08 March 2020

Series Review || The City Between by WR Gingell


Between Jobs Blurb:


When you get up in the morning, the last thing you expect is to see a murdered guy hanging outside your window. Things like that tend to draw the attention of the local police, and when you’re squatting in your parents’ old house until you can afford to buy it, another thing you can’t afford is the attention of the cops.

Oh yeah. Hi. My name is Pet.

It’s not my real name, but it’s the only one you’re getting. Things like names are important these days.

And it’s not so much that I’m Pet.

I’m a pet.

A human pet: I belong to the two Behindkind fae and the pouty vampire who just moved into my house. It’s not weird, I promise—well, it’s weird, yeah. But it’s not weird weird, you know?




 
I wasn't sure about this series to start with, but hey, it was on Kindle Unlimited and I needed a book to read. Plus, that cover is pretty eye-catching in a dark and gritty urban fantasy kind-of-way. In spite of the blurb promising that it wasn't weird weird, it sounded weird weird. Was this some sort of BDSM reverse harem? Not that I'm knocking it. If that's your thing, you do you, boo.

The premise of the series is a girl (we never know her as anything but Pet) has been hiding out in her house after her parents were killed.  Even though Pet was in the house the night her parents were killed, she managed to not hear or see anything. She avoided being found because her bedroom was made behind a false door. Somehow, the power and water bills have continued to be paid for years and the house is left just sitting. She wakes up one morning to see a man hanging outside her window. The investigation brings Zero and Athelas -both fae- and vampire JinYeoung to the area and into her house as a home base. They are essentially fae bounty hunters, but they don't really care about what humans get involved in. They are doing it strictly to hunt down and bring the fae to justice. Of course, it's not long before they discover Pet in the house.

The three Psychos as Pet calls them are a strange bunch. Zero, we learn, is actually some type of fae Lord. He's unyielding and very serious. He's the obvious leader of the pack. Athelas, being a bit older, sits back and watches things unfold. He's not so secretly amused by Pet but doesn't frequently speak up. JinYeoung is almost the weirdest of the bunch. In spite of knowing and being spoken to in English, he refuses to speak it in return and instead speaks Korean. He and Pet seem to do everything they can to annoy one another.

In spite of it sounding like it would be a "why-choose" romance, there's actually no romance at all to be found in Between Jobs and many of the books following. There's a very strange symbiotic relationship that ensues. Pet takes care of the house and the cooking while the three Psychos allow her to continue living there. I struggled with continuing the books at first for a variety of reasons. They call her "Pet" and refer to her as "it". Bit creepy, that. They actually aren't very likable either, being extremely arrogant beings with a superiority complex. The world-building is also extremely confusing. There's apparently an overlapping of the fae world on our world, with Behind and Between? Ergh, what? There's a mystery here as well. A lot of them actually. Reading the first book gives you a whole lot of questions and absolutely no answers.  But then something happened...

I really started to like the characters.


Pet is cheeky and talks back. She's also quite hyper and her mental focus jumps around like a spider monkey, which sounds like it should be annoying but ended up being almost endearing. She takes things in stride with her new circumstances and grins through it. She is supposed to be 17 but oft times, she feels much younger in maturity. Her purposeful vexation of JinYeoung and his response amused me.

This is one of those series that just shouldn't work. The characters are weird. The world-building is weird. The plot? Weird. So many things aren't explained! SO. MANY. THINGS. Yet, somehow, it was intriguing enough that I binged all five books (and the two novellas) within about 8 weeks, amongst all my other reads.

So, in review: Don't read these books if you don't like books without solid endings. You will be disappointed. Don't read these books if you want romance to be front and center in your UF. Not happening. Don't read these books if you want a complete comprehension of what is happening at all times. Why should you read them? Complexity. The characters, the setting, the plot, the relationships. There's action, mystery, mayhem and of course, Pet. The City Between is one of the most unique series I've read. It's seriously addictive and yet, I really can't explain why!