Review: Shadows & Dreams (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator book 2) by Alexis Hall

The Blurb:

cover-shadowsanddreamsMy name’s Kate Kane. And right now, I don’t know which is more dangerous: my job, or my girlfriend. My job makes me the go-to girl for every supernatural mystery in London. My girlfriend’s an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince. Honestly, I think it’s probably a tie.

A few weeks ago, I was hired for a simple missing person case. Next thing I know, I’m being arrested for murder, a vampire army is tearing up London, and even my dreams are out to get me. …

Something ancient, evil, and scary as hell is on the loose and looking for payback. The vampires are in chaos, the werewolves are culling everything, and the Witch Queen can’t protect everyone.

Which means it’s down to me. And all I’ve got to hold back the shadows is a stiff drink, a quirky sidekick, my creepy ex-boyfriend, and the woman who left me for a tech startup. It’s going to be another interesting day.

The Stats:

June 14, 2014
Riptide Publishing
Paranormal, F/F, GLBT+
312 e-book pages
1st person
Series (book 2)
Dates I read this:
Edition I read:
November 7-9, 2015
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

The Review:


Well kids, I’ve got another squicky paranormal under my belt.

This lacked the toilet humor of the first book in the series. I don’t know if I should be relieved or a little saddened—or ashamed of myself for wanting more of that in this book.

This was abundant in the Brit-com that I love so very much…so I *think* I can forgive the above.

The story was, again, a bit more heavily weighted toward vamped up magical mystery/suspense than toothy romance (pun intended). And, while I was kept guessing at every twist and turn I really wanted more of the relationship between Kate and Julian. The hook-ups were scorching hot, but they were few and sort of random as their busy schedules allowed and, to me, lacking the growing intimacy of a budding relationship.

I’m admittedly a very greedy reader. I want what I want. Unapologetically. So….gimme!

The thing is though, I absolutely ADORE (to the point of near-rabid fangirl) the writing of Alexis Hall. He doesn’t always give me everything I want. But with the way he consistently delivers gorgeous prose and unpredictable stories with nuanced characters I can’t be mad when I’m left wanting. I just can’t. I’ll keep coming back for more for as long as he’s got stories to tell.

While I was left wanting more of the romance, I can’t deny that everything else about this book was more, more, more ramped up mystery, suspense and dastardly evil genius that had me thoroughly engaged.

I like this Kate Kane chick. I kinda want to be her with her ability to just stroll right in to these immortally dangerous situations, survive them with maybe a little blood-loss, then go toss back a whiskey and a smoke as though it was just all in a day’s work. She’s brash and cynical and a bit socially awkward—and…god, I kinda am her except for the part of me being a scaredy cat. I’d be sending Elise-the-animated-statue in my stead or cowering behind her because, dude, INDESTRUCTIBLE.

The baddies in this…were really bad. Something called the Morrigan…an evil bitch of a crow-commanding, be-winged vampire with unspeakable dark powers. And other vamps and things who appear to be all cute and unassuming—but that just means they’re way more twisted and demonic.

There was this whole other story taking place in dreams…and that is frightening as all fuck when you really think about it. I mean…yeah, bad dreams suck, but to think that dreaming about scary things and those scary things ACTUALLY happening to you while you’re dreaming them? The hell? It’s hard enough for me to sleep, now this?!

Kate’s ex Patrick—freaking hilarious with his melodramatic wrist to forehead emo grandiosity. Lots and lots of snorting laughter.

There were so many little twists, some that were meant as distractions, some that were tiny little puzzle pieces to the bigger picture—this to me is just nothing short of genius in writing. I was a little worried as I neared the 90% mark that all the little threads weren’t going to be tied up, that they’d be rushed. And, well…some things were a little rushed at the bitter end. But I got my answers so no real complaints.

I also found out there’s to be a third book. So, there ya go. More icky-squicky goodness to look forward to.

This review also posted on GoodReads.

Also the link to the review of book one in the series, Iron & Velvet.

Tell me what you think!