28 April 2011

Book Banter -- Dead Man Rising

Title: Dead Man Rising (Dante Valentine, bk. 2)
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Genre: Urban fantasy
Length: 273 pages (e-book)
Where Bethany's Copy Came From: IMCPL Digital Collections
Plot Basics: Saint City's best bounty hunter, Dante Valentine, is leaping from job to job as a way to bury the grief from losing Japhrimel (bk. 1) and avoiding finding out exactly what she is now that he imbued her with. She and Shaman Jace Monroe are contacted by their friend Gabe at the police department to look into a string of brutal but seemingly unconnected murders. When one of the dead turns out to be an old classmate of Danny's from the infamous Rigger Hall psionic training center, Danny has to face her history to get to the bottom of the murders. The abusive headmaster at Rigger was allegedly taken down by a group of his students and as Danny learns, the dead have ties to that group. Guided by Japh's voice (even though she believes him dead), Danny goes back to Rigger to take down the murderer and face her fears.

Banter Points: It has been more than a year since I read the first Dante Valentine book and I'm wondering why I waited so long. I was definitely in the mood for some urban/paranormal fantasy and "Dead Man Rising" absolutely fit the bill. Danny is a great character - tortured and ferocious and romantic. It's easy for urban fantasy characters to be there only as window dressings between the fight scenes, but Danny herself is compelling to read the story. How she will react to the events around her kept me turning pages.

Bummer Points: I had to get entirely reconnected to Danny's world since it had been so long since I read book one. The words for the different magic types looked familiar, but I couldn't remember all the in's-and-out's of the world and it made for slower reading.

Word Nerd Recommendation: I'm definitely going to keep going with this series, and sooner rather than later. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dante Valentine series ends up in my list of "Can't Miss" urban fantasy books -- right up there with Dresden Files and Weather Warden series'.

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