sins & shadows by lyn benedict

Posted on June 13, 2009

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Sylvie has had it. An employee dead at the hands of Satanists, too much blood on her hands, her Shadows Inquiries is taking her to hell. So she retires—or tries to. But a god looking for his missing lover will hear of no other answer but ‘yes’ to his divine command to search. Even tough-as-nails Sylvie must bend to that will, just as the world is doing, even to the point of breaking.

sins & shadowsWhen gods remake the world, what we get may only be pieces of what we wished for.

In Sins and Shadows, I got these pieces to my heart’s content—gritty detective work, a tough-talking female protagonist, Sylvie Lightner, investigator of the unknown, killer of monsters, immortal creatures, monsters that walk amongst us, and fast-paced action.

But I also got bits of what I’m not really comfortable with: a universe remade as a battleground for gods and goddesses (our God included), a heroine with hardly any softness, tough on everything, tougher on the kill, with little compunction and too much satisfaction on carrying out dirty but necessary deeds, and a romance made for heaven, with nothing left over for spiteful humans, and certainly nothing but bad endings for Sylvie, most spiteful of all.

Reading this, I had little fun—it was too dark and bitter and cold, like drinking acid that brings on hallucinations. The trip is awesome—but I’m not quite sure I’d want to do it again. Even if I’m curious about Sylvie’s history, which the book, the first of a series, I imagine, only give droplets of throughout the story, but in a way that makes me reconsider whether this really is the first book.

Should I be hunting short stories hidden in anthologies then? Or is this just the author’s style, to lure readers right into the middle of a long and troubled road? In this volume, I land right smack at a turning point: Sylvie, ordinary mortal, may be the monster she hunts and kills after all.

When gods collide, expect the worst.

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Posted in: fantastic