The Beginning of Whit
by Jennifer Innes & Andrew Grace
Hilarity dressed as a dork covered in donut crumbs drowning in a never-ending battle against the paranormal and fantastical.
Chasing a deadly soul eater down dark alleys, our hero stops a moment to pet a stray cat…
Over confident and under-equipped, Whit Clayborne feels more than ready to tackle his first major assignment as a demon hunter, but he isn’t prepared for everything else that awaits him in Big City. A supernatural haven where creatures have taken refuge for centuries, Big City is hidden from public scrutiny and has never been under the watchful eyes of the demon hunter. With creatures of every kind operating under a delicate balance of council rules and turf law, the addition of an inept and inexperienced demon hunter threatens to throw everything out of whack. Big City is not looking for a hero, but Whit failed to read that email.
When the egg supply of Big City vanishes, the apathetic council agrees to let Whit look into this strange mystery. While on the case, Whit finds something more disturbing than he ever imagined possible – a few bad eggs and a whole lot of clucking trouble. This fledgling demon hunter has to prove himself, stop the bad guys, save the city, get the girl, and figure out the best toppings for a burger named in his honor.
Life in Big City feels like an amazing adventure, but this is only beginning…
About the Authors
Jennifer Innes and Andrew Grace met many, many,many years ago while working as lowly library employees. Quickly, they realized that they were both were writers of speculative fiction which led to many an interesting conversation. On slow nights and long weekends, they’d spend time discussing writing ideas and humorous scenarios.
One day they started joking about the idea of a demon hunter who was married to a vampire but was too stupid to realize it – and Whit was born. After years of writing, cross-country moves, and major job changes, “The Beginning of Whit” is finally ready for your reading pleasure.
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy & Satire/Humor
There are no spoilers below whatsoever, so don’t be afraid m’dears! Read on for the review and breakdown!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
As a reminder, here’s how I break books down…
I take a look at the following seven categories using a 5 star scale, and then average them all into one final rating.
- Style – this will be my opinion of the writing voice, storytelling style, and mannerisms conveyed by the author
- Story – this will be my opinion of the plot, conflict, suspense, resolution, subplots, and general fun found within the story itself
- Characters – this will be my opinion of all levels of characters, how well fleshed out they are according to their roles, and their appeal/believability
- Genre – this will be my opinion of how well this book falls in line with its genre book-mates
- Connection – this will be my opinion of how connected a reader can get to the story and its characters
- Technical – this will be my opinion of the technicalities of the produced novel itself like punctuation, grammar, formatting. (No book is flawless, you can find several errors in best sellers, so that will be taken into mind here.
- Desirability – this will be my opinion of how fast you need to get off your duff and grab this book with a special focus on looking at the first five pages.
As with all reviews, these opinions are my own. They are not meant to defame, detract, inflate, whore, or otherwise promote/demote another author’s work. Reviews are not the end-all or be-all, they’re just opinions. And, here are mine…
There is something profoundly badass about the writing duo behind Whit. The pairing of Jennifer Innes and Andrew Grace work magic together – seriously funny magic at that. They have a natural flow and beautifully humorous writing style that reminds someone of a friend — even if it’s the often-drunk friend that’s insistent on telling you a hilarious over-the-top story twice in one sitting.
The writing voice(s) behind Whit’s story is divine – which is hard to attain from duos at times – and blends their two personalities perfectly into one firm writing voice which, is no strange feat. Serious props to these two. You’ll be laughing, smiling, and soaring on through the story once you crack the first page.
The story is a good and funny one that builds over a long span and eventually comes to its own hilarious climax. It’s not as fast-to-the-point as I prefer, but the humor that develops in the down-time is more or less worth the wait.
There are a few moments with intense background dumps and, while they do add to the value of the story, I’d prefer them to be woven in more naturally since as they are written in now, they can be a bit jarring or eye-skipping worthy. The fight scenes written within this book are brilliance and the subplots are nothing but hilarity dressed in good fun.
