Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews is an entirely new series that was first released serially on their blog and has since been compiled into the full novella. I’m not a fan of reading on my computer, so I was thrilled to find out that Clean Sweep was going to be released as an eBook (and even print-on-demand!) and that the eBook includes illustrations :D. If you are a fan of Andrews’ other two series or just getting started with your fan career, Clean Sweep is a great introduction to the fun of Andrews’ writing style while introducing a really clever spin on the typical urban fantasy story (there are aliens!).
Note: I received an eARC of Clean Sweep from the author in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)
Published by Author on Dec. 2nd, 2013
Genres: Adult, Novella, Sci-fi
Length: 235 pages
How I got my copy: Author
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On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.
And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.
- I hadn’t been expecting a new world to the extent that Clean Sweep delivers. I for some reason had expected Clean Sweep to take place in the same world as Kate Daniels, but I was completely wrong, so don’t make my mistake ;-). The main awesome selling point of Clean Sweep’s world is that it has the typical urban fantasy critters (werewolves, vampires, witches), but puts a very intriguing spin on all of them: aliens! I’m not saying there are also aliens, I’m saying that werewolves and vampires from our myths are actually aliens from other planets that stop by ours from time to time and human myths sprung up around them. It was so cool reading about where all the human myths around vampires came from in this world ;-).
- To add another unique layer, our main character Dina is an innkeeper. She owns a bed and breakfast, pretty normal right? Except that it’s for aliens! Dina has a deep connection with the inn (which is alive!) and the whole lore around the innkeepers was just fascinating to uncover. I seriously don’t understand where Andrews comes up with these ideas!
- The length of Clean Sweep seems a bit debated (Goodreads and Amazon have different numbers), and I think it’s technically a novella, but it felt very much like a nicely-paced novel. I never felt rushed or unsatisfied while reading Clean Sweep, which is one problem I’ve had with many other novellas.
- THERE ARE ILLUSTRATIONS! There is an illustration for each of the main characters and they are so pretty even just in my eReader’s eInk. I’m really tempted to order a printed copy of Clean Sweep just to pet these illustrations on the page. It was awesome getting to see how the characters looked and gah, they are just so pretty!
- There is a bit of a love triangle brewing. It wasn’t really a problem in Clean Sweep since Dina just wanted to kick out both guys, but when two guys are interested in one girl, I get nervous.
- I’m still a bit unclear on some things in the world that I really really want to know. It seemed like the Innkeepers are close to human but have really long lives, or perhaps they aren’t human either? A lot of my questions just make me excited to read the next book, but I wish that I was a bit more comfortable on what is going on with the main character’s species at this point ;-).
Clean Sweep was such a fun read. I went in having no idea what to expect except knowing that I love everything Ilona Andrews writes. I ended up once again impressed by the awesome ideas that Andrews comes up with and just wishing the next book was out already >.>. I can see why they decided to self-publish this one, since I honestly have no idea where it would fit in from a marketing perspective, but I’m so glad that established authors now have the option to publish these great stories anyway. If you’re an Ilona Andrews fan, pick up Clean Sweep. If you aren’t all that into urban fantasy but think an alien spin sounds interesting, pick up Clean Sweep :D.