I was put off initially by the title. I don't think this is a book I would have picked up based on the title of the book or the title of the series. Even the title page on the ebook included a font that made me dread beginning the book.
Then there was the prologue. . . I had a desire to stop reading after the first few pages of the prologue (not that that stopped me). The language was unappealing, a kind of arrogance and stiffness to it that I didn't like. I had a bias with the "noir" in the title of the series that this would be a certain type of book, and I found myself reading the words with what I think of as the noir cadence. It's the kind of cadence you expect out of a hard boiled detective story, where all the womens is dames.
But I found myself getting past that. By the second chapter, I was more interested in the story. I enjoyed learning the magic system and trying to catch up on the world that had already been built out by other works. I did not find it hard to follow as a solitary book. As a whole, I felt it was a fun romp by the last half of the book.
I might even read the other two books and the short story in the Grimnoir Chronicles, in part because I'm curious if I would like the main female character better if I read more about her. As it was, she was the part of the story that I felt most ambivalent about. On the one hand, she's extremely smart and powerful as well as empowered. On the other hand, I didn't like the way her point of view read. It was off-putting even though I wanted to like her.
The story sucked me in well enough to distract me from literary techniques, so I probably should reread it to try to figure out some of them. . .
Oh, alright, it's the compulsive part of my nature. If I do read the first parts of the series, then I'll have to reread the this book, and I don't think it will be a chore.