This is the third book in Hall’s Kate Kane: Paranormal Investigator series of contemporary urban fantasy novels. There are plenty of series where the books function as standalones, but this is not the case with the Kate Kane books. Readers need to start with Iron & Velvet in order to understand what’s going on.
Frankly, I’ve read the first two books and I still don’t know what’s going on. I don’t mean this as an insult—the book is wonderful, but the plot moves along quickly and there are so many factors to consider that it’s hard to explain to others. But I’m willing to give it the old college try.
As the series title suggests, Kate investigates matters that conventional sleuths wouldn’t be able to handle. Her work has landed her in the middle of an otherworldly turf war and the stakes couldn’t be higher—if the wrong faction wins, the entire world would be doomed.
To be more specific, Kate is tasked with reacquiring the Tears of Hypnos, a magical item with unlimited power. In order to achieve this goal, Kate has to bargain and negotiate with a variety of paranormal entities, some of whom are familiar because of their roles in the previous books and some of whom are new. As Kate follows one lead after another, the twists and turns prove that nothing is as simple as it appears.
Part of what makes this book so fun is Kate—the story unfolds via her first-person narration, and she is delightful. She’s sarcastic and self-deprecating and her perspective kept me riveted from the beginning to the end.
Kate is supported by a strong ensemble, including but not limited to her automaton assistant/best friend, her vampire girlfriend, her vampire ex-boyfriend, a succubus, a posh werewolf frenemy and many more.
I would recommend Fire & Water, although like I said, start at the beginning of the series. This is my favorite book in the series: Hall’s prose is exquisite and there’s a nice balance between lighter scenes and more tense actions scenes. Hall says that this series is going to be a quintet, and so I am eagerly awaiting the final two books in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.