I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit I have a weakness for a certain kind of main character. All the stories with main characters that start off big, bad, and kick ass are fine. They make sense in a certain context, but I've always found it boring, and anti-climatic to read about someone who you're pretty sure is going to triumph over whatever the plot throws at them. I also understand the books about people who long for adventure, and challenge. I mean most of the time it's that desire for something new, and different that drives the action of the story, and it's usually hard to write about someone who'd rather stay home, and read than slay dragons. This book however found my personal favorite main character: the reluctant, ordinary person.
It's probably pretty easy to see this love from my favorites list; from Arthur Dent who would rather have a nice cup of tea than intergalactic travel to Richard Mayhew whose act of kindness sends him on an adventure he never wanted, I love the main character who has to almost be dragged into the action of the plot. I think I identify with that kind of person much more easily than the invincible swordsman or the girl who sets off to find her destiny without a backwards glance. I'm a bit of a coward, and I like tea, and reading by the fire. Sigmund Sussman, for me, fit the bill perfectly. I liked that he was not immediately excited about the prospect of intrigue, and mystery in his life. I liked that he was an ordinary guy, a bit of a nerd, who didn't feel too much like a complete stereotype. He was not defined by his interested, and I didn't feel like the author overwhelmed the story with references to prove their nerd cred.
The relationship between Sigmund and Lain was well done, and I liked the pace at which it developed. It never felt like instant love, or that they were destined to be together, which all things considered, is a very good thing. Another thing I appreciated was that the love story never took over the plot. It wasn't a romance novel thinly disguised as an urban fantasy, but fully fledged urban fantasy with a bit of romance. The plot was nicely developed, and I loved the twists, and turns. It kept me guessing, and I enjoyed that. The mythology fit very nicely into the plot, and story. It was well integrated, so it never felt like awkward information dumps or stilted exposition. I liked how the mythology fit into the modern setting, and how much it added to the plot, the setting, and the characters. I also loved reading an urban fantasy that wasn't set in the United States, or England. It made for a nice change of pace. Overall I really loved this book, and am really looking forward to reading more from this author.