Iron & Velvet

Iron & Velvet - Alexis Hall


A fun read in several ways. I quite liked the tone in general, as well as some of the characters. I think Elise remains my favourite, even though she doesn't appear that much, and I can only side with Julian when she says, basically, that

"very few people manage to give life to something inanimate, it's a great feat of ancient, difficult magic... and most of the time, they use their creation as a sex toy.

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" But then, I'm always partial towards


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. And London, because I love this city. Blood magic and creepy fairies and a hive mind of rats. And there's a Geat vampire prince. Seriously, how fucking cool is that?

However, after a while, some of the recurrent sass became a little, well, too recurrent—notably Kate's "Huh" and her tendency to underline the crappy situations in which she put herself in ("Here lies Kate Kane, blah blah. Beloved daughter. Sorely missed."). She didn't strike me as a good investigator, spending too much time running here and there grasping at straws, too easily distracted, and I felt that the lead she needed rested too much on happenstance, and was made for plot convenience, rather than something a talented investigator could deduce (or maybe she should have deduced it, considering her origins?). At times I wanted to bang my head and call a too stupid to live on her.

I really didn't connect with the Kate/Julian relationship. I do get lust, physical attraction, spur-of-the-moment desire, but I tend to find it hard to believe when it turns into strong ties in barely a few days. Certainly not when 800-year-old immortals are concerned (I'd expect them to be more jaded about that). The "sweeting" bit got on my nerves pretty quickly—but I have a hard time with pet names in general. Also, every other female wanted to do Kate, or had been her girlfriend, it seems, and this is treading too much into Mary Sue territory to my liking. As for the sex scenes, they weren't so exciting—too much purple prose and weird metaphors ("She lay underneath me like an unexploded grenade"... How to put it... Uhm, no?).

I still don't know if the hints at other stories (Patrick, for instance) are intentional, winks, or lack of inspiration. They're fun, in a way, but... I don't know.

2 or 2.5 stars, not sure. I can't say I disliked this novel, because it does contain elements that make me go squee; however, I can't say I loved it either.