Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
My Rating: 4-1/2 of 5 Stars
“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 Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast.” Of course, you know the husband and wife writing team of Ilona Andrews never settles for worlds where things are as they appear “on the outside,” and Clean Sweep is no different. Imagine a universe where every supernatural being you ever heard of exists, but not in any traditional way. They don’t necessarily have the traditional abilities, nor the traditional motives, nor come from the traditional places. Perhaps they don’t even originate on this planet, but come instead from other worlds, far, far away, and might even just be passing through our world on their way to somewhere else.
In a scenario like this, what would these creatures need most? Why, a safe place to stay for the duration of their visit, of course. And thus, enter our Innkeeper. With a capital I. Because Innkeeping is a job like no other, providing neutral territory for various powerful and possibly dangerous beings who are a long way from their own homes. Once again, the world building skills of Ilona Andrews blow my mind. Combine that skill with some scary new creatures I’ve never heard of before, and a healthy dose of the witty humor that shows up in most of the books by these two, and you have the makings of a wonderful new series.
Clean Sweep is somewhat different from anything I’ve read by the team before in that it started as a serial on the Ilona Andrews website, presented in installment form, and then put together into a finished book. That doesn’t weaken the story line, character development, or world-building at all. The only thing that keeps me from giving this the full 5-stars I usually give an Andrews book is that it was shorter than I wanted it to be. Oh, how I hated that it ended so soon. NOT that it isn’t well worth the price, oh no. Just that I wanted more, more, more. I was also a bit sad at the ending, though I can see that we have not said a final goodbye to anyone yet. I can’t wait for the next book, and I’m hoping it will be longer, fuller, and even more delicious. The setting alone pretty much guarantees that anything can happen. I mean, with a witch capable of some serious magic, a broom that can be anything she demands, and a sentient Inn that shifts its walls and defenses as needed…well, one can only imagine what Ilona Andrews will have it all doing next.
Clean Sweep is a must-read for any Andrews fan, and a darn good introduction to their writing style for those who haven’t discovered them yet. I highly recommend it.
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