Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona Andrews

Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona AndrewsClean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by NYLA on December 2, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 225
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudible
Goodreads

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. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

I’ve been trying to work my way through Ilona Andrews’ backlist, and I picked this one up after finally giving in and DNFing the final The Edge novel. Let’s say I went in with somewhat lowered expectations, and I was so freaking happy to find that the humor and fantastic narrative voice I find so intrinsic to Ilona Andrews is present here.

Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona AndrewsClean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by NYLA on December 2, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 225
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudible
Goodreads

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. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Andrews always have really creative world building that’s not quite like anything else out there, and the Innkeeper Chronicles are no exception to that. This series combines sci-fi and fantasy in a way that’s both fascinating and mind-boggling. It works, though. In it, Inns are a special construct, where fantastic creatures and/or aliens can lodge while visiting Earth on their way from one place to another. It’s really hard to explain, but it totally works in context and is really cool. The Inns are run by innkeepers who have boss magical powers so long as they’re on inn grounds, which they use to protect the inn and their guests.

The MC of this book is Dina, an innkeeper. She just got her own inn, one that had gone dormant and nearly died. She’s brought it back to life, but she doesn’t have enough guests to make the inn thrive (inns and guests have a kind of symbiotic relationship). Her other problem is that some sort of creature is killing local dogs, and, though it’s not her job, she’s going to deal with it if the local werewolf won’t defend his territory.

What unfolds ends up involving a werewolf, vampires, and a whole lot more. This story, despite the dog-killings, is really fluffy, actually, and super funny. It’s hard to find light sci-fi/fantasy, so if you want that, this totally fits the bill. The rest of the series gets a bit darker, but only a bit. Reading this just made me happy. I mean, vampires get drunk on caffeine and then run around outside naked. What’s not to love in a book like that?

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona AndrewsSweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2
Published by NYLA on November 13, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 237
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudible
Goodreads

Dina DeMille isn't your typical Bed and Breakfast owner. Her inn defies laws of physics, her dog is secretly a monster, and the only permanent guest of the inn is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. The inn needs guests to thrive and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina's door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance. Unfortunately, for Dina, bridging the gap between space vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. To make the summit a success, she must find a chef, remodel the inn, keep her guests from murdering each other, and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it's all in the day's work for an Innkeeper.

Clean Sweep made me smile, but Sweep in Peace is where I truly fell in love with this series and its characters.

In Sweep in Peace, Dina agrees to host peace negotiations between two massively warlike nations (the vampires and the Hope-Crushing Horde) and merchants, the three factions competing to win a planet. They all want to kill each other, and Dina can’t allow it. But, if she succeeds, her inn will maybe get another star and more guests in future.

One super weird thing, neither good nor bad, is that this series is in the same universe as The Edge books. I know this because George, Jack, and their cousin (whose name I’m blanking on) show up. George is the mediator of the peace talks, and Jack and cousin are there to help keep people from murdering each other. George and Jack were the only characters I actually cared about in The Edge books, so I was glad to see them, despite not having been much impressed with that series. George is a great character her, constantly scheming and always several steps ahead.

The love triangle that appeared to be established in book one quickly dissipates, as Dina’s missing Sean from the very first pages, since he left to fulfill a favor he promised in the first book and has not returned. I enjoy that there’s a sort of reverse harem here at times, but Dina’s been pretty set since the beginning. She and Sean do end up having a few very good moments in this book though.

I also just love Dina. She’s a total stealth badass. Like, she’s sweet and small and not-at-all-scary-looking, but, if you fuck with her town or her guests or her family or her, she will absolutely fuck you up. She has such strength of spirit and conviction, as well as massive power so long as she’s near her inn. People constantly underestimate her, and she uses that to her advantage.

The plot’s full of humor, intrigue, and fighting. This book is excellent.

Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona AndrewsOne Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Published by NYLA on December 20, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 257
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudible
Goodreads

Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!

In the third installment, Dina officially cements herself as an innkeeper who will help difficult guests. This time, she agrees to host an alien species that another alien species has been systematically wiping out of existence. In exchange, she may finally be able to find her missing parents.

Plot-wise, I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the prior two. Not that it’s not good, but it’s heavier than the other two, because it deals with the genocide of an alien race. Dina faces the struggle of risking danger for herself and others she wants to protect and helping those who truly need it. The inn’s constantly besieged, and the danger basically never slackens for the entirety of this book.

On top of that plot, Dina also rescues her older sister, Maud, whose vampire husband got them kicked out of the clan and sent to a penal colony where said husband got murdered. Maud and her daughter killed all the people responsible, and then she called Dina for a ride. Maud’s pretty fantastic, and she adds a second ship to the mix, which is always fun for me.

My only mistake was reading this a couple months before the fourth one becomes available in ebook. I don’t want to wait!!!!

Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona AndrewsSweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #4
Published by NYLA on July 16, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 322
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Maud Demille is a daughter of Innkeepers—a special group who provide ‘lodging’ to other-planetary visitors—so she knows that a simple life isn't in the cards. But even Maud could never have anticipated what Fate would throw at her.

Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her young daughter, Helen, were exiled with him for his treachery to the desolate, savage planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud—completely abandoned by his family—has spent over a year avenging his debts. Rescued by her sister Dina, she's sworn off all things vampire.

Except... In helping Dina save the world, she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr, one of the most powerful vampire houses. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined. Arland is not used to hearing the word ‘no;’ and try as she might, Maud can't just walk away from Arland. It doesn't help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.

To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is extremely influential and Maud knows that a woman—a human, with a very questionable past—who's turned down a proposal from its most beloved son won't get a warm reception. Maybe she’s not sure about marrying Arland, but House Krahr isn’t going to decide for her. Maud Demille has never run from a fight, and House Krahr will soon discover that there's a lot more to Maud than they’re expecting.

Sweep of the Blade changes POVs from Dina to Maud, something which made me super nervous, because I love Dina, and I didn’t have a great sense of Maud. This isn’t my favorite of the series, because Maud’s much more serious than Dina, and the book’s less humorous as a result, but it is excellent, and I didn’t mind the POV change.

Admittedly, the opening couple of chapters basically recap the series thus far (swiftly) from Maud’s perspective, and much of that felt a bit redundant. Once she and Helen get to House Krahr, though, everything gets intense and entertaining really quickly. I’m actually not massively invested in this ship, but I do love the hell out of Helen and the plotting is so great, as usual.

For some reason, I thought Sweep of the Blade was the final book in the Sweep series, but based on the ending, that does not appear to be the case. It looks like the series will resolve when the siblings figure out what happened to their parents, which makes sense…but when will book five come out??? I MUST KNOW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge