I found Melissa Stephens writing both original and familiar. An odd combination, but very pleasant. She has in Nickie a very likable hero and exploring the world of the Kitsune through her eyes is an enjoyable experience, and while she is powerful she is not so powerful that you hear about a power or Talent as she calls it and think it's a matter of time before Nickie attains it.
Although there were times that the conversations were overly explanatory and formal,it helped cement the overall story and world. The only criticism of the story is that we don't really understand the actions of some of the characters because this is told strictly from Nickie's point of view. I felt that one of the characters in particular had a Jackal and Hyde shift that was not explained well enough, but again it couldn't be without going out of Nickie's point of view. Perhaps when she develops her Telepathy more.
Great set up. I loved it.