The Particulars: Urban Fantasy, Candlemark& Gleam, available in print and as e-book
The Source: ARC from Netgalley
The Grade: A-
While her best friend is pulled into the supernatural underworld, Branwyn isn’t about to sit on the sidelines. Unfortunately, Branwyn is decidedly mortal, and in the supernatural underworld, humans are weak and helpless, no better than toys, tools and prey. But she isn’t having any of that. Branwyn wants to face the world on her own terms, mortal or not.
When she strikes a bargain with an imprisoned faerie, Branwyn thinks she’s found the solution. He’ll teach her magic and she’ll use that magic on his behalf. It’s a great deal, until she discovers what the faeries really want from her: there’s a door that only she can open…
I supported the Kickstarter for Matchbox Girls solely based on C.E Murphy's blurb. And after reading it, I was glad I did. So when Infinity Key appeared on NetGalley, I requested it on the spot. And after reading it, I can say it was better than Matchbox Girls. I can also say that this is one of those reviews that cannot tell all the reasons why this book is awesome , since doing so would veer into spoiler territory.
If Matchbox Girls focused on Nephilim and Angels, this book focused on the Faeries, and their wish to be free from their prison. The Faerie world that Chrysoula Tzavelas have created is just the kind of Faerie world I want to read about: Unpredictable, dangerous and filled to the rim with manipulative beings. It was fascinating to see how the Faeries treated her, and how all of them were willing to strike a deal with her. Luckily, Branwyn were wise enough to avoid deals most of the time.
I really liked Branwyn. She was blunt, outspoken and utterly loyal to her friends and family. And determined to save Penny. It was interesting to see how Branwyn changed from being in the Underlight realm, and other Faerie realms. Yet she also remained her. It was fascinating to follow Branwyn, and see how her quest to create the Key went. It wasn't easy, but it moved forward. It was fascinating to see how Branwyn and Tarn interacted. There wasn't any romance, but the time she spent in Faerie changed her, and Tarn was affected by her presence in subtle ways.
But the book also took place in LA. And it was interesting to see how Branwyn was around her friends and family, how she struggled to keep a secret exactly what she was involved in. Yet, as the quest went on, she had no choice but to tell them, to reveal at least part of what's going on. And their reaction was telling. They were worried, and they had reason to be worried.
Because this book involved a good dose of kaiju as well, and let me tell you: kaiju is creepy.
The different plot threads was connected in ways that gradually was revealed, and everything that happened slowly built towards the end. And the twist at the end was a delightful surprise, that made total sense.
The only thing I disliked with this book was Branwyn's tendency to act first and think about the consequences later. On the other hand, that's part of Branwyn's personality, and Branwyn is what makes this book so good.