Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey

This is my review of Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey.

The Book
This is the second novel in the Agent of Hel trilogy. I don’t think I’ll spoil the first one, because it’s sort of self-contained. You’ll obviously get a lot more out of it when you’ve read the first one, but the only over-arching story is easily picked up on in this book. So it’s set in the little Michigan town of Pemkowet. It is about a young woman named Daisy Johansson who works for the Pemkowet police as a liaison with Hel, the Norse God of the Underworld, who lives under Pemkowet. The town is full of supernatural creatures, vampires, ghouls, fairies, brownies, pretty much everything. At the end of the first book Daisy meets a guy named Sinclair Palmer, who she starts dating, and in this book his past and family come to haunt him. And Daisy has to help him, because if she doesn’t his family will pretty much fuck over the whole town.

I really like these books, I think Carey is very clever and she knows how to write a paranormal crime book like nobody’s business.

I like that Daisy is snarky, and tough, and she’s self-assured, and confident. She is also strong enough to step up and admit to her failures and to ask for help when she’s out of her depth. She’s also the daughter of a human woman and an incubus, or a demon, so she has a tail, and she’s always in danger of tearing down the inviolate wall between the earth and hell, if she gets too emotional. It’s something she’s always thinking about, and it makes her even more badass.

Carey is great at world building. This is obviously set in our world, but it’s full of supernatural creatures. She is very confident in her mythology, and she’s clearly done her research. The ghouls, are awesome. They are basically undead because both hell and heaven rejected them when they died, so they came back. They live between life and death, like vampires, but they feed off emotions, not blood. And they can die, and come back. And they’re hot, and sexy, and Stefan Ludovic get on with your bad self.

I like Cody Fairfax, he is Daisy’s crush, and they worked together in the previous book. He’s a werewolf, and he’s hot, and wolf-y. He’s a bit judge-y. He’s told Daisy he can’t be with her, because werewolves can’t have cubs with others than other wolves. Which is fair enough, and go him for being honest. He’s still super jealous and judge-y over how Daisy lives her life and whom she spends her time with. I mean, he’s hot, but if you can’t be with her, let her go and leave her be!

I like it, it’s frank, and strong, and it’s very good and honest about how it talks about sex, Daisy is very open about her sexual experiences, and her body. Which is why it’s very jarring when there’s some really weird slut shaming in the middle of the whole thing. Daisy’s best friend has a sister named Bethany who lives with the vampires. She basically hopes to become a vampire, and is continually referred to as a blood slut. She’s also referred to as a slut for behavior she displayed before she moved into the vampire house. Now Bethany comes from an abusive household and lives in a tiny town where everyone knows everyone, and is shunned by everyone for being sexually active when she was 14, so clearly a house where people don’t judge her, and welcome her, is attractive. I feel like she doesn’t get the credit or compassion she needs. She’s an addict from an abusive home, don’t fucking slut shame her! And it seems so out of place.


Apart from that I thought it was fun, and good, and I liked it, and I’m looking forward to reading the last one.