Dulcie O’Neil – a fairy who works a cop of sorts, monitoring other paranormal creatures. She is also an aspiring writer, trying to write a romance novel. She is a consultant to ACN, her former “police force”.
Knight Vander – a Loki and acting interim head of the Splendor ACN. Also totally has the hots for Dulcie. Turns out he, biologically, has identified Dulcie as his true mate.
Quillan – Dulcie’s former boos at ACN and an Elf. He was originally the inspiration for themale protagonist in the book Dulcie wrote. Now, a fugitive on the run (although not really running as he is the top of the totem pole in some criminal circles now).
Sam – a witch who helps Dulcie out, and Dulcie’s best friend. Also works for ACN.
Bram – a vampire who dated Sam. He runs No Regrets, a nightclub. Creepy, but not in an evil sort of way (more in a man-whore kind of way). Also totally has the hots for Dulcie.
Trey – Dulcie’s former “partner”. He’s a hobgoblin. He’s sarcastic and kind of a brute.
Dia – head of Moon’s ACN. A sleepgoblin, but one of the good guys. She’s kind of a diva, but in an awesome way.
Caressa Brandenburg – an attorney in the Netherworld and a friend of Knight’s. She is looking out for him – or trying to anyway.
Gabe – another Loki. Grew up and trained together with Knight. He also works for the ACN.
Alex – another attorney in Netherworld. Plays the part of the prosecutor. But seems to be a good one at the same time.
Main Premise: Knight was taken by the ACN back to the Netherworld – all related to that trial he is on because Dulcie let Quill go. But, it’s a set up – the Head of the Netherworld wants Knight dead. We don’t know why. Whole plot is then Dulcie following Knight and rescuing him.
Who dun it? Not so much a mystery here – we know the Head of the Netherworld is out to get Knight. But, it’s the last paragraph of the book where we discover that the HoN is Dulcie’s father.
Locations: Splendor, California and the Netherworld.
Other Important Things to Remember for Later: Melchior O’Neil (yep, Dulcie’s one and only father) is the head of the Netherworld. Quillan was working for him all along – being his ears and eyes in the ACN. Good ol’ daddy releases Knight and sends him back to Earth with Dulcie on the condition that Dulcie work for him and never tell anyone, Knight included, that she is working for him. In the Netherworld creatures look more like their tru selves – Dulcie has wings for example. And they act different – Bram feeds off energy not blood. Bram had to feed Dulcie some of his to heal her (don’t know if we will have a Sookie/Bill locator beacon thing after this or not). Dulcie still doesn’t know why the HoN wants him dead – although we know that Knight must know something Melchoir doesn’t want others to know. Bram acted as Dulcie’s guide in the Netherworld. We met a few other odd creatures. Bram has his own personal portal. And the book ended with the bombshell, after the agreement by Dulcie to work for Melchoir, so she could save Knight and get them sent back to Earth.
Not a review – but a note. There was a little sex in this story. Wouldn’t you know it – right after I go and declare that it fits more with a cozy since innuendo and threats is as much action as we actually see… the author goes and gives us two pretty good hook-up scenes. First is steamier than the second, but they are definitely there. And the mirror is definitely foggy after them. I may re-classify, I may not. We’ll see after I finish the next one.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, books are like food in a lot of ways. The creator can possess all the requisite technical skills that would, in theory, make for a great creation but there is always room for failure because the creator is still human and can make mistakes. Or, the execution might also be flawless, and the consumer hates it because we each have our own personal tastes. This is true with food, music, art and yes, books. I sometimes gander at reviews by others when deciding what to read next. While I tend to take suggestions from friends or folks I know share my tastes more seriously, I sometimes just need some third-party sources. I knew I was going to read Great Hexpectations but when, and if I read something else first, was totally influenced by reading a few reviews of the books on the top of my “to-be-read” stacks (since I have a number of them). I realized when looking through the goodreads reviews that there is such a huge disparity out there when it came to this book and its quality. It has happened plenty of times: I totally fall for a book (or series) and others think it is less appetizing than Hilly finds Minnie’s chocolate pie (if you’ve seen the movie, you know which pie I am talking about…). And it happens with books in all sorts of genres and those written by a range of authors – both established and new – critically acclaimed and not. Although critically acclaimed is also relative since critics too are people whose views are subjective and influenced by all sorts of things – so I don’t put too much stock in “critically acclaimed” as a result. This book, of this series, struck me as a particularly good example of this duality – tons of 5 stars and tons of 1 stars. It was such a love-it-or-hate-it response.
For me, it was a solid 4 stars (remember, goodreads 4 means “really liked it”). Sure, it has some issues. But I am not reading F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was entertaining, fun, cute, a little steamy and filled with lots of the things I like when reading. Not to mention, it did the job. It was an escape from the day-to-day of reality. As a lawyer by day, mother by day and night, martial artist/instructor by hobby, there is so much seriousness in my life already. I often find my colleagues look down at my reading choices because they aren’t haughty enough. You know, I am not reading the so-and-so non-fiction NY Times #1 book about the most depressing human rights whatever…. zzzzzzzzzzzz……. I read enough big words in my day job. I handle enough serious issues every day at work that when I read, I want to escape reality and laugh and smile and not have to think too hard or much about what I have just read. Great Hexpectations, like the first two Dulcie books, squarely fit that purpose. And I am enormously grateful for that.
This installment was “more serious” (relatively speaking) since there wasn’t really much of a mystery to solve but we find Dulcie off to rescue Knight after he has disappeared. But it was still a cute little escape. I mean how serious can it really be when we are talking about a drunk goblin, a fairy who doesn’t know how to use her wings, and a vampire that tries to get sex through a contract? It was nice to see Dulcie and Knight consummate their relationship – and admit to loving each other. And, it had a funny little twist at the end, with a hell of a cliffhanger. I am just glad that the next installments (books 5 and 6 anyway) are already published so I can pick them right up and I don’t need to wait for what happens next. Yes, the twist/cliffhanger didn’t require a CIA analyst to figure it out or predict it. But, it didn’t feel like a sure thing either. Marvin’s failure to blow up Earth with his Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator was a guaranteed. Everyone knows that Bugs will spoil his plans – we know that from the moment we first see Marvin. But the only thing I felt was as inevitable as Bug’s saving of Earth was that Knight would someone end up freed. So, it was enough suspense for me to keep things interesting.
My biggest issue with this one is the name. I followed and go the references in the first two installments. Here, “Great Hexpectations”…. not so much. Anyone who knows the genesis of the title (besides what appears to be the author’s attempt to use “Literature” titles and twist them for this series) or the explanation/relation to the story, please feel free to let me know. And that’s a tiny issue. Regardless, me and my tastes are looking forward to Wuthering Frights.