Book 1 in the Grimm Agency series
Author J. C. Nelson
Narrated by C.S.E Cooney
Publication date Jun 30, 2015 | Running time 9 hrs
Also available as Mass MArket Paperback and in E-Book Formats:
304 pages | Publisher: Ace (July 29, 2014)
Audiobook provided by publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.
Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.
Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending . . .
Free Agent (Novel – Grim Agency 1)
When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…
I should probably have learned by now that when I am dealing with a new-to-me urban fantasy world, I need to do it in print. I spent the first few hours of this wondering why the Grim Reaper, with whom I confused this Grimm, wasn’t killing people or “taking souls home.” The rest of this book, about an indentured servant working for the man in the magic mirror, Grimm, confused me similarly:
- Was Marissa’s magic cell phone back to Grimm through her bracelet or her compact?
- Her parental abandonment is stated but other arrangements were hinted at.
- Was she pretty or plain, does she have magic or not, and the guy she falls for, what is he?
- Fae, fairies, gin, First-rate and second-rate nobility — there’s a very structured class system but I did not get it.
I imagine the story would have been much better read in print than listened to in audio. I certainly thought a lot of it was inventive; especially Grimm’s ability to jump from one surface to another. It reminds me of when I first saw people talking on nearly invisible headsets on the street and thought they were crazy people talking to who or whatever.
Marissa should be a more likeable character: her backstory should inspire sympathy. But she is so hard and acts so tough that it is only through her acts of rescue and heroics that we see there is probably a decent person beneath the hard shell. Even then, she often attributes her behavior to a profit motive. I do not understand her attraction to the guy to whom she is ultimately interested, it would be like falling in love with the guy with the worst table manners ever. And, I never understood what happens with his status of human or magical. Other things I did not get is if this is a world wherein regular humans know about the magic world, the differences between the fae and fairies, and a curse on Marissa.
I enjoyed the difference between magical money, called “glitter,” and mundane money or items of value. And I liked how one accrued and stored up glitter. And I liked the development of a real friendship between Marissa and one of her clients. All her other “friends” are ambivalent or worse.
In essence, this book is important for setting up the series, but that made it a hard book to understand on audio. Whether the remaining books are easier to listen to or read I cannot say. What about you: have you read this series? What do you think about it in print or on audio?