Book Review: Box Office Poison, by Phillipa Bornikov

TOR
316 pp.

Box Office Poison is a slight departure from the urban fantasy/paranormal romance cocktail of first person narrative, female character in some kind of criminal justice field, supernatural romantic interest with possible triangle. (It is also apparently the second book in a series, though I only found this out from the blurbs on the back of the book.) In this case, our heroine is Linnet Ellery, a human lawyer working for a vampire law firm. The basic set up is “at some point in the past all the supernatural beings decided to come forward and reveal their hidden presence.” In this case the supernatural beings are werewolves, vampires and elves.

Linnet and one of her superiors are brought in to mediate a dispute between human and elven actors. The source of this dispute is that elven actors have been getting more roles than human actors have. The human actors want to sue, but the president of the Screen Actors Guild forced the people involved into mediation instead. The situation is complicated by a number grisly murders instigated by elven actors, including one murderer who is basically O.J. Simpson, right down to the “low speed car chase.” (I had so many issues with this, especially since it was written without an in-story awareness of the case. Most of my issues were because of some criminal investigation classes that I took years back. The instructors were slightly obsessive about the Simpson case, which was apparently a complete disaster because of an extremely haphazard chain of custody and various evidence collection screw-ups.)

Other complications include a human organization that hates elves, elves who hate humans, Linnet’s borderline eating disorder and Linnet’s attempts to find out if her elven changeling ex-boyfriend needs or wants to be rescued. (I am mostly being sarcastic about the eating disorder. I got extremely tired of Linnet’s continuous calorie-counting and fussing about what she was eating.) Overall, this is a very solid urban fantasy with interesting, though probably not the best book to start with, since a great deal of the plot depends on the events that take place in the previous book. (Obviously, I’m going to need to find the previous book and read it.)


Box Office Poison on Amazon

Box Office Poison on Powell’s Books

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Filed under fantasy, Phillipa Bornikov, Review: Book, urban

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