I borrowed audio copies of W.R. Gingell‘s the City Between Series through Hoopla—all 10 books (Between Jobs, Between Shifts, Between Floors, Between Frames, Between Homes, Between Cases, Between Walls, Between Decisions, Between Family, and Between Kings.) And I pretty much binged the whole series (including the little short’s on Gingell’s website). So, I opted for a single review, instead of 10 individual ones.
Description of book one, but it works for the whole series too:
When you get up in the morning, the last thing you expect to see is a murdered guy hanging outside your window. Things like that tend to draw the attention of the local police, and when you’re squatting in your parents’ old house until you can afford to buy it, another thing you can’t afford is the attention of the cops.
Oh yeah. Hi. My name is Pet. It’s not my real name, but it’s the only one you’re getting. Things like names are important these days.
And it’s not so much that I’m Pet. I am a pet. A human pet: I belong to the two Behindkind fae and the pouty vampire who just moved into my house. It’s not weird, I promise—well, it is weird, yeah. But it’s not weird weird, you know?
As I said, I binged this series, one book after another; without a breath between. Which means I didn’t pause to review each one individually. So, this review will be for all 10 books collectively.
I quite enjoyed this. I’ve not come across a lot of urban fantasy set in Tasmania and I really appreciated the little splashes of normal culture that are only notable because I’m listening to it as an outsider—like referring to someone looking like they come from the mainland or going to Woolies for groceries, or the regional slang (“You’ve got kangaroos in the top paddock” was a notable favorite). I loved it and the narrator—Zehra Jane Naqvi— did an amazing job bringing this to life (especially when you factor a Korean-speaking character in too).
Pet has such an endearing personality and voice and her three psychos kept me interested. I love the found family aspect of the series. Pet found herself a whole new family…or created it rather. She’s the glue that holds them together.
I will admit that quite a lot is left unexplained in the world in the beginning. So, I just had to force myself to be comfortable with a certain amount of not knowing that I’d have preferred not to. But it was still a lot of fun, with a slow-building reveal over 10 books. (And I felt a lot firmer in my understandings by the end.)
The characters remained consistent throughout, the over-arching plot ties nicely together, and the whole thing ends well. I did regret that some of the bigger characters seemed to have a lot less time on page, even if their importance wasn’t diminished, as the series progressed. (I missed them and the group’s banter.) And while certain aspects of the ending were sad, there was a wonderful sense of forgiveness and acceptance of human foibles.
All in all, for a bit of absurdist, urban fantasy fun, this worked a treat and I’ll be looking for more from this author.
I posted this to Instagram when I was roughly halfway through the series. Even then you could tell I was having a lot of fun with the series.
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