The Black Sun's Daughter (#2 through #5) by M.L.N. Hanover

Darker Angels - M.L.N. Hanover Vicious Grace - M.L.N. Hanover Killing Rites - M.L.N. Hanover Graveyard Child (Black Sun's Daughter) - M.L.N. Hanover

Didn't have much time for reading this week, but I somehow inhaled the entire rest of the Black Sun's Daughter Series on my morning train rides, and I loved it. Pretty much all the things I was a bit iffy about in the first book were resolved, either by solving the problem or by lampshading them and making them actual plot points. All in all an excellent series, and I can see myself re-reading it.

   Over the course of five books (approximately two years in universe), our heroine actually grows up, learns to make hard decisions, has her entire world view turned upside down at least three times, and the whole thing is taken full circle back to her estranged family and her upbringing. She's a very different woman by the end of the series than from the start.

   This is not your average UF in so many ways: The "who is good and who is bad" is fluid, and ever changing, and at times entirely reversed. Enemies become allies, allies become enemies. Nobody here gets out unscathed, nobody is perfect (nor are they perfectly irredeemable).

   Which isn't to say this is in any way dry or overly literary. I like literary fiction, but not necessarily all up in my genre fiction, and Hanover can really write genre. There's all the snappy dialog with lashings of snark you might want, with tons of pop culture references (Jayné's reaction to finding out about the existence of Otherkin on social media is perfect.)

   By the end of the series, the main plot is wrapped up, and it becomes obvious that almost nothing that has happened has gone to waste. Even the "monster of the week" type books in the middle, all connected to one overarching story arc. There's a definite resolution, a feeling that this story is told and this series is complete. 

   If you don't want to invest in a new series and a new author without a bit of a sampler, I can highly recommend the anthology Down These Strange Streets where he has a story "The difference between a Mystery and a Puzzle" as a taster. Not directly related to the Black Sun books, it's possibly set in the same universe, although it doesn't say so, and it's one of my favourite short stories I've read in the last few years.

My review of Down These Strange Streets

My review of the first book in the Black Sun Series "Unclean Spirits"