Shiarra Waynest works as a private detective for the her own company H&W Investigations and so far she has been able to stay away from the work that would have been provided by the paranormal community because although they have been accepted by society (well minus the White Hats) Shiarra is terrified of the paranormal especially their ability to look human most of the time. However, Shiarra was unaware that the business was failing and her best friend and business partner had been footing the bill for the extra expenses for awhile now. When Shiarra is approached by a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact that is owned by one of the cities most well known vampires Alec Royce, she tries to put all her fears behind her in order to help out the business, which is easier said than done. Shiarra finds herself as the middle point for the war between different paranormal groups as well as the White Hats she does not know what to do. The White Hats and all the paranormal groups are all trying to get a hold of the same artifact in order to increase their power, and will stop at nothing to get it. Shiarra realizes that she was right to fear the paranormal and the unknown world around her.
Overall I found this book was just okay. I think that it would be a good book for someone to start out with if they wanted to try out the paranormal genre. There are some very similar ideas within this book and Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series and I would classify this book as Anita Blake light, as I found it lacked the dark and gritty aspects of the earlier Anita Blake series. Therefore, I would classify this book as Urban Fantasy Light.
I found the main character Shairra a little bit too whinny for my taste, this is not to say that I did not like that she was afraid of the Others, I think that was interesting and different, what I did not like was the constant whinnying ("Why do I have to do this?", "Why do I have to do that?"), just not how I wanted to the main character to be like. I would have been okay if she was just afraid but this went beyond that. Shairra was the one that took the job for the Others (by one of the top Mages in the Circle nonetheless) and when everything blows up and you are fighting for your own and your friend's lives, there is no doubt that a little complaining would have been okay, but it was a constant aspect with her. She should have been doing something about it, trying to figure a way out of the mess. I think that Shairra was the weakest aspect in this book for me. This is not to say I wanted her to be the Kickass, know it all heroine that are very popular these day, just a touch more confident and less whiny would have been nice, like when she had the belt on (I really like the hunter behind the belt). However, I will say that Shairra was able to eventually muster up the courage to do something but I wonder if it was her acting or the belt ( I loved the belt, I think I just really want one for myself)
Additionally, I could have done without the Werewolf - Vampire - Human love triangle that seems to be appearing, and left me wondering have I read this before, oh wait I have, in Hamilton’s series. There was just a lack of overall originality within this series and when a subject like the paranormal genre becomes over saturated your need to do something different in order to stand out, and I felt like Haines was not able to achieve this. I think my favorite part of the book was the vampire hunter belt, which was really the only new aspect in the book. The belt was very cool, and interesting and I look forward knowing more about the hunter who owned it previously. However, when my favorite part of a book is a belt/weapon it says something about the rest of the novel, I don’t know if the belt is enough to bring me back.
I think that those who are looking to get into the paranormal genre may want to start here, however, for me who has been reading in this genre for years now there was nothing really new within this novel that makes me want to stand up and shout out about it. It is a pretty light easy read, that I may visit again when I need a break from something that is dark and gritty but even then I'm not sure if I will remember to pick up the next book in this series.