Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff
This book was not, by any means, a difficult book to read. It took about 2 days (with time off for working) and was fun. However, often throughout the book I got the sense that I was missing something. I thought I had read the other books about these characters, but the main character, Tony Foster, wasn’t familiar to me. Normally, it wouldn’t bother me at all, but there were a lot of references throughout the book to other stories that I wasn’t familiar with.
This is the story of Tony Foster, protege of Henry Fitzroy, vampire detective. But really, Henry was nothing more than the hired muscle. Instead, the main action was played by Arra, a reluctant wizard, and Tony, a young production assistant for a third- (no second-) rate production company. When shadows start moving by themselves, Tony is the only one to notice. And when they start killing people, he steps up to the plate to save the day.
Why is it that most urban fantasy always seems to be little more than mind-candy? This book is very enjoyable, a fun read, and quick, but there isn’t much substance. Guessing what happens isn’t terribly difficult, and even the quasi- “twist” isn’t all that twisted. The only real morals I got out of this book were that Vampire straight-to-syndication TV shows are not generally very good, most actors are pompous idiots, except for the misunderstood co-star who is “a better actor than anyone gave him credit for”. I spent long segments of the book speculating if Lee was meant to be Spike (from Angel) and wondering if there were a Vampire Slayer in the background somewhere.
If you’re looking for something deep, you should keep moving, but if you’re looking for a fun read that is easy on the mind and a good romp, then Ms. Huff delivers the goods. I enjoyed this book, but probably won’t be reading it again any time soon.