I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Kate Hale works as an actuary. Her job isn't to explore financial risks; instead, she takes the visions of oracles and assesses the risk of death to different individuals. The story kicks off with an oracle receiving an impossible death prediction and taking it to Kate just before the weekend. The society that Gower has built is extremely fascinating, with everyone relying on predictions and actuaries to figure out how they should live their lives. The oracle and actuary system is really interesting--government bureaucracy as applied to an urban fantasy world. It's painstakingly clever.
Past the worldbuilding, I can't decide if my favorite part of this book was the characters or the humor. I love the relationship between Kate and her police liaison, Becker. They trade jabs while also finding a way to work together to solve the case. Kate's desire to climb the bureaucratic ladder combined with her desire to stop the prediction from coming true and saving a man's life, make her a sympathetic character I immediately identified with. Her sharp observations about the society she lives in and her fumbling self-deprecation made me laugh.
The writing was wonderful and engaging--great descriptions and good plotting (I guess I wouldn't expect anything less from an award-winning author!). I'd say it's a fun, humorous read with a darker, serious underbelly that you get the feeling will be revealed as the series moves forward. Throw in a dash of romance, and you've got the basic recipe for this book! Basically, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the next one!