Sunday, December 7, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Poison Fruit (Agent of Hel #3) by Jacqueline Carey

*Book Blurb*

The Pemkowet Visitors Bureau has always promoted paranormal tourism—even if it has downplayed the risks (hobgoblins are unpredictable). It helps that the town is presided over by Daisy Johanssen, who as Hel’s liaison is authorized by the Norse goddess of the dead to keep Pemkowet under control. Normally, that’s easier to do in the winter, when bracing temperatures keep folks indoors.

But a new predator is on the prowl, and this one thrives on nightmares. Daisy is on her trail and working intimately with her partner and sometime lover from the Pemkowet PD, sexy yet unavailable werewolf Cody Fairfax. But even as the creature is racking up innocent victims, a greater danger looms on Pewkowet’s horizon.

As a result of a recent ghost uprising, an unknown adversary—represented by a hell-spawn lawyer with fiery powers of persuasion—has instigated a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, Hel’s sovereignty will be jeopardized, and the fate of the eldritch community will be at stake. The only one who can prevent it is Daisy—but she’s going to have to confront her own worst nightmare to do it.

*My Thoughts*

Poison Fruit is apparently the final novel in the Agent of Hel series. Set against the backdrop of the fictional town of Pemkowet, MI, the series is told in the first person narrative by half human, half demon Daisy Johanssen. Daisy is the liaison between the Pemkowet Police Department, and Hel, the Norse goddess of the dead. It is Daisy's job to keep the peace between mundane and eldritch authorities.

The community, which draws tourists from around the world, is filled with fairies, werewolves, vampires, trolls, and witches just to name a few. Daisy is a unique kind of character. Not only does she serve has Hel's right hand woman and carry a dagger capable of killing anything, she also has a prophecy attached to her. Bad things happen when Daisy loses her temper. Her existence represents a link to the Inviolate Wall that divides the mortal plane from the forces of the divine. Daisy by claiming her birthright, could trigger Armageddon under the right circumstances.

So far in this series, Daisy has struggled to keep on the straight and narrow. Thanks to the support of her Mother Marja, her best friends Jen Casopolis and Sinclair Palmer, her former babysitter Lurine Hollister, the loves of two men (Outcast Stefan Ludovic and werewolf Deputy Cody Fairfax) she has succeeded. After the events that happened in Autumn Bones, the lives of everyone in Pemkowet is about to change with the arrival of a shady lawyer, and a mysterious goddess who pushes Daisy to the limits of her patience.  

It's a bit disappointing to learn that apparently Poison Fruit is the final novel in the series. There is always room for one more story, but that is totally up to the author and publisher. I would have liked Poison Fruit to be a bit more on the action side, but won't take away from the final product. I liked that the overall story wasn't rushed into a brief period of time. Instead, the story takes place over several months, and brings all of Daisy's allies to the forefront in saving the place they all call home from a vindictive villain.

I don't like triangles, but I do think the final choice for Daisy is appropriate considering everything they've both had to deal with. I don't question Carey's choice to have Daisy explorer her options, and not just settle for a complicated relationship with one, or the other love interest.

I truly adore Daisy's mom Marja who made a tragic mistake prior to Daisy being born. A mother who is innocent, and wan't given much of a life after finding out Daisy wasn't fully human. Often times in Urban Fantasy novels/series, authors lack the courage to include a parental figure as part of a characters life and death decisions. This time out, Marja has a front row seat to Daisy's actions.

Overall, I will say that the last part of Poison Fruit was by far better than I hoped for. I didn't mind that Daisy had to hunt down another fabled character causing problems in the first part, while later trying to uncover the loathsome lawyers intentions towards Pemkowet in the second half. It is what it is, and I'm not going to bitch because it wasn't what I had hoped for in a last installment.

Author - Jacqueline Carey
Title - Poison Fruit (Agent of Hel # 3)
Published by Roc Hardcover
Release: October 7, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Library Book, 437 pages

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