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The Grendel Affair

(SPI Files #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,064 ratings  ·  418 reviews
We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…
When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change m
Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Ace
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  4,064 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

BR with Sarah, Robin, Catherine, Shelly, Carmen, Gavin, Asya & Monty Cupcake starting June 15, 2015

Actual rating: 2.5 ← the only reason I'm not giving this book a 2-star rating is because I loved book #0.5 so much.

A quick read and a big, fat MEH.

What the hell happened between Lucky Charms and this instalment??? Gone are the humour and total wackiness. Gone are the hungover/stoned elves, the gargoyles, the stoned/horny/sex-shifting cross-dressing leprechauns, the flying monkeys and the Di
Robin (Bridge Four)
I liked the prequel so much in Night Shift that I must continue on with friends Sarah, Catherine, Shelly, Carmen, Gavin, Asya, Monty Cupcake and oOSarahOo. Buddy read begins Jun 15th on Buddies Books and Baubles

The SPI files wasn’t on my reading radar at all until I read Lucky Charms a few months ago in an anthology with a few other writers I was familiar with. It was the story I liked the most in the anthology and I was totally ready to jump into Makenna’s world of supernatuaral creatures and c
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
This book came to my attention after I read, and loved, the Lucky Charms novella in the Night Shift anthology. Unfortunately this first full novel in the SPI Files series was not half so much fun. It lacked the same fast paced action, witty humor, and craziness that I loved while reading Lucky Charms. The Grendel Affair was not a bad book and it certainly had its amusing moments but I was definitely left with a sense of disappointment after it failed to live up to my high expectations.

Makenna F
2020 Re-Read (Part of my Pandemic Read-a-thon)

I'm doing something that I don't usually do, I'm bumping my rating of this book up to 4 stars. Maybe it’s the times we are living in, but I really, really enjoyed this the second time around. This book has all the things that I enjoy in urban fantasy, namely bloodthirsty beasts, bad-ass heroes tracking them, a mystery to solve, plus a quirky main character who is willing to kick butt while making smart ass remarks. And it never hurts to have a Berser
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Quirky and energetic, The Grendel Affair is the first book which kicks off the new SPI Files series by Lisa Shearin, featuring a mash-up of police/government agent procedural elements with urban fantasy. Think The X-Files meets Men in Black -- except instead of aliens, Supernatural Protection & Investigations is in charge of tracking paranormal creatures and keeping the public safe from them. Unfortunately, they also don't
Makenna and Ian work for the SPI battling against creatures of the night and ensuring they stay there. Now there is a new monster on the block, it's big. it's bad and humans are on the menu. It's up to them to stop it before a new predator claims the top of the food chain.


I picked up this book by accident. In 2013 I read Magic Lost, Trouble Found by the same author and calling a spade a spade, it was so terrible that I swore I'd never read anything by Lisa Shearin again. Three years later and
ֆɦɛʟʟʏ ȶɦɛ քǟȶʀօռ ֆǟɨռȶ օʄ ƈʊʀʍʊɖɢɛօռʟʏ ƈʀօռɛֆ

Well, I'm putting this aside for now. I don't think I'm in the mood for it. Stopped at page 50. There's nothing wrong with the writing or plot. It seems a decent setup for an UF series, but at the same time, there also doesn't seem to be anything great about it. It appears to be an average investigative-type UF and I think I am just getting burnt out on this type of book. So, maybe I'll try it again later.

Buddy Read with the Buddies Books and Baubles group.

Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A perfect read for Molly Harper fans, for everyone who loves comedies and fun in their preferred genre. Unfortunately (for me), I'm not one of those readers.

Where other people see funny situations, I see only idiocy and stupidity. My fault, of course. But this made reading this book boring. I wanted to kick the SPI for being a ridiculous organization unable to train its personnel: this is a secret, super, paranormal agency whose only seer is totally (and I mean totally) untrained and uninformed.
Jody McGrath
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great. It was full of action, but it explained everything really well for a urban fantasy cop book. They didn't expect you to have a lot of knowledge going in, but they didn't assume you were an idiot either. I like that the main character had a skill that was unique, but wasn't good at like anything else. Definitely not a Mary Sue. She also wasn't a Damsel in Distress though either. She was funny. Her partner took a little bit to grow on me, but the rest of her crew was ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Ridiculously entertaining.