If you want to laugh — a lot — then Whit’s story is for you.
Come to think of it… if you can get through the first ten pages without laughing once, I’ll buy you an In-n-Out burger and shake … because you aren’t human.
There isn’t a character I don’t like – which is really hard for me to admit.
Yes, this is a paranormal satire, so some less dimensional characters are not only allowed, but expected. That said, I didn’t mind them one bit. And, the main characters? They’re complex, lovable, adorable, whitty (see what I did there?), and freaking well built.
There is a deep story background that runs throughout the novel and adds to the characters immensely (it also adds to the overall novel and my personal impression of the writers).
Actually, there is nothing I don’t love about Whit and his entourage – willing or unwilling. And as for the baddies? Bang on!
This fits into what I would consider paranormal satire which, I am proud to say is a mash-up of genres.
As far as fitting into what one would expect in a paranormal novel, this book has most of it. Okay, 99% of it. For me, paranormal means paying homage to what has come before and tweaking it to make a new path for what will come after. This book definitely works the genre. We’ve got vampires, demon hunters, were-beings, and more. And, with wealth of background information that these two authors have concocted, they definitely will reform the genre to their own making. See? I promised no spoilers!
As far as the satire goes, my only qualm would be that there is a bit of mundane humor that doesn’t add to the satire that the rest of the story – characters, plot, little touches – accomplishes. In fact, that repetitive mundane humor almost, at times, detracts.
Again, if you can read the first ten pages and not laugh your ass off you: a) aren’t human and b) I’ll buy you In-n-Out, remember?
But yes, you will be absorbed, infatuated, and connected to this story and its characters. Even if they are a bit predictable and have been around the funny block before. There isn’t much of a relatable card with our main character here, which might throw some people for a curve, but there is the likable dork sympathy card flapping in the breeze and that should do a good turn or two for most. That, and everyone can relate to being awkward once in your life – and Whit here has it in spades.
There also seems to be a bit of everyone in the other characters that grace these pages, so if you don’t latch onto the dork I can promise you might find a necromancer, vampire, or another paranormal creature (bawk!) more enticing.
There are a few flurffles and duplicate words, but Harry Potter has them too. Nothing about the technicalities (99% of all books published are guilty of) will inhibit your laughter or reading enjoyment of the book. Not a thing.
There are a few weird formatting things that aren’t my cup of tea, but that’s what’s brilliant about writing – what works for one won’t work for another. Overall, this book has been well loved, well written, and well edited. Well done!
Desirability /First Five
I love this book. I do. And, it’s not even my normal cup of tea. I mean, I love me some paranormal goodies and I am a huge fan of certain satire writers. But, it’s not something I’d go out of my way to find — though I am glad I did.
As far as the first five pages (and even ten) go, it is a bit slow going. Not the characters, no – they are immediately adorable, funny, and fun – but the plot is at a snail’s pace for a bit. It doesn’t really quick into a full swing until a smidge later in the story. So, if you’re patient and can handle hanging out with some seriously funny characters while they get the engine to full rev, then you won’t mind at all.
This book is bretzing funny. Hands down funny. I can’t even begin to count the number of times while reading I ended up laughing out loud and garnering some onlooker attention. They just don’t get it!
If you want a laugh, if you love paranormal adventures, and if you’ve got any sense of humor at all – this book is for you.
There is nothing more rewarding for an author to sit and read another author’s (or authors in this case) work that is beautifully written and well taken care of (edited and produced). It seriously warms my heart and makes my tummy have butterflies.
I am proud of this book and proud of sharing it with all of you. And, I sincerely hope there are more of Whit’s adventures coming our way soon – you hear me Jennifer? Andrew? Get to it! Stat! Or… or I’ll stake you!
Oh, unspoiler alert! Take your time with the pages that space out the chapters. They’re great, funny, wonderful, and add to these two authors’ take on their characters, genre, and writing style.