With well-earned cynicism, high school junior Jillian is trying to carry on Umbra Investigations, her absent father’s business and area of “expertise”: he’s a paranormal researcher, or, in Jillian’s words, a trafficker “in bullshit.”
She doesn’t believe a scrap of it, but she needs to pay the bills—particularly the electricity, as they have cut her power off. Though the book opens with a hokey and cynical interaction with a client, the stakes rise quickly with the arrival of gorgeous and flirty Sky Ramsey, who horns his way into her investigation into a missing person, possibly abducted by a succubus. Adventures, sometimes violent, and romance ensue. Jillian’s angry at her dad’s abandonment of her (to gather paranormal artifacts from around the world) after the death of her mother, and she hates the babble that has surrounded her most of her life. This combination of feisty and hurt provides Jillian with a somewhat stock appeal. The increasingly weird case tests her assumptions about more than the paranormal, taking readers straight into a world of unexplained phenomena and leading Jillian to understand both her history and herself a little bit better. Some revelations are telegraphed, while others sneak in. Klein builds her underworld with both logic and farce, paralleling Jillian’s own skepticism and quick wit.
Not a meal but an entertainingly tasty snack on the light side of the genre. (Paranormal romance. 12-15)