Opal Yong-ae, a graduate-mage whose spells backfire more often than work, owes the wrong people. She has to find money fast, so she becomes a cleaner, a person who bids on and then empties out foreclosed apartments. The job’s like Storage Wars with magic in the mix. In the past, Opal’s landed lucrative digs; however, in recent months her luck has changed. It’s like she’s cursed. Her most recent bid lands her a sub-basement apartment along with its last tenant—a dead wizard. The mysterious spell-working he’s left behind is different, and possibly priceless. Trouble is the esoteric magic caused his death and will likely take Opal’s life as well. Not that it will explode or anything, but a bunch of bad corporations-slash-villains want it. She should turn it over to city authorities, but she needs the money, so Opal teams up with a spunky AI, and Nickola Kos, a rival cleaner working off his own troubled past. Together, they dodge bullets, cyber-enhanced mercenaries, crackpot wizards, and over-controlling dragons in the Detroit Free Zone, which readers can think of a cyberpunk Wild West with magic, spirits and fantastic creatures.
I loved how complex the characters were, and the crazy twists the plot took, but my favorite part of this story was the world building. I bought this book on through an Audible sale and it was so good, I paid full price for the sequel.
If you like urban fantasy, I’m betting you’ll like this book as much as I did.