I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Published by Nancy Yost Literary Agency on December 2, 2013
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Burn For Me, Magic Shifts, Burn for Me, Magic Binds, White Hot, Wildfire, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic, "Gerard Demille and Helen Meet", "Diamond Fire", Magic Rises , Magic Breaks, Magic Shifts , Magic Binds , Magic Triumphs, "Sweep with Me", Sweep in Peace, "Questing Beast", "A Mere Formality"
First in The Innkeeper Chronicles urban fantasy series and revolving around Dina Demille, a innkeeper who specializes in the unusual and her somewhat sentient inn, Gertrude Hunt.
It starts off with murder and mistaken identity…on Sean’s part, which leads to the main story conflict between him and Dina. And not to worry, Clean Sweep is a fun blend of outlandish characters and lotsa action in this amazing world Andrews has created.
Caldenia cracks me up. She’s such a classy lady…who happens to love Funyuns and Mello Yello. As for her interests…hoo, boy. Not what you’d expect from a lady on the run from bounty hunters, lol.
Hmm, I like this idea: “Every human [has] magic. The difference between them and me was awareness and practice.”
Hmm, interesting to learn how old (sort of) Dina’s dad is. Andrews has a teaser of a prequel short story “Gerard Demille and Helen Meet“, 0.1, that only hints at his past. And there’s a conflict in this. Somehow he was trapped in that inn in Georgia, but in Clean Sweep Andrews claims he had lost centuries to incarceration. So is this the second time he was caught or…? I did enjoy Andrews’ anecdote about Gerard’s driving habits. Hoo, boy, *laughing*.
More family history regards Sean who is quite annoyed with his parents. We also get a bit of the inn’s history, at least in terms of what Dina does to bring Gertrude Hunt back to life. More “history” involves Andrews’ “truth” about werewolves and vampires. She certainly accounts for all those truisms we believe about them, lol.
Brian Rodriguez has some useful advice for Dina, for her inn to specialize. The points he makes about Gertrude Hunt do bring to mind how civilization evolves.
Dina prefers to think of physics as being a set of flexible guidelines. No kidding!!
It’s all about doing the right thing — however weird! — while using first person protagonist point-of-view from Dina’s perspective.
*More laughter* poor Dina…her college dorm room refused to change. Dina also notes that the children of innkeepers go one of four ways: they choose a normal life; become an innkeeper; travel the cosmic Beyond; or, become an ad-hal, an enforcer for the Innkeeper Assembly? Senate?
Oh lord, you just keep laughing… I love it when Dina tells the cop that “this is a magic bed-and-breakfast and the two guys in my kitchen are aliens from outer space”. It’s the absolute truth…
The story moves right along and I’ll betcha that you want to pick up Sweep in Peace as soon as you finish Clean Sweep!
That quaint Victorian bed-and-breakfast seems normal, but Officer Marais has his suspicions. And Dina Demille does her best to keep him in the dark as she hosts guests from outer space who are after a vicious and lethal killer.
The daughter of innkeepers, Dina Demille is doing her best to make Gertrude Hunt her best. Beast is Dina’s Shih Tzu Chi with a lotta extra teeth. Gerard and Helen Demille, her parents, went missing along with their entire inn from Georgia some years back. Klaus is her wandering brother.
The Gertrude Hunt Bed-and-Breakfast is…
…a somewhat sentient three-story inn built in the 1880s that works with her innkeeper to cater to the needs of her guests. A permanent guest, Her Grace Caldenia ka ret Magren, properly addressed as Letere Olivione, is quite the classy lady…as long as you don’t notice those teeth.
The ex-military Sean Evans is a werewolf and a new neighbor…who keeps busy marking his territory. His dad is a JAG Corps attorney. His mother had been a sniper. Both love fishing, books, and violent computer games.
Red Deer PD
Officer Hector Marais is quite the suspicious man. He’s also happily married to a woman who knits and is a therapist. They have two small daughters.
