After I binged the Rolling Thunder series, I started following Candace Blevins on social media. My timing was excellent, as she was looking for people who were interested in a copy of Only Human in exchange for posting reviews. I’ve decided to avoid ARCs, since there is some conflict of interest, but this book was released in 2015 so I’m comfortable with it.
This book is the first release in the Kirsten O’Shea universe; it introduces us to the eponymous character and starts the world building. Since I’ve read the other series, some of it was familiar to me already, but coming to it from the perspective of a human and learning some more background was great. Candace’s world-building skills are fabulous, which is one of my favourite things about reading sci fi and fantasy. She has the ability to take the world we know and blend in a whole other level of species and rules that are outside of our experience, but also consistent and rational.
I also continue to be impressed by how complex the characters are, even though the books feature a huge cast. Kirsten is a psychologist, an adoptive mother, a sexual submissive, a monster fighter, and a strong, independent woman. It’s clear though, that she’s worked hard to develop the skills and characteristics that she values, she’s not just a magically perfect person. The supernatural individuals all have differing viewpoints about how they live and interact with the world, they aren’t homogeneous within their species.
In many ways, this book is like a very long prologue. Although there is definitely action, it also has a lot of world-building, character introduction, and set up for what we know, at this point, is going to be a very long main plot arc. It doesn’t drag or lose interest though; this was a book that I’d look at the counter and think “I’m only 45% in? So much has happened, I was sure I was farther along!” I doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it is more of a pause in the action than a definitive ending. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to read more.