"Storm Born" by Richelle Mead

Richelle Mead introduces her new Dark Swan series with this urban fantasy featuring Eugenie Markham -- just your average gun-toting, wand-wielding, spirit-banishing shaman for hire, until a new case brings her face to face with truths about herself that she may not want to learn. Suddenly she's the hottest item in the fairy world, and the attention just may get her killed.

I'd only read one other book by Richelle Mead before this, that being Succubus Blues. I liked, but didn't love, that book and back-burnered the Georgina Kincaid series while pursuing other authors of the genre. Storm Born, however, promised to be a stronger series from the start. Eugenie Markham is strong, interesting, and believable. Teamed up with a colorful assortment of characters, Eugenie takes the reader through moments of humor, fear, passion, and a good amount of ass-kicking. Imagine a cross between Merry Gentry and Rachel Morgan. What really pulled me in, though, was the dour, menacing side-character, Volusian. There's something about those "love to hate" relationships that I find... entertaining. Overall, I found this book had the urgency that was missing in Succubus Blues, and I move Richelle Mead up several notches on my list. I look forward to the release of book 2, Thorn Queen, in August 2009.

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