Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Book Review: Dying Bites by DD Barant

Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world—one in which only one percent of the population is human—is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day…

Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she’s the best there in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David’s world—one that also includes lycanthropes and golems—is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again…


Jace Valchek is an FBI profiler with a proven track record for hunting psychopaths. When a possible mentally ill human starts killing supernatural beings in their world, vampire NSA head Cassius takes Jace from her world to come to his and solve the case. If she fails, she may never see her own world again. But the human she seeks offers to be her ally instead-does she ally with a fellow human to overthrow the government who brought her here by force, or does she betray her rebelling species instead?

This was a very good, action packed urban fantasy adventure, exactly the kind that I enjoy. There is no extra waffle, no slow scenes, no boring bits and the story flows smoothly, grabbing the reader and pulling you along for the ride. I didn't want to put this down once I got started. There are so many characters to enjoy as well. Jace is a tough agent who deals with scumbags on a daily basis but she is way over her head trying to deal with a cast of vampires and werewolves who might want to eat her! I like that she is angry about her situation, confused by her surroundings and makes a ton of mistakes. Who wouldn't in those circumstances? And the doubts she had about what side she was really on gave it an interesting twist.

You also have the boss man who is cool, attractive and just a little sinister if you get on the wrong side of him, but I liked him. The author also introduced the golems which was something a bit different for me, especially in a starring role. Jace is given a golem bodyguard called Charlie who wears sharp suits and fedoras-a vision that really cracked me up just thinking about it. I kinda had an image of The Thing from Fantastic Four in my head! Charlie was my favourite character as he is witty and we get some really funny interactions between him and Jace.There are other sidekicks who appear through the book to help her and I liked them all, which makes a change.

It was interesting for the human to be stranded in a world where she is in the minority and in constant danger, which has Jace on edge the whole time. I also liked the way the people of the two worlds were fascinated by each others technology and strange ways. I really enjoyed the plot as well. The book cleverly mixes our world history into a supernatural context ie what happened to vampires and werewolves in Nazi style camps with death and medical experimentation, plus we had the serial killer story as well. For those who like a bit of romance, there are several potential love interests for Jace in future books which could be interesting. 

A good supporting cast kept this book fresh, good action, good humour and I really look forward to reading book 2 at some point.

“I look over at him. He stares straight ahead.
"So," I say. "Golem, huh?"
"I prefer the term 'Mineral-American.”
D.D. Barant, Dying Bites 
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

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