3 stars

Devon Monk – Death and Relaxation (Ordinary Magic #1)

Police Chief Delaney Reed can handle the Valkyries, werewolves, gill-men and other paranormal creatures who call the small beach town of Ordinary, Oregon their home. It’s the vacationing gods who keep her up at night. With the famous Rhubarb Festival right around the corner, small-town tensions, tempers, and godly tantrums are at an all-time high. The last thing Delaney needs is her ex-boyfriend reappearing just when she’s finally caught the attention of Ryder Bailey, the one man she should never love. No, scratch that. The actual last thing she needs is a dead body washing ashore, especially since the dead body is a god. Catching a murderer, wrestling a god power, and re-scheduling the apocalypse? Just another day on the job in Ordinary. Falling in love with her childhood friend while trying to keep the secrets of her town secret? That’s gonna take some work.
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I absolutely loved Devon Monk’s House Immortal series so inspired by that I decided to read Death and relaxation. Unfortunately I didn’t like is as much.

The story takes place in a small tourist town which is also a vacation central for gods and otherworldly creatures. It is supposed to be an investigating story or I assumed it is because of the plot. However there isn’t too much interesting or efficient police work displayed. The story branches out in so many different directions that neither of them gets a really substantial meaning or elaborate detail. Most of the events just scratched the surface of the mystery. It is a little frustrating but this solution makes sure that the reader will continue the series, because I’m personally curious about the unrevealed secrets. This story is like an appetizer.

Beside the mystery, secrets and intrigue there is also romance and humor to the story. The main character , Delaney has a lot on her plate especially since she just getting the hang of her new responsibilities. Her personal life is a mess and she is lonely. Then comes Ryder, town heartthrob and Delaney long time crush. He distracts Delaney and she starts to concentrate on him a bit more than necessary in her current predicament.
Ryder is not just a distraction but keeps a lot of secrets, but keeping them also means he is hurting Delaney in the process. If you ask me he knows a lot more about the supernatural than he lets on. His character has the most potential in the book.

My biggest regret regarding the story is that Devon Monk created an imaginative and magical world but somehow the gods storyline is a little faulty. We don’t get to know about them enough. For me it felt remote, their existence isn’t well incorporated in the created world. At least in my opinion.

Nonetheless I see a lot of potential and fantasy in the story. I liked it but it needs a bit more juice. The story reminds me a bit of Jacqueline Carey’s Agent of Hel series so if you liked that then definitely give this one a try, too.


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