I really need to start following authors on Facebook or Twitter! Partially, I just don’t have the patience to check weekly to see if there are updates to a story published by chapter, but I also just forget about these things. As a result, when I checked on the Ilona Andrews website, I discovered that not only where they already a few chapters into a new Innkeeper Chronicles novel, but I had completely missed the entire third novel since I had no clue who this Maud character was.
After the successful conclusion of the peace talks in the second novel, Dina is enjoying some much needed calm when she receives a message from her sister asking for help. Her sister Maud married a vampire years ago and has been living on his home planet with their daughter so Dina has some catching up to do to figure out how her sister ended up on an exile planet inaccessible to visitors. Fortunately, her friend and ally Arland is also a member of a powerful vampire house and can easily travel to the planet without any political hindrances. As a result, he helps her find her niece and her sister, now widowed, and bring them home to Earth, and Dina’s inn, Gertrude Hunt Bed and Breakfast.
As if that wasn’t enough, Dina quickly finds herself embroiled in a galactic incident. She agrees to take in a guest whose entire species has been targeted for annihilation by a neighboring planet on a religious crusade. With only a thousand Hiru remaining, they have pooled their resources to ask Archivarius for a solution in finding a new home where they can be safe and avoid extinction. Unfortunately, the Hiru’s presence doesn’t remain secret for long, and Dina soon finds a group of religious fanatics with the single goal of killing her guest on her door step.
The story also continues the developing Sean-Dina romance. While Arland had at one time been a bit of a rival, a certain new character attracts Arland’s interest, so Dina and Sean can focus on each other and how to deal with Sean’s PTSD. The novel also introducing a new potential concern for innkeepers. Even with the stakes involved, the Innkeeper Chronicles usually strike me as the fluffiest of the Andrews novels (kind of odd given the persecution described above but despite the potential heavy subject matter, the tone is lighter), especially compared to some of the more grim parts of Kate Daniels. They are slowly building up to a large story line so I am curious to see where some of these threads end up going but also like the leisurely pace and have no rush for the stories to go darker or deeper any time soon.