Agents of Hel – book review

Agent of Hel trilogy by by Jacqueline Carey. Book 1: The Gone-Away World coverDark Currents, Book 2: Autumn Bones, and Book 3: Poison Fruit. – We’ve had a hot summer and as a result we’ve spent a lot of time in the one room in the house where we have a little AC unit running. I got bored with aimless internet wandering and picked up the first of these books, which sucked me right in and I didn’t stop until I had finished all three. Compared to other books I’ve read by Carey these seems pretty light. I still loved them, it’s just that you would never read the entire first Kushiel trilogy in one month. Those are bigger books and the stories are more dense and vast in scope.

Anyway, here we have a young woman, Daisy, living in a mid-western town thick with paranormal activity. She works for the police as a clerk, but is also the mortal agent of the local ruling deity: Hel. She’s charged with keeping the peace in Hel’s territory. She teams up with humans and monsters alike to keep the peace as best she can. The world is well developed and the characters are interesting. Some hiding their non-human side where others can’t. Daisy’s got the latter problem. She’s hell-spawn and she’s lived in this little town her whole life. She has a tail and temper, neither of which is easy to hide or keep in check. My favorite thing is the ghouls. I’ve never seen anyone really develop a ghoul class of character before, and nothing like this. Here we have mostly men, but some women, who were very religious and pious people who died in a fit of high emotion and did something terrible. Stranded between heaven and hell they become an immortal creature that cannot die, and who must feed on the emotions of others. Some will just say they are emotion-vampires, but that doesn’t at all do it justice. Every time they die they get cast back again from heaven, reborn, all injuries healed, and stricken again that they are forsaken by their god. This if far more complex than most blood suckers. There are also werewolves hiding in this town. They like to be as secretive as they can. Of course we get a nice love triangle for our hel-spawn girl with a werewolf and a ghoul. Keeping things as complicated as possible on a personal level while she’s also trying to solve murders and such. All a great ride. Since I read them so fast, I’m sure I’ll read them again at some point.

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