Yasmine Galenorn was one of the first authors whose work pulled me into the realm of paranormal/fantasy fiction. I was a fantasy fiction purist who, occasionally, ventured into science fiction. The epic, sweeping sagas, deep plots, rich scenery, and complex characters that are worlds away are the appeal. Galenorn was shelved at the local bookstore; I snagged it and was sold.
Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld centers on three sisters, who are half fae on their father’s side and half human on their mothers. Delilah, Camille, and Menolly D’Artigo have been sent from Y’Elestrial (the Otherworld) as operatives of the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. THE OIA has allied itself with the Faerie-Human CSI. In Galenorn’s version of Seattle, Washington humans know about the Fae and other supernaturals, or supes. She has created a wonderful blend of magic, myth and modern world that merges urban fantasy with Celtic and Finnish lore. Her characters feel real and likeable and the storylines aren’t overwhelmingly complicated. A good healthy dose of steamy sex has been thrown in as well.
The three D’Artigo sisters are as different as any siblings with each having their own very distinct personalities and this is part of the appeal of the series. Each book is told from the point of view of one of the sisters, starting with Camille, the eldest. Camille is a witch who has given herself to the service of the Moon Mother. Her magic tends to get a little wonky at times and the unexpected typically happens. Camille has three husbands, each of whom bring a different supernatural ability and thus strength to their relationships. Her alpha husband, Trillian is a Svartan, or dark Fae. Smoky is a dragon, who obviously turns into a fire breathing creature. Lastly is Morio, a youkai-kisune or fox demon, who is Camille’s magical counterpart. Camille is the most sexual of the three sisters, and her point of view books depict ménage a quatre.
Middle sister Delilah is a werecat who doesn’t turn into a “big cat,” but rather a housecat, usually at inopportune times. Her cover is that of a PI and she works the most closely with the FH SCI. Delilah has trained in martial arts and isn’t afraid to jump into a fight. She is loyal to her family and those she loves. Her idea of a good evening is watching television and eating junk food. Not typical supe behavior. Of the three sisters, Delilah has grown the most. Although the middle child, she has the naiveté often associated with the youngest. She has emerged as an independent young woman who has gained confidence in who she is and what she is capable of. Her love interest is Shade, who is half shadow dragon and half shadow walker. He completes Delilah and brings out the best in her character.
Youngest sister Menolly was a jian-tu (acrobat spy) before being turned into a vampire. Menolly had been captured while on assignment. Her captor, a vampire, tortured and raped her, before he killed and turned her into a vampire. Menolly is scarred, both physically and mentally. The support and love of her family and close friends has nurtured her and has given her the confidence to not only accept who she is, but embraces her unique abilities. Despite being a vampire, she is still emotionally vulnerable and she hides her insecurities behind a confident, take charge persona. As the series progresses Menolly is finally able to make an emotional connection with Nerissa, a werepuma. She also is “re-sired” by Roman, son of Blood Wyne, Vampire Queen. This is a tie in to Galenorn’s concurrent series, Indigo Court.
The heroines of the Otherworld series, although not without their faults, are likeable. The sister’s snark at one another like most siblings do. When they aren’t out battling evil and saving the world, they are feeling their way through life and trying to figure out their place in the world. They love fiercely and in turn are loved by their significant others and their extended families.
So, what is it that holds my interest in such a prolific series? Galenorn’s writing is consistent and engaging. The reader does not suffer through character and plot inconsistencies because she has meticulous attention to detail. But, it’s more than storylines; it is a feeling of being connected to the characters and the world that Galenorn has created. She has given us not one, but three kick-ass, no-holds-barred heroines and a myriad of heroes. There is no question as to why Yasmine Galenorn is a New York Times bestselling author.
The Otherworld books are a wonderful blend of magic, myth and modern world woven together. They merge urban fantasy with high fantasy lore to create engaging storylines. They have staying power because the characters are appealing, despite their faults. Galenorn keeps the reader wanting more because she is able to seamlessly slip from one point of view book to the next. I am nearly finished with Haunted Moon and don’t want it to end because the next book, Autumn Whispers, won’t be out until September 2013.
Side note: Yasmine Galenorn is also writing the Indigo Court series, which takes place outside of the Otherworld series.
Stephanie is a high school social studies teacher who enjoys escaping from reality with a good book. She is the mom of two energetic sons and when she isn't chasing herself in circles, she can be found lurking on Twitter @KindlesConsort.