Let's clear this up first: Rylee Adamson is a badass. She works out like an Olympian, keeps a werewolf as a pet, and is immune to poisons and spells that would smite you, me, or any other human.
"Immune: A Sexy Urban Fantasy Mystery" is the second Rylee Adamson novel, and an excellent follow-up to the series debut, "Priceless." In "Priceless," Rylee blinded a troll in one eye--hey, it was self-defense--and was hassled by hunky FBI Agent Liam O'Shea. Oh, yes. And she ended up with a 1000 pound Harpy named Eve, who could never return to her home.
"Immune" picks up shortly after "Priceless." Rylee's had time to heal her bruises and settle a bit until her next case comes in. This time, Jewel, an exotic dancer, has lost her teen-aged son, and she hires Rylee to track down the boy and bring him home.
No problem. Rylee packs up her gear--like an entire Renaissance fair's worth of swords and blades--sends her Harpy off to New Mexico to stay with an ogre friend, Dox, and starts off to meet her client. The only problem is, it's really cold. Supernaturally cold. In the middle of a freak snowstorm, Rylee finds herself rescued by her former nemesis, Agent O'Shea. He gets Rylee to a motel, warms her up, then together, they go to meet the mother.
Rylee discovers that on her last adventure, she was stung by a demon she was killing. His venom is what makes her so cold. She can't be killed by venoms, but she can die of frostbite or hypothermia. There's only one cure: to have four shamans perform a ritual involving a sweat lodge. No problem, except that the shamans Rylee knows are all in New Mexico.
And thus, Rylee, Alex the submissive werewolf, and Agent O'Shea are off to The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. Simple, right? Call the shamans, do the ritual, then off to find Ricky the missing teen.
Naturally, the shamans are all missing. So, Rylee has to find them, then go through the ritual, THEN get back to North Dakota, THEN fight through God knows what to save the missing boy, and finally return the boy to his mother.
Just another workweek for Rylee Adamson.
In my review for "Priceless: A Sexy Urban Fantasy Mystery," I remember remarking that the "sexy" and "urban" parts seemed to be present only in the title. In "Immune," Rylee and her crew still never visit anywhere bigger than Bismark, ND, but oh dear Lord, there's a lot more "sexy" in book two. The sexual tension between Rylee and her FBI Agent? Released.
(I understand that "Urban Fantasy" is a genre, too. It just seems funny that it applies to a book set in small cities or, more often, the middle of nowhere)
In Rylee Adamson, author Shannon Mayer has created a truly strong female character. Rylee works out to build her unusual strength. She's studied to learn what she can about using her gifts, and she has learned still more from the various friends she's made during her travels. She's not a coddled priss, who just conveniently turns into a ninja when things get tough. That's one thing I love about Rylee.
The other reason I love her is that Rylee is loyal to her friends. When she took on Alex, the only partially transformed werewolf, she took him on, good traits and bad. Since she ended up with the Harpy, she looks after her protectively. Dox the ogre has troubles? Rylee's on her way.
One appealing part of this series is the pacing. At no point do the books drag or dawdle. Rylee's job demands she work fast--the longer a child is missing, the less likely Rylee will find the child alive. So when she has to spend three days in New Mexico getting herself repaired, it drives her nuts.
Also, there aren't a lot of extraneous characters dragged in for no reason. Rylee works alone, and only consults with friends when she needs to. She's not going to cocktail parties full of unnecessary characters, which keeps the prose streamlined.
There isn't a lot of scenery in a Rylee Adamson story. She's a woman out to do a job, not to gaze at panoramas or watch sunsets. She's focused. Like her heroine, Shannon Mayer keeps her stories focused. That's what makes them so good.
"Immune" isn't very long--182 pages. It may not be huge, but like its heroine, it packs a hell of a punch.