June 2, 2016

Review: Sins & Shadows

Sins & Shadows (Shadows Inquiries, book 1) by Lyn Benedict

Sins & Shadows  (Shadows Inquiries #1)

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: Paperback
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Sins & Shadows (1)

Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual, in a world where magic is real-and where death isn't the worst thing that can happen to you.

But when an employee is murdered in front of her, Sylvie has had enough. After years of confounding the dark forces of the Magicus Mundi, she's closing up shop-until a man claiming to be the God of Justice wants Sylvie to find his lost lover.

And he won't take no for an answer.


Upon finishing Sins & Shadows it immediately hit me that something should have come before it. You know how you start up a first book of a series and this feeling creeps in that you've missed the short story. You know the one that launches the series. Well I got that feeling with Sins & Shadows. Except that I had missed the first two or three books prior to it. But no. Sins & Shadows is the first book in the series.

Despite that I could still follow along and I never felt myself lost. Why does this feel like a first book? Well there's a whole cast that has a history and we step right in the middle of the after affects of a huge moral changing event for the lead—Sylvie. Sylvie finds herself teetering on the verge of becoming a monster herself. The line of justice, vengeance, and helping the innocent without hurting them is being tiptoed. A beloved friend had died on a horrible case, and satanic creeps are after them. Not to mention world ending events lead Sylvie to Chicago on an adventure. Usually a move reserved for the 3rd of 4th book of a series, or even farther along.

Because of that I think it's off putting. You can't make the connection to the side characters because it's like a bunch of hit and runs here. No really most of the side characters that Sylvie interacts with are brief notes. Thus making her actions toward them and the characters themselves hard to care for. All you can see is how Sylvie treats the people in her life so horribly. You know there's a huge past and they should be important players in future books, but they're being ignored like they've already been developed.

There is a huge plus though. I admire a book willing to kill off the type of character that was brutally killed here. However, since we're told that Sylvie and that character had a past it felt cold. Not to mention that things weren't developed and the whole story isn't fully divulged. In fact, if the story would have started when they met I would have loved it. The events of this book would have had more impact as a book 3 or 4.

Overall I liked the lead and the Greek mythology presented here. The drama of the Gods and the immortality of both men and monsters was perfect. Not to mention that it wasn't just Greek mythology, angels with Christianity, Egyptian, and more! All of it is in this melting pot. They're aren't just Greek gods! And they're all aware of each other. It's all kind of hanging in some kind of crazy balance.

Considering the history already pack into this first book I'm looking forward to what else Shadows Inquiry series will bring. The mythology and world is original and gritty, getting a 5 stars from me on that front! The big reveals about Sylvie make me really curious as to what her new role will be. Also, I'm dying to see her in her city and with her people. She burned some bridges this book. Despite everything I still say this is a solid start. The world building is on point, and Sylvie is definitely one heck of a leading lady.

Sexual Content: Sexual humor, homo sexual themes, sexual abuse, talk of child molestation, and a sex scene. It's plenty dark, but things aren't overly explicit.


3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Sins & Shadows (1)
Ghosts & Echoes (2)
Gods & Monsters (3)
Lies & Omens (4)

Sins & Shadows (1)Ghosts & Echoes (2)
Gods & Monsters (3)
Lies & Omens (4)

Sins & Shadows (1)
Ghosts & Echoes (2)
Gods & Monsters (3)
Lies & Omens (4)

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