This is the first book in the Retrievers UF series.
I was inspired to get this book because of SciFiGuy’s recommendation.

Genevieve “Wren” Valere is a witch. Her specialty is tracking things and staying unremarkable. Her business partner is Sergei Didier who seems to be a mild-mannered, if eccentric, gallery owner. Together they are Retrievers. They find things that have gone missing and bring them back without asking any questions from their clients. Wren traces the things, magically or not, and retrieves them while Sergei gets them clients and handles the money. They have been in business together for ten years.

This time, they’ve been hired to find a magical cornerstone which was stolen right out a building in the middle of New York. Wren scouts the place but can’t directly trace the thief. So, she and Sergei have to do it the old fashioned way. But the more they know about the case, the more difficult it gets.

When I ordered this book, I had no idea it was a Luna imprint which is a Romance SF line. I noticed the logo only when I had book in my hands. I don’t mind romance as a sub-plot but I don’t really care for it as the main plot and so I was a bit worried. However, the romance between Wren and Sergei is really low-key. They’ve recently started to be attracted to each other and they angst about it a bit, but don’t manage to do anything about it.

Both Wren and Sergei are loners and have trouble trusting other people. They both hold secrets from the other. Wren is happy to befriend non-humans while Sergei don’t like them at all. Also, Wren is a magic user and Sergei is not. They complement each other nicely.

The world is full of non-humans called the fatae. However, they seem to be created by magic-using humans rather than being natural creatures. They have clans such as piskies, demons, and angels. The ones that are shown in the book don’t look like humans. For example, P.B. is a demon who looks like a polar bear complete with fangs and claws.

The humans who can use magic are a tiny minority but have still managed to fracture into squabbling factions (ah, humanity!). The most mages are ruled by the Council who is made up of three men and one woman who have both magical power and mundane power. Freejacks are mages who don’t want to be ruled by the Council’s iron fist. Often enough, they have to still obey the Council’s demands. Wren is a Freejack. Then there are the wizzards who have gone insane from using magic and are a danger to everyone else.

The fatae and the Freejacks have a social network called the Cosa Nostradamus where they exchange information and gossip.

Unfortunately, the world-building had some inconsistencies. This is world where magic is supposed to be a secret and most people don’t believe in magic. Unfortunately, that’s a very difficult conspiracy to maintain when 1, magic is showy (people levitating, teleporting, moving objects without touching them, attacking with energy balls coming from their hands etc.), 2, non-humans are part of the society (P.B. is a messenger walking around on the streets of New York, the girl with hoofs instead of feet works in an ice cream shop), and 3, magic-users offer their services to ordinary humans. If the humans don’t know that they’re good at their magical jobs, why would they hire them?

Also, because people don’t supposedly believe in magic, government doesn’t either and there’s no secret government branch putting their noses into the magic community. Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of how people in power operate.

Thirdly, Wren make an off-hand comment that people aren’t interested in ghosts and by extension the possibility of an afterlife. That just doesn’t sound like the human race I know.

Some reviewers said that the book is slow. Yes, the pace is leisurely most of the time but it fits the writing style. This is a book where the main characters have the time to eat, shower, and sleep.

The book is written in the third person. The main point-of-view character is Wren and the major secondary POV is Sergei. There are also short chapters from the POV of the bad guys.

Entertaining and readable.

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