Book Review: Dead Matter

Dead Matter

Dead Matter, by Anton Strout

Simon Canderous is an agent with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, who has the ability to see the history of an object with just a touch. But when Simon and his girlfriend Jane are attacked at the grocery store, they have no idea what the monstrous creature is. Then, Simon discovers that his partner has been having troublesome dreams of his missing brother. Simon, Jane, and Connor soon find themselves a part of a scheme that could either lead to peace or bring about war for Simon’s employer and a secret society that has remained hidden for years.

Besides battling the forces of darkness, Simon and Jane excel at finding humor in any situation with their multiple pop culture references and jokes. All of Strout’s characters seem to have depth and their own fascinating story. His urban fantasy world is dark, with terrifying creatures, but is always handled with humor from Simon, lightening an otherwise suspenseful situation.

This great sense of humor, combined with vivid characters, a complex mystery, and plenty of danger, make for a fantastic read. And this latest installment is my favorite so far. Urban fantasy fans should not miss this exciting series.

Book Review: Cat’s Claw

Cat’s Claw

Cat’s Claw, by Amber Benson

Calliope Reaper-Jones is just trying to live a normal life in New York City, but that’s not so easy when you’re Death’s daughter. When the guardian, hellhound Cerberus calls in on a favor, Calli must hunt down a missing soul and return him to the gates of hell. But her quest isn’t as simple as it seems. Meanwhile, Calli discovers that a former flame, thought dead, is actually alive. But she’ll have to do some bartering to save his soul.

Benson has created a fun, unique, and witty world that plays upon many afterlife mythologies. Calli is a strong, independent character with a big heart. From her outlook on life – to her outlook on fashion, I enjoy every minute of her adventures.

This sequel weaves a complex story of revenge, curses, and conspiracy. Even more fast-paced and gripping than the first, Cat’s Claw is an exciting romp through the underworld, purgatory, Las Vegas, and even a glimpse of ancient Egypt. Smart and charming, with plenty of humor, Calliope Reaper-Jones is a fantastic addition to the urban fantasy genre.

Book Review: Being Human: Bad Blood

Being Human: Bad Blood

Being Human: Bad Blood, by James Goss

Based on the tv series Being Human, three roommates try to live normal, human lives. But Mitchell is a vampire, George is a werewolf, and Annie is a ghost.

An old friend of Annie’s shows up at the house. Denise is able to see Annie but doesn’t know that Annie died. When Denise decides to get Annie out and party often and hard, George isn’t happy about it. Denise and Annie decide to plan a seemingly harmless Bingo night, but someone else has their own agenda. And no one is safe.

This 3rd installment finishes up the story arc of the mysterious Hospital Administrator and his motivations for coming to town. Unlike the previous, this jumps from first person narrative of several characters and back to third person. Of course, the narrative doesn’t flow well, gets a bit confusing, and doesn’t really make much sense as to why the author chose to do this.

Most of the book is fairly slow with no plot progression as Denise takes Annie, George and Mitchell out on the town. Not much happens until the Bingo night. Then, the story picks up and gets exciting. Despite a lackluster start, the final third of the book builds up tension fairly fast, with heart-pounding suspense. Questions from the overlying story arc are finally answered throughout a climactic showdown, with a satisfying conclusion.

Book Review: Being Human: Chasers

Being Human: Chasers

Being Human: Chasers, by Mark Michalowski

Based on the tv series Being Human, three roommates try to live normal, human lives. But Mitchell is a vampire, George is a werewolf, and Annie is a ghost.

George is confronted with a shocking request from coworker and partner. They want him to be the father of their baby. But George’s condition might be genetic. Meanwhile, Mitchell meets a friendly man at the hospital who says he’s dying from cancer. This Leo seems to know a lot about Mitchell and wants something from him as well.

Another fast-paced mystery, this second installment picks up where The Road left off. With even more suspense than the previous, the story darkens and more questions arise with what is going on at the hospital. And the mild cliffhanger ending, had me jumping into the third novel immediately. If you’re a fan of the show, the tie-in novels are a wonderful addition to the series. Vampires, werewolves, and ghosts seem to be the perfect combination.

Book Review: Being Human: The Road

Being Human: The Road

Being Human: The Road, by Simon Guerrier

Based on the tv series Being Human, three roommates try to live normal, human lives. But Mitchell is a vampire, George is a werewolf, and Annie is a ghost.

When another ghost shows up at the house, the roommates are immediately suspicious of the motherly Gemma. Gemma’s son committed suicide years ago, but she’s not sure why she hasn’t crossed over. But Mitchell and George have stress at work as well, when a new hospital administrator arrives to evaluate performance at the hospital.

The story picks up after the first season of Being Human. This first installment of the tie-in novels reads much like a murder mystery. The same fascinating characters from the show are faced with new dilemmas and more drama. As a fan of the series, I wasn’t disappointed. A short, fast-paced read, this new story arc is off to a great start.

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