Fiction / Urban Fantasy
A one-sit read. Do not, repeat, DO NOT begin as a bedtime story—unless you're willing to read all night.
Anne Moody is cursed. And she is reminded of it, daily, in a variety of ways. The cameos speak to her, an ice demon inhabits her refrigerator, ghosts pace her roof as she tries to sleep. She lives and works in a cursed house. Many would say she lives and works in a cursed city, Las Vegas.
Anne runs a pawn shop she inherited, and lives in the back of it. She also inherited the curses, the ghosts, and her dragon blood. The dragon blood is both a curse and a blessing. Those who practice magic are allowed to stay in Las Vegas, as long as they don't cause great harm, or upset the balance. The Oddsmakers see to that. The Oddsmakers are the police for the magical ones, and they are not to be trifled with.
A young man brings in a statue to pawn. A gargoyle. What he doesn't tell Anne Moody is that it's cursed and contains a demon. By day it's a stone statue, by night, it's alive – and nasty. Using her Chinese Mirror to look at it, she sees another being trapped in it, and she must do what she can to solve the mystery, to save the man trapped with the demon and to eliminate the demon, and thereby save Las Vegas. And she must do all this without using her dragon familiar too much, because dragons are not well thought of. The Oddsmakers really do not like dragons, and they wouldn't like knowing and having one in their midst.
I am quite fond of weres and various shape shifters, and I find Ms. Owens's characters charming and delightful. At least the good guys. The bad guys are, well, appropriately evil and bad. I admit to a soft spot for dragons, and am delighted to see we have a new universe opening up in Las Vegas—and that what happens in that Las Vegas gets shared!
Scoot over Anne Bishop and Patricia Briggs and welcome Tricia Owens to the playground.