Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Dying Bites by D D Barant

Dying Bites
D D 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.

St. Martin's Paperbacks


Rosy's scrawlings on Dying Bites
Ever wonder why worlds that contain vampires and werewolves aren't completely overrun by  the creatures? Ever think it was a tad illogical that they hadn't taken over the world and become the dominant species? And I don't mean on the food chain but rather in numbers. Sometimes I get thinking on these things when reading a fantasy or horror story and it appears I'm not the only one. In Dying Bites you get to see just what a world populated by these creatures would be like. And when you're reading this book you get to ponder the most important question: which would you want to be? Vampire or werewolf?
The world of Dying Bites is bright and colourful so don't take the cover illustration too much to heart. In fact, very little on the cover represents what you're going to find within the pages. What I found was a vibrant world where baby were's run about hunting rabbits, golems are protesting for equal rights and dogs sometimes turn into dopey but lovable humans (I can't remember when in the series the dog is introduced but he captured my heart immediately along with the Jace's golem partner). You also find all the cultural references jumbled up and the standard behaviour patterns of the populous altered dramatically due to the populous now being made up of three major groups: the werewolves, the vampires and the golems. (No, you can't choose to be a golem unless you want to be dead first, if that's doable.)
This book was purely and simply fun. It is well written, well edited and has a lot to say for it as an addition to the urban fantasy genre. But when you read it all you'll really care about is how fun the story is and this book will take you for a rollicking ride. The books that follow are just as enjoyable too so you could spend a week in an odd version of our world, pondering how you yourself would survive if you were in the same situation as Jace.
It has to be said that this book and those that follow focus on the case and action before things like world construction and the dash of romance. This keeps the book fast paced and suspenseful, with a distinct lack of over-the-top sex scenes to bog down the story. Who would focus on romance as soon as they've been thrown into a new world anyway? This might turn away a few of those who only like their urban fantasy as urban fantasy romance or paranormal romance but whoever does turn away would be missing out on the gentle (well, not always gentle) and thoughtful relationships within the book.

I'd recommend this book to: anyone interested in urban fantasy stories where the world is chock full of creatures who live out in the open and anyone who's never run across golems before. The book will likely appeal to female readers more than male as the protagonist is female but I'd recommend it to anyone who's an urban fantasy enthusiast as the story isn't overly focused on love, relationships or sex from the female perspective.

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