Series: Grimm Agency, #1
Publisher: Ace, July 2014
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When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…
Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.
Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.
Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…
All Marissa Locks wants is to be a free agent. Is that really too much to wish for?
Yet, due to the deal struck between her parents and Grimm, the Fairy Godfather, Marissa needs years’ worth of Glitter to pay off the debt. And, well, to be honest, she kind of likes working as Grimm’s agent, helping to keep the peace in the magical and non-magical worlds and help lost princesses find their princes. But when a straightforward matchmaking mission goes awfully awry, it’s up to Marissa to save them all.
To be honest, I didn’t expect much from Free Agent. Partly due to my cranky mood when I started it and my hit/miss relationship with books lately. Thankfully, J.C. Nelson saved the day with Marissa’s character.
She’s complicated. A girl thrust into the world of indentured servitude (even though Grimm is a nice guy, it’s not every girl’s dream to set up everyone else’s happy-ever-afters) without her memories of her past is bound to left afloat and lost in the world. Despite her bravado, Marissa has the same fears and uncertainties that haunt many of us. It’s her decision to throw the matchmaking mission’s plans to the wind that makes her stand out, creating an underdog.
I especially loved the world building, the idea that a magical kingdom sat over an everyday street, accessible only if you knew how. There were touches of whimsy throughout Free Agent that gave it the fairy tale feel we love, but grounded by hints of darkness to keep it from getting too frivolous.
Grimm’s character is one of more complicated in the story. I would love to get an inside glimpse into his story and more about his world (we get a bit, but not much). Maybe that will come in future stories?
The only drawback to Free Agent is the pace. The pace is all over the place. quiet, quiet, quiet, ACTION, infodump, quiet, quiet, ACTION. The action scenes were good, the quiet okay, but the infodumps could be spread out a little more.
Regardless, Free Agent was a surprising, fun read. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Armageddon Rules!