The Phoenix Illusion is book six in the SPI Files Novels and it's the second in the series that I've read thus far, the first being book four. The author did a good job with references to other cases and scenarios from previous books so that this could be read as a standalone, even though they do work better if you are familiar with the characters and their background stories.
The story is narrated by Makenna Fraser, who is our lead character. Makenna is a seer and agent for the Supernatural Protection and Investigations agency, or SPI for short. It's her birthday and her party begins with one heck of a bang when a building comes crashing out of nowhere to land in a vacant lot down the road and immediately shoot into flames. If that isn't bad enough, it turns out to be Rake Danescu's house from his home planet. Rake is an important goblin and an extremely high level dark mage. He also happens to be Makeena's boyfriend.
As the investigation opens up, we find that someoneor a group of someonesare literally stealing buildings from the US: here today, gone tomorrow type stealing. Our investigators need to find out who, why and how this is happening, all while keeping the human race in the dark as to the fact that supernatural events are going on around them. For the most part, the buildings are uninhabited and they turn up in the middle of nowhere, so they haven't cropped up on anyone's radar yet, that is until Rake's house came a-calling in the neighborhood.
The deeper the investigation, the more Makenna and crew come to realize that this is only testing the waters for a much bigger endgame. Many of the villains from earlier books come together to form an evil cabal and some familiar faces from Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares series lend a hand to help the SPI try to foil their sinister plot.
From New York to the Nevada desert, this finishes up in a Vegas casino with goblins, vampires, werewolves, elves, aliens and all types of magic creatures in between. That's a showdown worthy of any show you'll see in Sin City!
I like the SPI series and I'm planning on finding book one and progressing properly from the beginning so I can get more enjoyment from future books by knowing more about how the characters evolved through the adventures they've experienced. I also plan on adding the Raine Benares series to my reading queue. ~~ Dee Astell
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