REVIEW: Inhuman Resources (OSI, Book 3) by Jes BattisWednesday, July 28, 2010 1:00
I’ve seen the OSI (Occult Special Investigator) novels on shelves and on blogs, but Inhuman Resources is the first book in the series I’ve actually read. For people who like CSI and its ilk, Inhuman Resources is a good urban fantasy version of the forensic genre. And for all the detecting urban fantasy heroines do, it’s fun to read about one who actually is a member of the magical law enforcement.
The main weakness for me is that I never caught on to how the magic worked. Tess Corday, the protagonist, is half-demon and good with earth. Her boyfriend, Lucian Agrado, is a necromancer. Her roommate is also a half-demon and psychic. Apparently this all works through materia, and different people have different affinities. But while I assume Jes Battis explained how materia worked in the first book, he doesn’t repeat the explanation here. At the very least, they seem completely unrelated to Final Fantasy materia, which are the only kind of materia I know anything about.
The second weakness is that Tess and Lucian are in a rough patch in their relationship. It is very difficult to read about a rough patch and how the characters work through it without knowing about the relationship’s past and what makes it worth holding onto. I can see why the relationship is having trouble. Lucian is a secret keeper, used to the necromancers’ love of keeping everything under wraps. Tess is a secret finder, used to ferreting out what people want hidden. That comes to a head when a necromancer dies and Tess needs the help of Lucian and his community to solve the murder.
There’s some nifty sociological stuff going on. Battis’s world is well-planned. The necromancers, vampires, and so-on-and-so-forth each have different societies that only manage to get along through negotiations (which are currently ongoing). It doesn’t help that Tess’s foster son, Patrick, has just become a vampiric leader despite his youth and inexperience.
The plot of Inhuman Resources was tight and the action scenes were well-done. I liked Tess’s dreams about her demonic father and the implications of where the OSI series is going next. But I do wish Battis had helped new readers out by giving at least a brief explanation of the magic system. I may pick up the first two in order to find out the answer.
When a powerful necromancer is killed, Occult Special Investigator Tess Corday must handle the heavy politics in the occult community as carefully as she handles the scant evidence. But with her sometime lover Lucian Agrado representing the necromancers in the grisly matter, things are about to get out of control…fast.
No excerpt found.