It needs a better editor, it is full of stereotypes. I think it has every creature (at least mentioned) you've seen in an urban fantasy, but none of it matters. I had fun.

I wanted to read this after being introduced to the SPI world in Night Shift anthology. There you can read about the first case the main character worked on. Some sentences are the same in both stories, so you won't miss much if you skip Lucky Charms. Well, not much except one hot scene in a club.

As f
Dr susan
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have tried to post this review three times, and Goodreads has lost it three times. I would usually give up, but I like Grendel Affair too much to do that....

I usually do not discuss specific plot points in my reviews, but I am making an exception because I feel The Grendel Affair has gotten some unwarranted criticism.
Makenna Fraser is a seer; she can see supernatural creatures no matter how they hide their nature. In her world, that is what seers do. They do not see the future, the past, or t
Kara Babcock
I am a big fan of Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series. I was stoked to hear she had a new series, this time urban fantasy set in our world, coming out. That was … three years ago. This is book one. What happened?

Life happened. The Grendel Affair came out during my last year teaching in England. No problem, I figured—I’ll buy it when I move back in August. Then August came around, and I didn’t. I was struggling to get through the backlog of books that had somehow shown up in my room in Canada whi
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, action
I'm a little flummoxed by my reaction to this one. It's not a bad book...I give it 4 stars, but there are things about it that, gnawed at me.

For one thing our protagonist is pretty incompetent at surviving. She is the "agency's" on trick pony. She's a "seer". She sees through all kinds of illusions, veils and pretty much anything else. When it comes to shoot-outs, melee battles, martial arts, blades or "what-ever" she needs rescuing...a lot.

Now, she's eager to learn and her partner (the coming r
*Source* Library
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5-4

*My Thoughts*

The Grendel Affair is the first installment in the SPI Files by Lisa Shearin, the author who previously wrote the Raine Benares series. Shearin's protagonist is MaKenna Fraser, a seer who is new to the group known as SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations). For new readers of this series like me, you probably should read Shearin's short novella called Lucky Charms which was released as part of the Night Shift Anthology.

Carolyn F.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved that Makenna was a normal person in these books - she admitted eating two cookies at least three different times while at work and the picture that was taken was of her covered in powdered sugar (happens many times - I love wedding cookies). I also love how she admits that just because she was raised with guns does not make her an expert on when to shoot someone. And I especially love how she tries to keep her sense of humor while all kinds of poop happens around her. Great book!
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “In case of emergency, lift shirt, pull .44”

Meet Makenna Fraser. Recently arrived in NYC and looking to spread her wings, she is instead recruited by the SPI (Supernatural and Protection Investigation). Makenna is a seer, a rarity in the paranormal world that leaves her feeling rather cosseted by the agency. Kept on the side lines with no defense training, she even gets a pseudo babysitter in the way of her partner, age
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked the idea of using a monster inspired by Beowulf, but apart from that detail both the overall setting and the supernatural agency set-up felt generic.

That wouldn't have been a huge problem for me if the characters were more compelling, but Makenna and company all suffered from a bad case of "root for us because we're the heroes of the story." I couldn't push myself into caring about her at all, and she had no sense of chemistry with the other folks in the book.

Mac's background and suppose
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of pulpy urban fantasy
Brainycat's 5 "B"s :
blood: 4
boobs: 2
bombs: 4
bondage: 1
blasphemy: 2
Stars : 3.5
Bechdel Test : PASS
Deggan's Rule : FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test : FAIL

