A review by Nalini Haynes
Corpselight is Verity Fassbinder book 2; in book one, Verity learns she’s half-fae and her father was a monster, even by fae standards. She ends up policing the fae, ensuring the peace and the secret of their existence is kept from mortals.
Book one also had time for romance, which was convenient because in book 2, like in the Parasol Protectorate, our kick-ass heroine finds herself pregnant. Like in the aforementioned PP, we enjoy pregnancy humor.
Our rotund detective continues her work, trying to learn why a mortal insurance claimant would take out supernatural insurance and why she needed to claim on said supernatural insurance twice in two months.
Between corpselights floating in the garden, a murderer out to get Verity and her growing family, and trying to figure out what the sludge monster is, Verity has her hands full.
Corpselight uses pedophilia, stalking and domestic violence as motivators, without showing the events themselves. The text passes judgement: none of these are considered ‘sexy’ or excusable in any way, they are all considered horrific.
I admit to being off my face on painkillers while waiting for surgery to remove a rather large cyst while I read Corpselight, hence also the gap between reading and reviewing. This may have colored my recollection of the story. Just, y’know, full disclosure.
Corpselight reminded me of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, partially because pregnant protagonist, partially because supernatural themes, humor and danger. The differences are that Corpselight is darker, with added depth due to added length, and more diverse supernatural creatures requiring research, not merely following the clues to catch the perpetrator.
While I enjoyed Corpselight — urban fantasy is a love of mine — previously developed characters are reduced to two dimensions; David (Verity’s partner) feels one-dimensional. Brisbane felt like a character in the first book but the second book feels like it could have been set anywhere.
Corpselight is a fun contemporary urban fantasy with a kick-ass half-fae woman detective; the humor and horror kept me turning pages when I couldn’t finish any other books due to illness. Recommended to fans of the Parasol Protectorate and the Dresden Files.
Rating: 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars
Format: paperback, 400 pages
Imprint: Jo Fletcher Books (Quercus)