I was only interested in reading Alphas by Ilona Andrews, but I ended up reading the other stories, as well, even though they are parts of series I hadn't read. All of the stories were quite good (hence the four star rating), but I'm only going to review Alphas.
Pick up any Ilona Andrews book and you know the world-building is going to be top notch. It's a skill that is hard to pull off, and they have mastered it. That skill was evident here, too, but not with the usual subtlety and deftness that I've come to expect.
There were several info dumps throughout the story that were more glaring than usual. It's hard to fit a new world in a novella, so I think the length restriction probably played a role. Several times, I found myself skipping the info dump to get to the next paragraph, then having to force myself to go back. The information was important, especially if you look at this story as the start of a new series, but for a stand-alone novella, some of it was extraneous. Interesting, but not required.
The story itself was darker than most other books by Ilona Andrews. It was deeply emotional, most of it dark, and I connected with the main character, so her pain was my pain. I was pulling for her throughout the story, so I loved the end. I look forward to more books in this universe.