Friday, 18 October 2013
No Good Deed (Kelly & Umber Book 1) - Bill Blais
Title: No Good Deed (Kelly & Umber Book 1)
Author: Bill Blais
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“No Good Deed” by Bill Blais is the first in a series of Urban Fantasy novels entitled the Kelly & Umber series. The story follows Kelly McGinnis, a typical suburban mother who accidently discovering the existence of demons when she interrupts what she initially believes to be a case of police brutality. When she manages to defeat the demon through a fair dose of luck, she begins to wonder if what she saw really happened. However, she soon gets approached by a group of people who have been fighting demons and wish to now offer her a job on their team. And so Kelly embarks on a life in which she must face monsters that she never knew could really exists.
As you can see the plot above sounds pretty standard for an Urban Fantasy novel and on the whole I can’t say it varied too much from what I expected. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable and it doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting aspects present. For example I really liked the novel’s pacing as it moved along at a good rate and the action packed elements kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. In addition, I think Blais has worked hard to detail and describe the various demons, it was nice to see such depth and I found it easy to envision what he was writing about.
Then there is Kelly herself who I really enjoyed reading about because she was one of the more interesting and different elements to the novel. She isn’t the usual young, good looking, popular heroic character that you will see in many other books, instead she is a middle aged, overweight and unfit mother who you would never expect to be out trying to save the world. I just appreciated getting to see a protagonist like this and I can imagine many readers enjoying getting to see someone who may be more like them than many other characters out there.
I did have some issues however, the first of which is the believability of it all. I know that you need to suspend your disbelief when reading speculative fiction but I did find it a little hard to accept that just because Kelly managed to kill a demon a group of skilled, veteran fighting would suddenly believe that she would be good for the team. Then there is her family, who just came across as being a little bit too wonderful and sweet. It felt to me like they had been set up in a way to ensure Kelly could do everything she needed to without an issue. As a parent myself I found it rather unbelievable how easy it was for her to arrange everything she needed too without any real issues.
Overall, as long as you accept the minor believability issues with Kelly’s life and how she gets involved in demon hunting then this is an entertaining urban fantasy novel. Kelly herself is an interesting character that many readers should be able to relate to on some level which helps to enhance the story. The demon hunting team plot line isn’t anything that original but it should still be enjoyable for many fans of the Urban Fantasy genre.