The Myth Manifestation (SPI Files 5)by Lisa Shearin

March 5, 2018 - 7:57 pm No Comments

The Myth Manifestation (SPI Files 5)
Author: Lisa Shearin
Publisher: NLA Digital LLC
Page count: 300pp
Release date: 16th Jan 2018
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The fifth in the SPI Files series starts in , and Agent Mac Fraser has been working with her partner Agent Ian Byrne for over a year now, developing a strong friendship and bond. In the first book, there was a hint of sexual tension between them, but as the series has developed, so have the predominant characters. Ian is now dating dryad/supernatural debunker Kylie, and Mac is dating goblin Rake. The name choice is deliberate I think – he is rather rakish.
SPI, the agency of the title, is a government agency with its HQ in New York, which acts as the supernatural equivalent of the FBI/CIA etc dealing with supernatural or mythical crimes whilst protecting innocent supernatural creatures and the general, unaware, human population.
Mac, the narrator, is a seer – she can see through the glamour or ‘face’ used by supernaturals to the veneer underneath. Now, I know some people say their boss is a dragon – well, in Mac’s case, she’s telling the truth.
So where the varied staff of SPI see boss Vivienne Sagadraco as a petite, glamorous older woman, Mac sees the three storey tall dragon that their boss actually is. Apart from that little fact, she’s a pretty cool boss, assisted ably in her job by centuries old vampire Alain Moreau.
In the last book, Vivienne had a well deserved holiday, leaving poor old Alain Moreau to deal with an otherworldly invasion of creatures from the black lagoon. Mac, whose defence and combat skills are growing, got some ass-kicking in in The Ghoul Vendetta, but as she says herself, she’s the one who finds the monsters then the commando teams led primarily by Roy and Sandra are sent in; “I’m like one of those little dogs who chases big trucks. In my case, though, the big trucks are bloodthirsty monsters.”
I was curious to see where this particular novel was going to go. Apart from the progression of the series, the cliffhangers and discoveries in the last book and the myriad of creatures put on show, there has been a change in publisher. Suffice to say, I’m not going to comment much other than being impressed that it looks like the same cover designer. And, this is my favourite cover yet – shot in glorious tentacle-colour. See what I did there?
This novel starts at the Regor Regency Hotel in Lower Manhattan, where select agents have been invited as “Exactly one hundred years ago this week, an agreement had been drafted to keep the off-world population from exploding and the humans of Earth from finding out about any of it. The terms of that agreement expired this week.”
In the 1900s, Earth became a sanctuary for other species. The lawyers had hashed out the agreements and everyone was gathered to sign the accords – a bit like an old Star Trek episode where bedlam could explode, SPI were there to make sure everyone lived, or at least stayed un-living. The goblins and elves were there, but vampires and werewolves got their own meetings. In fact there’s even an Ambassador Soren.
All geared up for work, Kitty, Ian, the Commandos and Rake are called urgently to the ballroom before the conference can start, by the arrival of goblin monsters ‘buka’ which appear out of nowhere and try to kidnap Rake.
The question remains; is this a personal vendetta against the powerful goblin, or is someone trying to put the kybosh on the signing of the accords?
As you’d expect with a SPI Files novel, mayhem ensues.
Rake is rescued but injured, the hotel is sealed in a magical lockdown by the evil doers, mythical creatures are materialising all over the hotel, no warning, to attack, maim or kill delegates. These range from small but irritating dwarven beer monsters to giant scorpions and sea serpents of sorts.
Whilst Mac, Ian and the team join forces with Rake and his security to find out what’s imprisoning them before food, or worse, beer, runs out, Boss Dragon Lady Vivienne Sagadraco sips her tea and manages the whole summit.
There are twists, turns, danger, romance, action but more importantly- lots of fun. This fifth instalment is laugh out loud funny, and I got the feeling Shearin has let herself go wild with this one.
I can’t wait to see where she goes with the sixth outing now that Rake has a kind of ‘promotion’ and inter species war and intrigue are foreshadowed.
Brilliantly addictive urban fantasy series.

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