Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Release date: June 18, 2013
Series: Sierra Fox #3
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed by: Jenn
All it takes is one freak to turn everything into a demonic ritual.
Sierra Fox, Book 3
Sierra Fox’s relationship with sexy werewolf Jason Papan is going great, but it doesn’t take a psychic to tell her someone’s out to get her. As usual, though, there’s too much else going on to worry about just another assassination attempt.
In addition to the demon-possessed freaks that still want her, a whole new bucket of trouble has been dumped in her path. The half-sister Sierra never knew she had isn’t a typical teenager. Willow comes with supernatural baggage that grows heavier every time someone close to her dies. And the load gets bigger every time the police find the body of another young girl.
Now Sierra’s not only dealing with the target on her own back, but the one that a power-hungry woman has painted on her poltergeist-magnet sister. As she finds herself drawn into the thick of a murder investigation, Sierra must face her deepest fears and embrace the darkest of her powers to overcome the looming threat. Or the prediction of her death might just come true.
Warning: Spook catching: never gets any easier, neither does trying to avoid being killed by a shadowy organization. Always expect the unexpected—dangerous vampires, poltergeists and demon-obsessed freaks. At least the werewolf is pleasurably safe.
If you follow my other blog, you know that I have recently discovered the wonder that is Yolanda Sfetsos' Sierra Fox series, which is why I was so happy to have her take part in Supernatural Solstice. The added bonus for me? I got my greedy little hands on an early copy of ON PINS AND NEEDLES, the third book in the series. It's also the halfway point in a projected five-book series and so far, I think it's my favourite. But before I get into why, here's a quick explanation of the series (though Yolanda offers a better one in our interview):
Sierra Fox is a spook catcher in Sydney, Australia. She has the ability to communicate with ghosts and, when necessary, capture them to take them in. After all, in this world, ghosts are subject to laws too, since everyone knows about them. There are, however, other supernaturals, something Sierra learns in A PATCH OF DARKNESS, the first book in the series. She also learns that she's not a typical spook catcher, thanks to some mixed heritage she didn't know about. So Book 1 was all about Sierra learning the truth about herself and the world around her. In SPLIT AT THE SEAMS, the second book, Sierra discovers that she's caught the eye of some very bad people and spends most of that novel trying to figure out why they want her and how to avoid falling into their clutches. Now, in ON PINS AND NEEDLES, Sierra is trying to learn more about the people who are trying to capture her, figure out what's wrong with her ex-boyfriend Jonathan, repair her relationship with her apprentice Ebony, and deal with the revelation that she has a half-sister named Willow who comes with problems of her own. With all of these factors, you can expect a roller-coaster of a book! There's also a lot of mystery in this story -- and only some are solved by the end of the novel -- to accompany the nice-for-the-reader-but-not-for-Sierra danger and demonic activity. Sfetsos really knows how to build a book to a strong climax; ON PINS AND NEEDLES will hook you from the get-go and then just keeps ramping up the stakes.
Thankfully (for our spunky heroine), there are some bright spots in her life. Sierra's got Papan, an extremely sexy private investigator of a boyfriend who also happens to be a werewolf; Oren, her grandfather who happens to be an extremely powerful witch; and a host of fellow Hunters that she can call upon. I've really enjoyed watching Sierra's interpersonal relationships develop because they make her a stronger person and give us a nicely diverse cast of characters.
Since this is a new release, I can't talk about some of the most interesting moments in the book, which are mostly in the latter half of ON PINS AND NEEDLES. I wil say that my questions about Jonathan and what happened to him while he was in Europe are thoroughly explained and we see some neat stuff with his character. I'll also say that I quite like the introduction of Willow, Sierra's half-sister, because we get to learn a bit more about Sierra's mom's life after she abandoned Sierra and because she's an interesting character in her own right. Willow is a troubled kid and I found her story arc to be really strong.
Reading ON PINS AND NEEDLES is a wonderful urban fantasy tale and Sierra Fox is a great series. I strongly urge you to try these books if you haven't already and to get your hands on ON PINS AND NEEDLES as soon as possible if you're all caught up with the series.