Title: Frost Moon
Author: Anthony Francis
Pages: 284 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Series (Skindancer #1)
Release: Already out (March 2010)
Publisher: Bell Bridges Books Purchased by me(was 99 cents at iBooks!)
Author info: www.dakotafrost.com
Spoiler Alert: In the clear.
Good Reads Blurb: In an alternate Atlanta where vampires and werewolves prowl the night, magic is real, and tattoo magic is the strongest magic of them all, a serial ki...more In an alternate Atlanta where vampires and werewolves prowl the night, magic is real, and tattoo magic is the strongest magic of them all, a serial killer is targeting the magically tattooed on the full moon. Dakota Frost, best magical tattooist in the Southeast, learns from the police she may be a target ... just when she receives a lucrative commission to ink a magic tattoo for a werewolf before the next full moon. Caught between the rough and tumble world of the werewolves, the law and order rules of the vampires, and a sexy man-in-black whose motives are in doubt, Dakota must tread carefully to survive - because she doesn't know whether her werewolf client is the tattoo killer ... or the next victim.
What would you do if you saw a six-foot tall woman with a deathhawk walking down the street covered in beautiful tattoos that seemed to move while decked out in leather – run to the other side of the street and hope she doesn’t see you or giggle a little when you notice her climbing on to her fierce vespa and slowly driving away? (For me I’m going with the giggling part – as long as she doesn’t see me) Dakota Frost is an interesting mix for a deathhawk sporting tattoo artist – she tries to be green (hence the vespa which gets 65mpg), she’s vulnerable (still hiding from the emotions of seeing her now vampire ex-girlfriend again), and she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Oh and did I mention she is a magical tattoo artist – it adds a whole other layer of awesomeness. Dakota lives in Atlanta but an Atlanta with a paranormal twist that contains the Edgeworld which is inhabited by vampires, shifters of all shapes and sizes, and others that deal in magic. Dakota is a member of both worlds, the dark and dangerous Edgeworld and the human world as well. The magic of Dakota’s tattoos can lead to extraordinary feats – by using the energy stored in her body she can power her butterfly tattoo to fly off her hand, get the elaborate dragon tattoo that covers her from foot to shoulder to dance, make flowers blossom on her back and the gems in her tattoos sparkle. As we learn through the book - the tattoos also have more powers than just putting on a good show.
Dakota gets pulled in to consult with the police on a case where someone has been stealing magical tattoos by skinning them off the person when they are still alive. Of course since Dakota is a magical tattooist she is concerned not only for her clients but also herself when it turns out that this is the work of a serial killer. Dakota is also drawn in to help a mysterious and sexy man in black, Phillip, who works for the Department of Extraordinary Investigations – and man does he have all the cool toys (including a stealthy black hawk helicopter). Dakota is a big flirt and is drawn to the secret agent man from the start while conflicted about how much information about other Edgers she should give-up to the Feds. As the search for the killer heats up Dakota finds herself drawn more into the Edgeworld and seeking help from her Edger friends – including her ex-girlfriend Saffron (the scene in which she first lays eyes on her ex again is pretty awesome and that “cage” had me giggling). Unfortunately, Dakota’s friends aren’t able to protect her from all her enemies but Dakota is tough and finds a way to deal with her nightmares while helping find the killer. And let me tell you I totally did not guess who the killer is – I love it when I can’t guess who the bad guy is until the big reveal!
Mr. Francis expertly interweaves the present day Atlanta into his take on the world. He describes many of the neighborhoods, like Little Five Points and Buckhead (and there is quite the twist with that one), along with the streets and stores in the area that I feel like I could go to the neighborhood right now and get a tattoo at the Rogue Unicorn where Dakota works. This is one of the parts of a story I love when an author can expertly describe the location in present day terms – like how St. Louis was described in the Anita Blake series so well that readers actually started to track down the locations (including specific houses) that Laurell K. Hamilton describes in the books (imagine the homeowners surprise when a stranger tells them their house was the scene of a fictional paranormal partner swapping). Mr. Francis has created a character in Dakota and a paranormal world that I can’t wait to read more about. Thankfully a second book, Blood Rock, is already in the making.
4 stars out of 5 for me, loved the flirty tough girl Dakota and her magical tattoos.
I love all books snarky, sexy, or action-packed! My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance though I read a little of everything. Please feel free to contact me at darklyreading (at) gmail (dot) com