Review: “One Fell Sweep,” Ilona Andrews

Pros: Rich worldbuilding and fascinating characters
Cons:
Rating: 5 out of 5

Ilona Andrews’ One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 3) follows on the heels of Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace. I think this is the best so far. A creature called a Hiru comes to Dina’s inn looking for a place to hold a meeting. He’s from a race hunted and nearly extinct thanks to the efforts of the inhabitants of a planet near theirs, and an alien has agreed to help them–but first they have to gather the alien’s human-looking parts. For those unfamiliar or who’ve forgotten since the last book, Dina is an Innkeeper. In this case, that means she operates a magical, powerful inn where aliens can stay when they come to earth. There are only two main rules: the humans must never know what is happening under their noses, and once an Innkeeper has chosen to take on a guest, she must not allow harm to come to them. When she takes on the hiru, she inadvertently takes sides in a war where the opponents have no compunction about firing off nukes or waking up the neighbors. Just to make things a little crazier, she has to save her sister and her sister’s daughter from a dive on a vampire-controlled planet, and she has to figure out whether she’s really falling in love with haunted werewolf Sean.

 

I love this series, and I think this is the best of it so far. The abilities and limitations of Gertrude Hunt (the inn) and Dina come to the fore, particularly what they can do when together as opposed to apart. The will they/won’t they between Dina and Sean is softened and believable, not frustrating. Dina’s sister Maud–and her vampire daughter Helen–are totally fun to have around, as are the friends and allies Dina acquired in previous novels. I always love Ilona Andrews’ ability to portray nuanced characters. This volume punches up the violence, but there’s plenty of familial love, romantic love, daring and bravery.

The language is fun, and sometimes funny:

“He broke their bones, he made them scream, and then he cut off their heads and put them on a pike.”
“He’s been through a lot.”

The story, setting, and characters are entertaining, creative, a bit dark at times, and unusual. I highly recommend the entire series, and look forward to more!

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