The other neighbors in Reed Deer
Brutus had been Mr Byrne‘s Chow Chow. Thompson had been a beagle. Margaret Pineda has Misha, a Pomeranian. The Hendersons include seventeen-year-old Kayley and her parents David and her mom who run a pool-supplies shop. Robbie is Kayley’s boyfriend. A few streets over lives Kevin. Robyn Kay has a pet lizard. Mr Ramirez, a retired Marine, has a Rhodesian Ridgeback, Asad. Emily Ward grows tomatoes.
Dahakas are high-risk guests who keep Ma’avi Kerras, stalkers (think really nasty dog).
Earth is considered neutral ground as a waystation for galactic travelers, which is why the inns were established. Innkeepers are neutral entities who operate independently and prize the safety of their guests above everything. Innkeepers are also charged with minimizing alien exposure to the human population. The inns, which require guests to flourish, can be changed and rearranged at the innkeeper’s imagination. The Innkeeper Assembly is an informal self-governing organization. Brian Rodriquez is an innkeeper for Casa Feliz in Dallas. Isabella is his long-suffering daughter. Blue Falls on the West Coast had been a very specialized inn.
The Holy Cosmic Anocracy is…
…a union of vampire clans gathered in Houses scattered throughout outer space. Vampires are a predatory carnivorous strain of humans who get wildly drunk on coffee. A Hierophant is their religious leader. A Warlord is a designated commander-in-chief of the Anocracy’s combined military forces. The Pact of Brotherhood is a binding alliance.
The House of Krahr is…
…a respected vampire clan. Knight Sergeant Lord Soren is the son of Rok, son of Gartena, Baron of Nur Castle. Renadra is Soren’s heir to his assets and control of his troops. (I think she’s Soren’s daughter.) Renadra’s maternal grandmother is the Blood Archimandrite of the Crimson Abbey. Marshal Arland is the military head of his House. The Bloody Butcher of Odar is Arland’s grandfather. Aunt Olinia was Arland’s youngest aunt and had been chosen to be the Band Bearer (in a vampire wedding, a Band Bearer safeguards the bands (think of them as similar to our wedding rings) during the wedding ceremony.) Orig is a cousin.
The House of Gron is…
…a vampire clan allied with Krahr. Sulindar Gron has been best friends and a brother-in-arms with Arland since age four.
…the Node, the place to buy things where Nuan Cee, the Merchant who specializes in rare goods, lives. Saar ah is a bodyguard to Nuan Cee. Anansi pearls are weapons. Wilmos Gerwar (stands for “Medic”) was a nanosurgeon and one of the scientists who engineered the alpha strain. Now he owns a weapons shop and brokers deals between mercenaries and clients. Gorvar is a werewolf who works for Wilmos.
A Merchant specializes and handles significant transactions.
Auul is, was…
…the secondary planet of people who engineered werewolfism before it was destroyed. Werewolves have three forms: human (operations form); wetwork (a combination of human and monster); and, OM (on-the-move). And then there are the über werewolves, the alpha strain, bred to hold the gates, of whom Sean is one. Auul’s main export was poets, the planet big on arts, humanities, family, and proper education.
Mrs Zhu was an older werewolf who had frequented Dina’s parents’ inn.
…the home planet which invaded Auul after 1,000 years. When werewolfism was introduced by Auul, the Raoo of Mraar created their own version of ossai to make werecats, the Sun Horde. Mraar’s main export was cybernetics.
…the mercenary capital of the galaxy. The perfect place to hire a killer.
Jason Thomas was a military buddy of Sean’s. Amy and Ryan are television reporters. John Rook had been a farmer. Kelly had been a childhood friend of Dina’s.
The Cover and Title
The cover predominates in blues with the old Victorian in the background and a glow around the hooded and blonde Dina standing in the forefront, her broom with its handle aswirl in one hand, her other hand touching her hood. At the very top is an info blurb in a pale orange with the author’s name immediately below it in a serif pale blue above Dina’s head. The title is in a script font in the same pale blue at Dina’s waist.
I have no idea what inspired the title, Clean Sweep, other than Dina’s primary “weapon” is a broom.