Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review of Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J. A. Saare

What could be worse than working in a strip club having to sling drinks for all the not hot but horny men who frequent there - probably being assaulted by ghostly images of the dead in every gory detail. Unfortunately for Rhiannon she get's both! Rhiannon, the heroine of "Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between", has fled to New York City to escape her dark and desperate past in Florida and to start a new life for herself. What she doesn't plan on is that her gift of necromancy, or seeing the dead, will bring the attention of the undead in NYC. One night of hustling pool brings her to the attention of Disco (the reason for his name is revealed later in the book) and he makes her an offer she isn't allowed to refuse - to help Disco find out what's killing off local vampires. Rhiannon's gift for necromancy is so strong she can see vampires in their second death - a gift her fellow necromancer and co-investigator Goose doesn't possess. As Goose's and Rhiannon's attempts to track down the killers become more complicated so does Rhiannon's relationship with Disco.

Rhiannon is definitely one of the best new heroines I've read recently. J.A.Saare does a great job of slowly unraveling her bitter and caustic outer shell so that we learn what makes her tick. And let me tell you her past is not pretty but you definitely begin to empathize with her character and appreciate more the big steps she takes as she begins to trust those around her. At least she does face the world with sarcastic humor which you find throughout the book as well as in Rhiannon's Law's - one of my favorites is from the first page of the book:
Rhiannon's Law #27: When you're working in a gentlemen's club and one of your dancer's takes off those heels, alert the big guns, an ass kicking is on the menu.

The relationship between Rhiannon and Disco is filled with delicious sexual tension. Rhiannon goes from despising Disco to something more complicated. Saare doesn't try to re-invent the vampire myth, instead she puts her energy into her characters and it pays off. My only complaint is that we don't learn more about the secondary characters - our glimpses at Disco's vampire family were great and I hope we learn more about them in future books! And let me just say the ending of the book has left me ravenous for the next one!

4 out of 5 stars for me, a great start to a series with an ass-kicking heroine and that ending left a lot of possibilities as to what is going to happen next.

Be sure to check out J. A. Saare's blog here and you can buy the book here

Disclosure: I did receive a copy of this book from the author but the review is my own honest opinion.


Smokinhotbooks said...

I like when authors don't spend too much time trying to re-invent the vampire wheel. We all need some time to recover from sparkly vamps.

Great Review!

J.A. Saare said...


Thank you for such a wonderful, well-written, and articulate review! I'm so glad you enjoyed Dead and Rhiannon, and appreciate your taking the time to read and review the story. ;-)

When The Renfield Syndrome is a go, I'll be sure to spread the word.


Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Smokinhotbooks hehe..sparkly vamps - nothing can beat that reinvention! Maybe vampiric musical toots that smell like stawberries..hehe

@J.A. Saare - I'm glad you like the review! I can't wait till the next book - cliffhanger endings always get me all worked up!

Cari Quinn said...

Excellent review for an excellent book! I can't wait for The Renfield Syndrome!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Cari - me too! And that's a great title too for the next book!

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Hmm...I've been wondering about this one. It sounds interesting. I'll have to add it to my TBR list! Thanks for the review!

P.S. Just found your blog and became a follower. You're off to a great start! :)

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Natalie I hope you'll like the book! I thought it was a good one. And thanks for following me - since I just started blogging every follower is precious to me ;D

dArLyN said...

Hi heather! I just found your blog and very glad. i like your review on the book and find the book really amusing..

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@dArLyN I loved the vampire name "Disco" - it was the first time I've heard that one!

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