Jacqueline Carey continues the story of half-human/half-demon Daisy Johanssen, liaison between the human world and the Underworld, in Autumn Bones, the second in her urban fantasy/paranormal series. As a fan of world mythologies, this series really appealed to me—especially since Carey chose to write based around Norse mythology rather than the more widely known Greek mythology. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to urban fantasy, but Carey has pleasantly surprised me in her debut urban fantasy series by introducing new-to-me species and challenges for her main character to overcome.
In Autumn Bones, Daisy faces many personal conflicts—especially when it comes to romance. Her dating life is more front and center than the paranormal aspects of the book, which was a letdown for me. Daisy begins the novel by pursuing a relationship with Sinclair, the son of an obeah, but when his sister comes to town and begins to meddle in their lives, Daisy runs. Once things end with Sinclair, Daisy continues pining for her partner, Cooper. But Cooper comes with his own set of problems: he is a werewolf and will not pursue relationships with anyone who is not like him. Due to a bit of lustful satyr magic, Daisy and Cooper finally act on their feelings. And it doesn’t just stop there—Daisy also has feelings for the Outcast Stephen. I would have preferred if Carey had extended the length of Daisy’s relationship with Sinclair; having her interact physically with too many characters in this book was distracting from the more interesting parts of the book.
Daisy’s romantic drama aside, there were some positives to Autumn Bones. I liked Daisy’s friendship with Lee Hastings, an old high school classmate who is an Internet genius. Lee helps Daisy build a database that she can use to keep track of everyone in the eldwitch community. Lee’s flirtations with Daisy’s best friend Jen seem to indicate that he will play a larger role in books to come. While the database sounds like a good idea, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ultimately ends up causing Daisy some trouble with Hel.
Speaking of Hel, the Norse goddess, she hasn’t played a particularly large role in the series so far. I’m far more interested in Daisy’s involvement as her liaison between the Underworld and what is happening above ground, as well as Daisy’s ability to somehow, someday cause Armageddon. I’d like to see Daisy pushed to the point where she could claim her birthright, but so far Daisy has pretty solid relationships with her mom, best friend, and several other humans. In order for her to go dark, I suspect some pretty intense things will have to happen to her. It remains to be seen how far Carey is willing to push her. If the next book continues to focus on Daisy’s many men, I’m likely to lose interest in the series.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.