Dina runs a quaint little bed and breakfast - a nice normal hotel in a nice, normal town
Though the guests are far from normal; she is an Innkeeper, gifted with magical powers that make her immensely powerful within its walls – more than necessary for policing and serving the supernatural guests who visit
But she risks her inn’s neutrality when her neighbours are under threat – a task that draws her beyond her inn to work with ignorant werewolves and vampire aristocracy – armed with a broom and her knowledge of the wider universe and an Inn that has only just begun to wake up.
The whole concept of this book is a fun mash up of both Sci-fi and Urban fantasy. We have all the creatures of legends – but they’re not the monsters we believe them to be – but aliens visiting from distant planets, each with their own cultures and histories that have been misinterpreted and misunderstood by humans. (A great example – vampires, a powerful warrior people, have a taboo against killing people who are at prayer. Since they don’t know whether a human waving a cross is a human praying or not, they tend to back away).
The history of each of the supernatural beings is really excellent – they’re not just space werewolves – they’re beings with their own history and culture and story which is far more detailed than just monsters in space. It promises a huge, vast, detailed world setting that I just want to roll in
And into this we have Dina the Inkeeper – and the whole concepts of Inkeepers is another wonderful, original one. Places of neutrality, shelters where anyone can be safe if they follow the rules: Inkeepers are an excellent contrast of ultimate power but large vulnerabilities. In their own inns, their own territory they’re immensely powerful, they’re part of a highly respected and honoured organisation with many friends and people who value them. Yet, outside of their inns, they have few powers outside of their territory – and that huge respect doesn’t actually grant them any real support or resources beyond what they can muster themselves.
We have Dina’s dual desire to both find her parents and live up to their legacy – even if she is pulled by her conscience to risk all of that. I like her a lot. More of her story to come!
We do have the beginnings of a love triangle here – but it is only a hint of the beginning rather than a something consuming the plot. Dina’s also duly wary at the idea of being with either of them, not thinking either an aggressive vampire or an alpha werewolf is a good idea. And it’s worth putting up with for one awesome line about vampire/werewolf love triangles