collect the multiple contract against her can do anything. Such is an average day in the life of an innkeeper.
Dina helped her parents run their inn until one day, while Dina was off at college, her parents and their Inn just vanished. Dina hopes to make such a success of her inn that eventually someone will come in and recognize her parents' portrait and she might finally find out what happened to them.
But finding her parents is her future goal. Right now she is desperately trying to make a success out of Gertrude Hunt, and the fact that there seems to be something hunting and killing the dogs in the neighborhood is not good for business.
Dina was hoping that Sean Evans, the werewolf who moved into the neighborhood would do something about it, since he obviously claimed the territory and should feel the need to defend it, but merely suggesting it has turned Dina's Inn into a battlefield of wills between Dina and Sean.
As an Innkeeper, Dina's magic is tied to the inn and while she is on the grounds, she and the Inn can keep their guests safe. Off of the grounds is another story but if Sean won't defend the neighborhood, Dina might just need to step in and hope for the best. When a battalion of Vampires parks their spaceship just outside of Earth's atmosphere and several of their warriors, in full battle armor, come knocking on Dina's door, this problem might just be out of Dina and Sean's league.
I once again went with audiobook on this one and the story was definitely easier to follow than the Kate Daniels series. Only issue I had was that it is the same narrator so it took some reminding to remember that it was a different story and not Kate narrating.
It is not as action-packed or as exciting as the Kate Daniels series, but I enjoyed the story and the introduction of the characters. The premise of a magical Inn for supernatural opens up any possibility of characters to be introduced and story lines to followed. It is more than just Earth supernaturals and also a suggestion that all supernatural come from outer space. There are portals to other planets and dimensions where guests can come from and they really do have creative license to create new creatures, cultures and abilities. There is a loose connection to The Edge series.
In this story, Sean Evans is a werewolf but apparently his parents didn't tell him much about his people's history, so through Dina's introduction of the great big universe to Sean, we are given our beginning foundation to the world of the innkeeper chronicles.
I definitely found it entertaining and I want to see where Ilona plans to take the series in future stories.
The world is fascinating in that magic on Earth is contained in these magical Inns scattered all over the Earth. Supernatural creatures come from space visit Earth and stay at these inns. Cool right?!? I love magical homes, inns, castles that become almost characters themselves. A keeper runs each Inn and Dina our protagonist is an innkeeper. They protect the guest, keep humans from learning about them and remain neutral during times of dispute, war etc. Poor Dina does not have the luxury when her town is threatened. Oh boy!
“…Something isn’t right with you and this property. Strange things happen around it. I don’t know what is going on, but I will find out. You could make it easier on yourself by coming clean.”
“Sure. This is a magic bed-and-breakfast and the two guys in my kitchen are aliens from outerspace.”
“You will show that thing to me and from now on, I will deal with them." I opened my eyes really wide and fluttered my eyelashes at him. "I'm sorry, I must've missed your coronation ceremony. Silly me.”
We get a little romance with two suitors. One might infer a love triangle but it is not developed enough to cast labels and Dina clearly lets us know whom she favors with a running thought commentary in her head that I found hilarious. We have Arland and Sean an alpha werewolf vying for her attentions and aiding with the threat to both inn and community. Andrews weaved in snark, made the male figures alluring and humorous for our benefit. In typical Andrews’ fashion, they are taking their time developing the romance and that is just fine by me. I look forward to seeing how it all develops.
“I have spent my spare time studying literature popular with young women of this planet. One should always study the battlefield."
Sean glanced at him. "And?"
"I suggest you give up now. According to my research, in a vampire-werewolf love triangle, the vampire always gets the girl.”
“That suit has gone to your head." "It's not the suit, buttercup." "I don't do pet names." "Do you do werewolves?" "Okay, I'm not talking to you anymore.”
Clean Sweep was a winner and further confirmation that I adore the Ilona Andrews writing team and their spectacular world building. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Full review to come soon.
This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews
Just as good the second time around!
Ilona Andrews is one of my all-time favorite authors. I've read everything they have published, be it self-published or traditional. They always have extremely unique stories and creatures. The characters and worlds are always distinctive and interesting. When I saw that they were posting a completely new serial story on their blog, I was ecstatic. I'm not a fan of serials, so I held off until they were done before I planned on reading. Next thing I know, they had this as an ebook available for purchase with an additional epilogue. I have no problem forking out the money to read the ebook, because I know I'm going to love it. Boy was I right.
This story is about Dina, who is an innkeeper. That doesn't sound very interesting, right? Think again. This inn is a weigh station on Earth between other planets in the universe. The inn is kind of like a sentient "being". It responds to her requests and emotions. It has the ability to help her defend herself, the inn and any guests at the inn in many different ways. It can even wither and die if not cared for and used. It was hibernating when she is assigned to it by the The Innkeeper Assembly.
This story has werewolves, vampires, both of which are types of aliens that have spent time on Earth. These werewolves and vamps are nothing like the creatures from their other series, Kate Daniels. As usual with an Ilona Andrews story, there are extremely descriptive and unusual creatures, in this case they are also aliens. She even has a Shih Tzu like creature she calls "Beast".
The story starts off with the neighborhood dogs turning up dead. Dina appeals to Sean, who is a strain of super, or Alpha strain, werewolf to fix it because someone is invading his territory. Sean plays stupid and pretends not know what she means by the werewolf thing. She then finds him "marking" his territory by "poisoning her apples" by urinating on her apple trees.
They end up working together to try to figure out what is attacking these dogs before it escalates to children or even adults. They activate some trackers they find on some of this alien's "stalkers". It draws in vampires who are looking for the creature they are wanting to kill.
The story has all of the elements you would expect if you've ever read anything by Ilona Andrews. Tons of action, snark and lastly, even more individuality. Who else could come up with a story about a sentient house with a twenty-four-year-old girl defending said house with a broom and a Shih Tzu. Snark is up to par as well, but maybe not as much as we are used to. With lines like, "If I died in the parking lot of Costco, I would be very unhappy in my afterlife" and Sean calling Beast and "oversized chinchilla… with ponytails", the snark is still there.
When Ilona Andrews asked if they recorded this story, would anybody buy it, I replied back with "OMG!! YES, PLEASE!!" Then I heard that they were able to get the wonderful Renee Raudman to record that audio, this book was on my automatic buy list. Raudman has read all of the Andrews books up to this point and I hope she continues. She is one of my favorite narrators, she does such a great job with both male and female voices. She puts so much passion into the narration, it just adds lots of feels to the story. It seems that the next book in this series is going to be available in October 2014. Not sure if it will be up on the blog, ebook or maybe even audio at the time, but I will be reading or listening in whatever format I'm able to get it.