Title: Hellbound Guilds & Other Misdirections (The Guild Codex: Warped #2)
Author: Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Release Date: June 4th, 2021
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
(Another) New Favorite!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Agent Kit Morris. Has a nice ring, doesn’t it?
It’s a big step up from “wanted criminal” or “that weird con-artist guy with weirder psychic powers”—both of which recently applied to me. But my promotion to MagiPol agent comes with a few drawbacks.
First, supremely talented and effortlessly gorgeous Agent Lienna Shen won’t agree to a dinner date with me. Second, my new assignment has pitted me against a guild with very bad taste in pets. Third, those pets are demons, and those demons want to kill me.
My psychic magic is great for conning people. It doesn’t do jack shit against hellish orcs. If I screw this up, my dinner date will be with a demon—and I’ll be the dinner. Even better, I kind of suspect this supposedly straightforward assignment is actually the tip of an unholy iceberg of power-hungry malefactors bent on destroying all law and order in the city.
I should probably mention that last part to my boss.
THE GUILD CODEX: WARPED
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors (#1)
Hellbound Guilds & Other Misdirections (#2)
More series in the Guild Codex world:
The Guild Codex: Spellbound
The Guild Codex: Demonized
The Guild Codex: Unveiled
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“This harrowing adventure […] seemed more preposterous than the last. They should make a movie about it. Or, even better, a TV show. Kit Morris: Warp Master Extraordinaire, starring Tom Hardy. No, wait, he was too broody. Maybe Chris Evans was available.”
The eagerly awaited second Warped book is here and man, it did not disappoint!
Hellbound Guilds & Other Misdirections, the second book in The Guild Codex: Warped series, really was everything I was expecting and more. And can I just say how much I love the collaboration between Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen for this series? The world and writing style is everything I know and love about Annette Marie books, and yet Rob’s influence adds that extra zing that adds a fresh and new touch to the story without it feeling like something else entirely. A great collab indeed!
In this installment we’re reunited with Kit, our (well, mine anyway) fave movie buff, funny guy and wanted fugitive turned MPD agent. Though not really an agent yet, as he still needs to pass his exam. We’re immediately thrown into the action and the action just keeps on coming as Kit and Lienna take on a mission that has them jumping from one dangerous situation right into another one. And while we’re at it, can I just praise the writing for these action scenes? They flow so smoothly, it’s like watching an action movie inside my head. Every move keeps me on the edge of my seat as I watch it play out vividly inside of my head and that’s just rare. In my Annette Marie reviews I usually rave about the intricate worldbuilding, amazing characters and slow-burn romances and while, yes those are all very much present in this story as well, I feel like the action scenes and pacing are more than deserving of the spotlight too! (Side note: the scenes of the book played so vividly in my head I even dreamed about them. But not the epic Kit and Lienna kicking ass scenes. Nope. Not even the Kit in too small pajama pants scene. Instead I dreamt about a spider named Biscuit… Does that make me the Vincent in this story? Anyway… )
But of course the aforementioned intricate worldbuilding, great character development and sizzling slow burn romance are all also very much present! We dive deeper into the workings of the MPD and some Guilds and characters we met in previous Guild Codex books. We explore Kit’s character further and learn that despite his awesome and rare power, he’s still anxious about it and feels helpless sometimes. Together with Kit, we slowly, bit by bit, unravel more about Lienna’s past and why she is the rule-abiding badass she is. And there’s a whole lot of pining and blushing (and searing chemistry) between the two of them that’s just too amazing for words. Kit’s obvious crush is adorable and I’m rooting for him to get that dinner date soon!
Overall, this was another hit. I know I’m repeating myself here over and over again, but really I can’t recommend this series enough. Give them a try and I’m sure you also won’t be able to deny Kit’s utter charm.
“Where the hell are these guys?” she growled, still going to town on the bell like the most enthusiastic member of a really lame all-percussion band. “I don’t think they’re coming. But there’s probably a dog close by that’s drooling like a maniac.” She didn’t reply. Sure, everyone gets a chuckle from a lazy Sean Connery joke, but class it up with a Pavlov reference and all you get are crickets.
“How did people do this? Navigate these strange waters of “co-worker,”“friend,”“possible romantic interest,”and “person I find extremely attractive and want to get closer to”? How did you progress from one to the other without risking the entire relationship? It was like that incomplete game of Mouse Trap I’d found at the Grand Grimoire: the rules were complicated, half the pieces were missing, and the whole situation was a delicate balance that led to an inevitable trap.”
“Sometimes, law and order and right and wrong come in second to surviving.” I squeezed her gently. “You’re surviving. Just because you aren’t in physical danger doesn’t mean it isn’t survival. You did what you needed to do, and that’s okay. […] Worrying about right and wrong is a luxury some people don’t have.”
Halfway down , I paused and read aloud, “Harold Atherton, 240,000, October fourteenth, Rash … sir … us?”“Rash’sērus,” Leroy said. “Gesundheit,” I replied.