Stephanie's Reviews > Dragon Justice

Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman
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Jul 15, 12

it was amazing

DRAGON JUSTICE Edgy entry in Laura Anne Gilman's PSI Series

Laura Anne Gilman
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Luna; Original edition (July 24, 2012)
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Luna; Original edition (August 1, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

In my time with PUPI, formally known as Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, I've seen a lot. Learned a lot. And not all of it's been good. But what we do—make people accountable for crimes committed with magic—is important work.Still. Even I need to take a break every now and again. Or so I've just been told (ordered).
So hey, vacation. Maybe I'll finally figure out what's going on with the "special bond" between me and the boss man, Benjamin Venec. Venec seems to like that idea—he's invited me down to join him on a jaunt to Philly. But no sooner do I arrive in the City of Brotherly Love than we're called in to look at a dead body.
And that's when life gets really complicated….
Dragon Justice at Amazon

First I must disclose that I am a total fangirl for this series. So unless Laura makes Bonnie kill kittens and puppies I will want to read any thing that comes out. There are a few series I feel this way about.

The premise of the series is really original: Besides determining some properties of electricity, Ben Franklin defined magical energy and principles. Magic is kind of ignored by "mundanes," but it is really well understood. It's is something you are born with. There are other species as well—the fatae.

Laura Anne Gilman's PSI series is always smart fiction: fun and sexy with complex plots and relationships. Add in the magic and you get her main character, Bonnie from whose point of view the series is told. She's young, trained in her talent, developing her strength and experience and she's bisexual. While Laura has made her bi, and hinted at some dates, she hasn't really put any relationships with other women in the books, at least not the steamy stuff. I asked her why and being a very nice person she responded:

Mainly, because it was never relevant to the plot. I could have hooked
her up with Sharon as easily as Pietr, but Pietr's personality was better suited to what she needed/where it would go. Truthfully, she flirts with far more people than she ever has sex with (as shown in the first book, when we're getting to know her).

Bonnie's not highly sexed - the physical aspects are enjoyable, but her
job comes first, and she isn't about to get into a relationship that's
going to harm that (as shown even with Venec). And she has a tendency to be a serial monogamist, so once partnered, even casually...

Venec is Bonnie's superior at the agency. He started it with another guy, Ian Stosser. Venec and Bonnie have a magic ordained connection that's constantly pulling them together. It's inevitable, but the tension involved is delicious.

The tools the PUPI use to solve crimes would make any police detective happy, if they were admissable in court! In DRAGON JUSTICE, the crimes are pretty heinous. The whole PUPI group has to stretch itself to solve this crime in a new way. There's also a tragedy in the PUPI office that necessitates everyone stepping up. Laura adds in a new aspect of Bonnie's talent in pre-cognitive dreaming.

I find Laura's work to have more depth than at first read. It's exciting, so I find myself consuming the book way too fast and then being sad when I am done. It's not edgy writing; she doesn't mess with form. But she doesn't pull her punches. She can write some pretty gory scenes, and some really sexy scenes too.But, like Laura Anne says Bonnie is more of a flirter.

I still don't feel as if I know Venec as well. I feels he's dark in some ways (security/military-type past), knows himself, he's quiet and doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve. He. Is. In. Control. But is that him or is it generic hero? He reminds me a bit of Adam, Mercy's husband in Pat Brigg's Mercedes Thompson series.

Bonnie is a well-developed character, and she quite self-aware. She's confident in assessing her own emotions and experience and isn't often pushed into doing something she doesn't want to do. Bonnie doesn't want to train trainees, become a member of management or mentor another magical talent. Being so much herself and enjoying her youth, makes giving up some control to the current running between her and Venec difficult. She wants to be connected to her lovers but not committed, yet. Two people in control having to give some of it up is pretty volatile. I think once they are together there won't be other lovers for either of them.

When I look at a new entry in a series, I am also evaluating the series. For me, this a must read series. The writing is great, the premise is original and Bonnie is such a modern-girl. This is a spin-off of Laura's Retrievers series so the landscape Laura creates is really well-developed and has great continuity. There's darkness, but there's snarky humor: funny species, and exciting situations. I don't think this stands alone outside the series, although you could probably miss a volume and still get this one. But why would you want to? I think once you start this series you'll be as hooked as I am.

If you like smart urban fantasy: Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Stacia Kane this is a MUST READ. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a thriller with paranormal elements.

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