Jace faces two mysteries in his new position. First, there’s the killer who kidnapped a unicorn—actually Jace’s mother—and, for reasons immediately clear, murdered and stole organs from ten men whom society mostly won’t miss. Second, he is keeping an eye on Alicia, the granddaughter of Grant Grimstone, a mighty black dragon, after the mysterious drugging of Alicia and other Grimstone women. Robbins handles scenes of police chatter and detective work with crisp excitement, but the emphasis here is on the pleasures of hanging out with Jace and company—many pages pass between the rescue of Jace’s mother and the hero truly starting to work the case.
Readers eager to immerse in the fun and funny life of Jace, a book-loving unicorn who occasionally scarfs chicken and cheese so that he can pass a diamond, and the dynastic squabbles of dragons will relish Robbins’ sharp dialogue, mad but arresting details, and overall sense of fantastical extravagance. But the story moves at the pace of life, meaning slowly and without shape, and the ending is more of a trailing off than a resolution, with many mysteries and at least one irresistible big event put off for future books.
Takeaway: Epic-length, highly inventive urban fantasy, focused on a unicorn cop’s drift of life.
Comparable Titles: Vivian Shaw’s Dr. Greta Helsingseries, Rachel Aaron’s Heartstrikers series.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A