Book 1: Staying Dead
Manhattan’s nightlife just got weirder. . .
It starts as a simple job – but simple jobs, when you’re dealing with this magical world, often end up anything but. As a Retriever, Wren Valere specializes in finding things gone missing – and then bringing them back, no questions asked. Normally her job is stimulating, challenging and only a little bit dangerous. But every once in a while. . . Case in point – a cornerstone containing a spell is stolen and there’s a magical complication. (Isn’t there always?) Wren’s unique abilities aren’t enough to lay this particular case to rest, and so she turns to some friends: a demon (minor), a mage who has lost her mind, and a few others – including Sergei, her business partner (and maybe a bit more?) Sometimes what a woman has to do to get the job done is enough to give even Wren nightmares…
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Wren and Sergei are intelligent, attractive people, but there’s more to Staying Dead than sexual tension. It’s also a compelling, witty mystery. The highly detailed yet never overpowering background Gilman provides is fertile ground for further Retriever adventures — and that’s great news for readers. — Starlog
(Gilman) paints a vivid picture of a hidden, magical New York, and keeps fantasy in the forefront. Demons, angels and other fairy creatures, or Fatae, live there, but are mortal and face the dangers every other living creature has to contend with, including bigotry and hatred. And since magic is still a secret for most of the world, powerful shadow organizations operate under (above?) the radar, monitoring and oftentimes recruiting Talented individuals. Yes, there is the start of something big between the two lead characters, but Ms. Gilman manages to keep this particular form of character development from overwhelming the story… Keeping folks interested in the story, and making them believe the mythology she spins is the main point. — Green Man Reviews,
This tale [Staying Dead] may remind the reader of Moonlighting with magic… Gilman has created a clever and unique theory of magic talent directed through electrical currents, as well as a frightening group of wizards who control it. Suspenseful and entertaining, this is a worthy addition to the growing library of urban fantasy lit, and great way to kick off a potential blockbuster of a series. — Romantic Times,
Wren hadn’t seen Max in almost five years. But for a wizzart, that was crowding.
“Your name came up in very un-casual conversation,” she said, sitting down in the chair, but not relaxing into it. Max seemed reasonably rational right now, but that didn’t mean a damn thing. She actually had learned a great deal from going off that cliff, most of which involved the fact that she couldn’t fly. She wasn’t eager to relearn that particular lesson.
“Whoever it was, they deserved killing.” He sat down on his sofa and put his feet up on a battered, wooden table. His socks were filthy, dirt and grass stains worn into the weave of the fabric, but they somehow managed not to stink.
“No killing,” she said. “Not yet, anyway.”
Even the damn crickets outside had been better than this. Silence wasn’t a thing: it was the absence of a thing, of noise. And her mind always wanted to know what had swallowed the noise, how, and when was it coming for her. — http://www.lauraannegilman.net/?page_id=58,