November 29, 2017
Shade Chaser, by Clara Coulson
Two months after the infamous Etruscan incident, it’s back to normal for DSI—as normal as life can be when you hunt monsters on a salary. The rest of Nick Riker’s elite team has finally returned from France. Cooper Lee has healed from his nightmare trip to the Eververse. The remnants of the battles with Charun and Tuchulcha have been swept under the rug. And the exploding boathouse in Holden Park has (almost) been rebuilt. All is calm in Aurora, Michigan. Until a grisly triple murder in one of the city’s most popular bars destroys the delicate balance between three powerful forces. A high-ranking werewolf, a seasoned wizard, and a former mayor turned watchmaker wind up in body bags, and their deaths pit the ICM, DSI, and Aurora’s largest wolf pack against each other in a blame game of epic proportions. And as the accusations spiral out of control, threatening a supernatural war on Aurora’s streets, it’s up to Riker’s team to keep the peace before blood stains the sidewalks. Meanwhile, Cal is struggling to overcome the consequences of his trip to the Etruscan Underworld. Haunted by visions of the future in the form of disorienting déjà vu, he’s terrified he’ll fail his team at crucial moments. But with the threat of violent riots hanging in the air, Cal has no choice but to power through and pray for the best. Because one misstep on this case could mean the downfall of the city he loves.
I pretty much knew that Shade Chaser would be a great read. I’ve yet to encounter something by Clara Coulson that I haven’t liked. Part police procedural, part supernatural, and all urban fantasy, Coulson delivers an engaging read with a rookie protagonist who actually learns from past mistakes. Unlike Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, who makes the same mistakes over and over, our favorite “hot crow” makes all new mistakes. We want Cal to win the girl, defeat the supernatural, and prove his mettle within a team of grizzled veterans.
I enjoyed the subtle politicking in this book. I don’t know that the author specifically was commenting on our world, but in Aurora, Michigan, the specter of politics threatens to derail the fragile balance of the various factions. Accusations and the blame game mirror current (as of the book writing) events and scandals.
Of all the characters in the City of Crows, Erica is by far my favorite, and I hope we get to see more Erica/Cal action in future books. Like it’s predecessor, Soul Breaker, I’m rating Shade Chaser four out of five stars for a great urban fantasy read. I look forward to reading more books in the series. All three books are available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers, so get to reading!
Clara Coulson was born and raised in backwoods Virginia, USA. Currently in her mid-twenties, Clara holds a degree in English and Finance from the College of William & Mary and recently retired from the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC to return to the homeland and pick up the quiet writing life. Clara spends most of her time (when she’s not writing) dreaming up new story ideas, studying Japanese, and slowly reading through the several-hundred-book backlog on her budding home library. If she’s not occupied with any of those things, then you can probably find her playing with her two cats or lurking in the shadows of various social media websites. In the publishing sphere, Clara is currently occupied with the City of Crows urban fantasy series, and its companion series, Lark Nation.