Written by: M.L.N. Hanover
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 367 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Book Three (ongoing)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: For the first time in forever, Jayné Heller’s life is making sense. Even if she routinely risks her life to destroy demonic parasites that prey on mortals, she now has friends, colleagues, a trusted lover, and newfound confidence in the mission she inherited from her wealthy, mysterious uncle. Her next job might just rob her of all of them. At Grace Memorial Hospital in Chicago, something is stirring. Patients are going AWOL and research subjects share the same sinister dreams. Half a century ago, something was buried under Grace in a terrible ritual, and it’s straining to be free. Jayné is primed to take on whatever’s about to be let loose. Yet the greatest danger now may not be the huge, unseen force lurking below, but the evil that has been hiding in plain sight all along—taking her ever closer to losing her body, her mind, and her soul. . . .
Must Have: There's a lot this book has to offer: serious growth for the heroine, and it's painful growth at that. Jayné and the readers learn a lot of painful truths about other characters and their motivations, and these truths tie into the plot in a necessary way. It's a good read and an excellent use of title (because it's so accurate), but I'll be damned if Hanover didn't have me scared to death, because after one punch, you're convinced that the whole world's going to fall apart around our heroine. And in a way, it does. The last line of the book is a killer, even though I knew it was coming eventually, but it leaves me salivating for the next installment, Killing Rites. Now that Jayné has a new way of looking at the supernatural world around her, what will it reveal? And how is she going to handle it? You learn a lot in this book about Eric and his ties to his team and why Jayné has the magical protections that she does, and trust me, it's good stuff. Hanover's The Black Sun's Daughter has easily become one of my favorite urban fantasy series, and I can't wait to read more.
Review style: Hanover has a way of presenting readers will a typical urban fantasy situation and then turning said situation on its head. Conventions be damned, and I want to talk about some of those damned conventions and the risks Hanover takes with this third installment in the series, and talk about what it means to have an answer to one of my ongoing theories about this series. SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Do NOT read the full review I link to below in my LJ if you don't want to be spoiled. Otherwise, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: M.L.N. Hanover's VICIOUS GRACE
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
December: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
January: The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
February: Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler