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Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman
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Bonnie and the other PUPIs have grown on me throughout this series. I wasn’t sure I liked this outgoing, outspoken, free spirit of a woman at first, but I’ve come to admire her. She’s faced danger with bravery. She’s faced ambiguous moral situations and held fast to her own code. I may not have always understood the choices she made, but they always felt true to her character. Moreover, she made me respect her: her strength and her tenacity. And the fact that I can write about her here as if she were a real person and not just words on a page is a testimony to Gilman’s skill as an author.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Gilman’s work. She does good stuff, and this book (and series) is certainly worth the read. However, I finished Dragon Justice not triumphantly but instead vaguely disappointed. This is an adequate ending to a great series, but only adequate. The plot is solid and action-filled, don’t get me wrong. I devoured this book in less than two days, after all. I greatly enjoyed the return of the Wren as well. (I’d say that was my favorite part.)

The problem lies in the fact that it is the end of the series. This poor reader doesn’t feel like the plot threads were resolved at all. Sure, not every book has to have all the ends tied up neatly in pretty little bows. I like the idea that the characters and their lives will keep going on once the pages have all been turned. However, though we’re told how the main romance will be resolved, we don’t actually get to see it. I was convinced during my reading that a certain plot element was just a ruse, but it doesn’t seem to be so with the ending we receive here. That most of all just leaves me sad and rather disappointed.

If there were more – or just one more – book(s) in the series, then I’d say that Dragon Justice performs at a solid 4 (out of 5) stars. As it is, I think it goes out on a bit of a downer, with the barest hint of hope that our battered PUPIs will recover and go on. In my opinion, this installment lacks a significant something that would bring it from a solid and exciting entry in a series to a climactic and appropriate ending. ( )
  kiaras | Oct 22, 2013 |
Bonnie’s paranormal investigative work continues—and this time, she and her fellow “pups” find themselves hunting a serial killer. Meanwhile, she and “Big Dog” Venec continue to find their way around the Merge, now that their coworkers are all aware of it. The story moves along nicely and ends on an intriguing note for next time. We'll see if Bonnie and Venec can maintain their chemistry for another novel! ( )
  jholcomb | Jun 4, 2013 |
DRAGON JUSTICE is a book that belongs to many genres, while playing with the boundaries and conventions of all of them. Urban fantasy, but with a strong procedural flavor. Elements of the mystery intermingle with currents in the world at large, sometimes tantalizing clues are just the fertile seed that sparks one of Bonnie's intuitive leaps.

Full review to follow.

Sexual content: References to sex. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
didnt even finish the book. hard to get into.
  girluvhew | Feb 25, 2013 |
I've been a fan of Laura Anne Gilman's writing for many years. Her Retrievers series was some of the first urban fantasy I fell in love with and so I was quite excited to see a spinoff series emerge from it. DRAGON JUSTICE is the fourth book in this spinoff series and it stars one of the side characters from the Retrievers books: Bonnie Torres. I've liked Bonnie since the moment she set foot on the page in the Retrievers books and I'm so glad that Laura Anne Gilman decided to build a series around her team: Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations, a.k.a. PUPI. Yeah, that's right, Bonnie and her colleagues are PUPIs ("puppies") and the jokes are endless. =) I read somewhere that the author hadn't intended PUPIs to be a spinoff until she was asked to write another Cosa Nostradamus series, which is why the series was re-branded as "Paranormal Scene Investigations." While I personally wouldn't have minded a series called PUPI, I can see why the folks at Harlequin would encourage a different series title, to grab some new readers for such a great author.

Readers who are familiar with the Cosa Nostradamus will settle into DRAGON JUSTICE with ease. If you are new to the series, I'd suggest checking out this helpful Cosa Nostradamus Q&A from the author's website. In any case, here's a little refresher: In this world, there are two types of people: Talent, who can use Current (magic that works a lot like electricity) and Nulls (who can't use Current and/or don't know about it or the Cosa Nostradamus, a.k.a. the magical community). Talent have a mentoring tradition and are divided into two main groups: those who are Council and those who are lonejacks. Bonnie is considered Council because her mentor was Council but most of the rest of the team are from the lonejack camp. There are also fatae, (non-human) supernatural creatures who live among us. PUPI was established to be a CSI team for the Cosa, using Current spells or cantrips to forensically examine crime scenes. To say they weren't exactly popular when they started is an understatement. But by the start of DRAGON JUSTICE, the PUPI team has been together for a couple years and they're more accepted in the Cosa community. They're led by their founders or Big Dogs, Ian Stosser and Ben Venec, and there are four other original team members besides Bonnie: Sharon, Nifty, Nick, and Pietr. Bonnie and Venec have something called the Merge going on, which basically means their Current is extremely compatible and, according to lore, they're supposed to be soulmates. But they've maintained a mostly professional relationship up until now. There's obviously a lot more to it but that's the basic scenario, in case you try to jump into the PSI novels without going back to the start. (I strongly recommend going back to HARD MAGIC, though, because it's fun to watch the series build, and it makes some of the references a lot clearer, though you'll still be able to follow along because Laura Anne Gilman provides enough information for everything to make sense.)

And now that I've gotten all that out of the way, here's what I thought of DRAGON JUSTICE:

Wow. Just wow. This book was so good that I read it in a single sitting, much to my regret the next day at work when I was operating on too little sleep.

DRAGON JUSTICE is a game changer. All good series have one book that really changes the landscape and I think this is it for the PSI novels. In previous novels, Bonnie's kenning (she gets vibes about the future) had been hinting at major events and I think this book is what they've been foreshadowing. There are some major changes for Bonnie and Venec and also for the team as a whole. Plus we get some quality Wren time, which I love. I've missed her a lot and have enjoyed the glimpses we've gotten of Wren and PB in previous novels but she's actually got a bit of page time in DRAGON JUSTICE and I couldn't be happier. I fell for the Cosa world when I met Wren and her Null partner Sergei and it was a real treat to have them back.

While I can't say exactly what these changes are because I want you to experience the book unspoiled, I will say that this is probably my favourite Cosa book so far. I loved how the book really focused on Bonnie and Venec, how the move to Philadelphia changed the PUPI's operations, and how the stakes were higher than they've ever been. We finally get to see Bonnie and Venec really deal with the Merge, in a situation where they're not in grave danger, and it's about time! I've been waiting for the conversation to happen without an immediate threat hanging over them and it's everything I could have wished for. And moving the story to Philadelphia, since Bonnie goes down to visit Venec when he's doing a side job, was really clever. It put the characters out of their element and forced them to deal with a new group of people, some more helpful than others. And if that's not enough, Laura Anne Gilman has also done a fantastic job of incorporating the various threads that have appeared in previous novels, like Stosser's relationship with his sister Aden, and pulled them more closely together. She's even thrown in a few scenes where I was left slack-jawed because I couldn't believe that (a) the author had done that and (b) just how she did it. You'll know the moments when you read them, believe me. And this is what really makes a novel shine for me. I love it when unexpected things happen, particularly when they're done so deftly. (If you want to talk details, hit me up on Twitter!)

DRAGON JUSTICE is another wonderful instalment in the Paranormal Scene Investigations series. There's romance, there's action, and there are some major did-she-really-just-do-that moments, which means I loved it. Laura Anne Gilman always delivers a true reading experience and DRAGON JUSTICE is top notch.

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  jthorburn | Aug 5, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373803486, Paperback)

In my time with PUPI, formally known as Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, I've seen a lot. Learned a lot. And not all of it's been good. But what we do—make people accountable for crimes committed with magic—is important work.

Still. Even I need to take a break every now and again. Or so I've just been told (ordered).

So hey, vacation. Maybe I'll finally figure out what's going on with the "special bond" between me and the boss man, Benjamin Venec. Venec seems to like that idea—he's invited me down to join him on a jaunt to Philly. But no sooner do I arrive in the City of Brotherly Love than we're called in to look at a dead body.

And that's when life gets really complicated….

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:38 -0400)

"In my time with PUPI, formally known as Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, I've seen a lot. Learned a lot. And not all of it's been good. But what we do--make people accountable for crimes committed with magic--is important work. Still. Even I need to take a break every now and again. Or so I've just been told (ordered). So hey, vacation. Maybe I'll finally figure out what's going on with the 'special bond' between me and the boss man, Benjamin Venec. Venec seems to like that idea--he's invited me down to join him on a jaunt to Philly. But no sooner do I arrive in the City of Brotherly Love than we're called in to look at a dead body. And that's when life gets really complicated"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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