My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This isn't actually a novel, but rather three novellas (which is clear from the blurb). It follows a twenty-something homeless, Hispanic lesbian named, Rosario' Rosa' Hernandez and her companion, Arkay, who is some form of Asian dragon taking human form.
The first novella - Mark of the Dragon, introduces us to the ladies. Rosa and Arkay live on the outskirts of the homeless community because no one trusts Arkay and her terrible temper, nobody but Rosa. She trusts Arkay to keep her safe and when Arkay is violent it usually is in Rosa's defense. They dont' have many friends and somehow manage to get involved with a flesh-eating ghoul working in the coroner's office, not to mention the necromancer raising a zombie hoard again them. For me this was the weakest of them because we never really get inside Rosa's head (it's all her pov) as to why she's homeless (yes she's thrown out by her parents for being gay but in the next novellas she's gainfully employed so I would have liked to know more about the forces keeping her homeless) and the stuff at the police station strained believability a bit.
Shadow and Steel is the second one. Rosa and Arkay have moved away but not too far. Rosa is now a waitress in a diner and has made a new friend in Kimbra and Arkay is working at a strip club. This time they're called back to their former homeless camp to investigate disappearances at the camp, leading them to demonic possessions and a group of people who fight the evil supernatural beings (Adam is the person from this group they meet). Some chapters are Arkay's pov in this one.
Dance with the Devil is the last which ramps up Arkay's destructive nature as her protective senses take in the strippers at the club she dances in (and these are women who have problems). Rosa is now living with a girlfriend putting a bit of a strain on her relationship with Arkay and it's not helping that Adam doesn't particularly like or trust Arkay. Arkay is led into an escalating battle with some petty gangsters and Rosa fears she will lose control. This one was interesting right up to the open cliffhanger ending. Totally a personal thing here but I loathe that. If your story is good I will pick up book two, if you give me a cliffhanger to blackmail me into getting book two I often won't. I'm on the fence about that here because over all it was interesting.
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