Author: Linda Grimes
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Ciel Halligan #4
Hardcover, 336 pages
Publication: May 24, 2016 by Tor Books
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
It is always a joy to read the Ciel Halligan series, Aura Adapter extraordinaire. And All Fixed Up is no difference. Ciel’s latest gig finds her portraying the first astronaut to give birth in space! The astronaut in question is suffering from kidney stones, so it’s up to Ciel to entertain and answer the press with their many questions on pregnancy and space. But if anyone has read this series, they’d know that Ciel’s life is anything but ordinary. First day on the job and someone is already trying to kidnap her or her client. One again Ciel finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a sticky situation but it goes from bad to worse when said kidnapper starts showing up around her family and friends in the adaptors community and people end up dead.Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire, has a lot of experience filling in for her clients--as them. A rare genetic quirk gives her the ability to absorb human energy and project it back out in a flawless imitation. She's hard at work, posing as a well-known and celebrated astronaut, about to make a stunning announcement on behalf of the space program...when the photographer documenting the job sees right through her aura. Worse, it soon becomes apparent that he not only knows Ciel’s not who she's supposed to be, but means her harm.
When Ciel's elderly Aunt Helen—also an aura adaptor—is murdered in Central Park, and the same photographer shows up at the funeral, Ciel starts to feel even more exposed. Then more adaptors are killed in the same way, and she becomes terrified her friends and family are being systematically exterminated ... and it's starting to look like she's the ultimate target. She turns to Billy Doyle, her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, for help, but when an unexpected crisis causes him to take off without a word, she's left to rely on her not-so-former crush, CIA agent Mark Fielding.
As I’ve mentioned before, two things you can always expect from Ciel and the gang is action and laughs. And there is no shortage of either! My favorite parts of the book were with the Billy and the family. There’s never a dull moment when the family around. They made the most mundane of situation or task comedic. A particular scene comes to mind that involved James, Devon and Ciel…but I can’t say what without giving any spoilers out. And Billy, he’s always such a charmer and a goofball with his endless mischief and innuendos. While I enjoy all of books in the series, I must say this is my favorite. I think it’s because the book focused a lot more on family and relationships versus whatever problem Ciel found herself in. It wasn’t as fantastical as her previous endeavors. Plus the problem at hand was more closely connected to the adapter community.
My only quibble would be the love triangle that wasn’t. I know that sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Ciel is definitely with Billy but the whole ‘what-if’ she had about Mark constantly pops up. Ciel kept asking herself what if she was with Mark? Would her life turned out differently? Honestly. I found it quite vexing. I thought Ciel made her choice at the end of the last book. If that wasn’t enough, she did something in my eyes as unforgivable and this time she was fully aware of her action. Why the author added it, I have no idea. It made me like Ciel a little less and lose respect for her. I didn’t think it served a purpose this time around and in my opinion just made me as a reader frustrated. The book ended on a happy note for the most part and I am still rooting for Billy and Ciel. I just hope she makes a permanent decision and doesn’t jump back and forth in the next book.
All in all, despite the last tidbit I mentioned, All Fixed Up still turned out to be a great addition to this fun series. It is always exciting to be immersed in the adapter world and follow along with the characters on their escapade. If you haven’t read this series yet, then you really need to check it out A.S.A.P. This series is the perfect blend of humor and fantasy and best of all…you never know what to expect from Ciel Halligan, every book is a surprise and treat.