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Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews Review

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Because when one finds oneself in the fortunate position of having acquired a $5 Amazon gift card, one immediately spends it on two to three ebooks. Obviously. (How many of you just pictured Snape saying that?)

I think I first saw this recommended by Anya a while back. Since then, I've consistently enjoyed all the books in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, and this sounded like fun. Spoiler: it was. :)

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series:  Innkeeper Chronicles#1
Genres: SFF, Adventure, Urban Fantasy(?)
Published on January 1, 2012
Published by Ilona Andrews
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.

Clean Sweep takes all the elements you know--a sleepy town, a somewhat sentient house, magic, werewolves, vampires and monsters--and gives them one big twist that shakes up everything and results in something that feels fresh a new. The twist? Instead of your typical magic/fantasy explanations, we're dealing with space and aliens.

All the magical devices are super advanced tech, and the creatures are from other planets. While I'm definitely interested in seeing more of this big new universe, the authors don't bog us down with too many details. After all, this story is really about an adventure and an innkeeper coming into her own.

Dina's parents were innkeepers, and her upbringing and recent travels through the universe make her a capable manager and protector. (However, she's not much of a realtor or she would have known better when accepting this particular inn: "Location, location, location.") Dina has quite a few tricks up her sleeve, but she never seemed all-knowing or unreasonably strong. She's still learning and she knows she can't do everything on her own. It leaves a lot of room for character growth as the series progresses.

Finally, Clean Sweep has such a great, light, humorous tone, and there were several laugh out loud moments. (I do believe I spied a Twilight joke.) It reminds me of Nice Dragons Finish Last in that it doesn't take itself too seriously and is all about entertaining the reader. I will definitely be reading the next book.

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