Full review at booklikes.
MsMiz (Tina)
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I have always enjoyed Lisa Shearin's stories and the beginning of this new series is no exception. We are introduced to Mac, who has a special gift - she can see supernatural beings. But what you will enjoy about her and the story is that she is realistic about her shortcomings, she is funny (as well as the rest of the cast), and she does what needs to be done. There is none of this grandstanding, monologuing (especially internally), self deprecating, bullshit that we see a lot with female MCs. ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, urban-fantasy
4-1/2 stars: This book was so much fun! Lots of action but with a solid storyline to back it up. Mac is a great character. I love her sense of humor and her go-get-'em attitude. I also love that she knows her limits. She's not a badass but she wants to be. She doesn't do stupid stuff and she doesn't whine and moan that she's not as well-trained as the rest of the agents. She wishes she could do more and is ready, willing and eager to learn (just as soon as this crisis is over... that is, if she ...more
Olga Godim
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
I liked this author’s previous series about Raine Benares. When I learned that she’s started a new series, an urban fantasy, I grabbed the first book. And what a romp!
The protagonist Makenna Fraser is a former sleazy tabloid journalist and a ‘seer’. She can see supernatural creatures through any disguise or magical veil. Now she’s working for Supernatural Protection & Investigation agency (SPI), and her boss is a dragon lady. Literally – her boss is a female dragon disguised as a lady. As the eq
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed Lucky Charms, the prequel novella to the SPI Files, when I read it in the Night Shift anthology last year. It was one of those stories that completely took me by surprise and it had me laughing out loud all the way through so of course I was looking forward to continuing the series. I picked up The Grendel Affair expecting a quirky and fun read and to a certain extent that's what I got but unfortunately it didn't quite reach the heights of the novella. In fact, because
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

I have to admit that when I saw the cover for THE GRENDEL AFFAIR I almost overlooked it as it "screamed" police procedural/sci-fi, which is a really hard sell for me. Luckily I then noticed the author quote from Ilona Andrews proclaiming it to be "urban fantasy at its best." Well then I knew I had to read the blurb and more than likely the book, as she's one of my favorite authors and is very up front about giving out very few book recommend
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
After reading the start of this series in Night Shift I was looking forward to checking out this book and wasn't let down.

I really liked how SPI was as an organization and loved Mac's place in it. She is so determined to fit in and do her job. I love how Mac manages to surprise her co-workers with different ways she comes up with to deal with things. I loved the bit with the tractor and that Mac had a throwaway thought to think of her heritage.

These monsters, the Grendels, were so gross. All of
going on the 'to-read' shelf instead of 'in queue' - too many iffy reviews from people i trust...
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cross-posted at booklikes.

Makenna "Mac" Fraser, a transplant from small-town North Carolina, is just beginning to adjust to life in the Big Apple. Getting used to her new job as a Seer for the SPI (Supernatural Protection and Investigations) is a trickier prospect. As the only Seer in the region, Mac's ability to penetrate the veils that hide the supernatural world from the rest of humanity are practically invaluable to SPI investigations. The short, blonde, frail Mac isn't exactly tough cri
Angela Verdenius
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this very much. It was different to a lot of UFs I've read, and promsies to be a good series!
Apparently, there is a prequel to this called Lucky Charms, which was released as part of the Night Shift Anthology. I didn't feel lost, but I am curious.

Makenna (Mac) Fraser's special ability allows her to see through any disguise, shield, or spell used by the supernatural. Makenna is smart, snarky and has good instincts. That doesn't mean she isn't scared shitless most of the time, but she has a good head on her shoulders.  She is level-headed and an asset to the team. Ian her partner is a lit
~ 4.5 stars ~

Short recap for my own benefit:
(view spoiler)
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Lisa is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Raine Benares novels and The SPI Files.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens, teapots & teacups both vintage and modern. She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her husband, four spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and enough deer and woodland creatures to fill a Disney movie.

Other books in the series

SPI Files (7 books)
  • The Dragon Conspiracy (SPI Files, #2)
  • The Brimstone Deception (SPI Files, #3)
  • The Ghoul Vendetta (SPI Files, #4)
  • The Myth Manifestation (SPI Files, #5)
  • The Phoenix Illusion (SPI Files, #6)
  • The Solstice Countdown (SPI Files, #7)

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“I was used to shooting beer cans off the back of an old washing machine, or at things that ran away from me that I intended to eat—not things that ran toward me with the intent of eating me.

I’d found that to be a significant difference.”
“I stand guard,” Yasha said. He got out of the SUV and pulled a sawed-off shotgun out from under his seat.
“And keep our exit open,” Ian told him.
Yasha grinned crookedly. “Don’t I always?” He looked at me and his grin broadened. “Scream if something jumps at you.”
I tried for a grin; it felt more like a grimace. “Don’t I always?”
More quotes…