I liked this book. But I didn't adore it, partly because the main character was not sufficiently developed, and also partly because the writing style annoyed the stuffing out of me at times. Three stars.
Let's start with the action: The action was good, and there was plenty of it, ranging from personal disputes to failed burglaries to assassination attempts. The plot was spelled out nicely, and the book always had a clear direction. The amount and types of action gets five stars. This book certainly was not boring.
The characters were interesting, although the main character was probably the least interesting of all. At the end of the book, I understand the secondary character Jenks (who rocks, by the way) better than I understand Rachel Morgan, the protagonist. Rachel underestimates her abilities as a witch; she has some minor insecurities about her physical appearance; and she is scared of her partner and roommate, Ivy. Those are the only things I learned about Rachel based on her actions. The author told me many times that Rachel enjoys the chase of being a runner (i.e., a magical bounty hunter), but I saw no evidence of that throughout the book in her thoughts or actions. Never once did Rachel express any kind of excitement or positive reaction to being in an action-type situation, except to directly express that she liked it. Okay, if you say so; I'll have to take your word for it.
The two main secondary characters, Jenks and Ivy, were great additions to the book. Ivy is a gorgeous living vampire, who may be a little sexually attracted to Rachel. It was fun to watch Rachel work with Ivy, of whom Rachel is clearly terrified. And Jenks was continuously entertaining, with his ongoing quips and failure to take just about anything seriously. For those of you who do not know, Jenks is a 4-inch tall pixy. When Rachel turned herself into a mink for the first time, she was impressed at how completely hot Jenks was when they were close to the same size. I have decided that I will develop a shrink ray, so that I can hang out with Jenks. He is the awesome-ist.
A final note on characters before I change the subject: So Rachel and Nick are dating. And it is oh-so-cute when he puts his arm around her waist. But wait, what's that you say? This ISN'T a young adult book? Okay then . . . where's the freakin' sexual tension?! WHERE?! It ain't here; that's for sure.
My primary problem with this book lies with the author's odd descriptions and, in some instances, lack of descriptions. Some of the action sequences (and by action, I am referring to all movements and not necessarily just to fighting) were told kind of like freeze frames. The description gave bits of what was happening, but I didn't see a blending of movement from one position to the next. Some of the descriptions of magical beings or items are also incomplete. For example, I still don't know what a splat ball is, and Rachel was apparently almost killed by splat balls. And I still don't understand the difference between a ghoul and a living vampire. A ghoul has vampire-like abilities. But why does a ghoul have to be turned into a dead/undead vampire after death, while a living vampire does not? And the book repeatedly refers to something Ivy and other vampires do called "pulling an aura," which makes Ivy's eyes go all black and terrifies the bejesus out of Rachel. I have no idea what that is. I hope it's explained more fully in later books.
Furthermore, some of the descriptions contain really odd word usages and imagery. For example: "I spotted Keasley's slow moving shadow making its way across the dew-wet grass past the silent trees and bushes." Sounds ominous, right? Well, Keasley is a good guy (at least through this book, he is), and he just walked into a happy-joy-joy party. Why the ominous imagery? Why are we watching his shadow? And who cares that the trees and bushes are silent? They usually are, after all. Anyway, I found the descriptions distracting in many instances, and in many other instances, I was annoyed by the lack of description. Argh!
But I didn't hate the book, and I'll continue reading the series.