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Review: A Shot in the Dark by K.A. Stewart

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Shot in the Dark (Jesse James Dawson, #2)A Shot in the Dark by K.A. Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I really dug this book. It had me completely engrossed right away, right back in the world without any hesitation. Jesse's voice is so authentic, I never for a second doubted that this was a real guy and that these things were really happening, just like in the first book. Stewart has a real gift for making the things she's writing about seem completely real, whether it's something that is based in reality, like Jesse's home life or the Colorado woods, or something as terrifying as his nightmare come back to life to hunt him down again. I like the fact that when he gets hurt, he's hurt, he's no superhero. He has nightmares because of the terrifying things he's had to do and seen, but he still keeps trying to help people because he's one of the few people who's aware of the problem with demons and has the ability to do something about it and he thinks it's important work. He's a champion by choice, not by some magical calling or fate or destiny. He's human. It's also a terrific balance of banter. action and darkness, keeping things from getting too serious or too silly in any moment. And Axel is a great character, of course, seeing how that's unfolding and trying to figure out what's going on in the demon world is fascinating.

There is an inevitable comparison to Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden because Jesse is a guy and there a bantering, witty style. And if you like Harry then you may well enjoy this too, but it's not really the same thing. Sure, Jesse is tall and skinny and a bit awkward in some ways, and Harry does like to use a sword sometimes, but they're really totally different guys. Jesse is a modern samurai swordsman with tattoos, not a lick of magic, a happy marriage and a sweet five year-old daughter. Other than skinniness and a similarity in wit he really couldn't be any more different from Harry. There are tons of snarky urban fantasy heroines out there these days and plenty of room for all of them if they're well done. And there is definitely room for this samurai swordsman on my shelf as well, I'm a big fan and I can't wait for the next book to come out.



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Review: Accidentally Dead, Again by Dakota Cassidy

Accidentally Dead, Again (Accidentally Friends, #6)Accidentally Dead, Again by Dakota Cassidy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I really liked this one I lot. It was fun that it started out seeming like the typical goofy paranormal romance, just another book in the series with the familiar friends bickering and lots of silliness. But then there are twists. Several good twists, and layers. For one thing, there was Phoebe, who wasn't the fluffy Barbie she appeared to be. She had substance and steel, a temper and a lot of passion. And a big secret of her own. And I really liked the idea of how Phoebe and Same were actually accidentally turned, the mystery that they had to investigate, and the jeopardy that they were in. And then there was the reveal about Sam and the layers that that added to the story. And then a few more twists got thrown in at the end for good measure. As usual, Dakota's light fluffy book wasn't just a silly story, it had a lot of stuff going on to keep things interesting during the laughs and adventures, and tons of heart and soul. She's just a smart chick, she knows exactly what she's doing and she does it really well and it's always a pleasure to watch her stories unfold.

I also loved that she thanked her Facebook friends and Tweeps in her dedication. And I enjoyed all of the soap opera references and TV references, it's definitely all in good fun. Anyone who does follow her on Twitter or FB knows that she really does enjoy silly TV and isn't mean spirited about it at all. I don't think she's mean spirited about anything except people who are, in fact, mean spirited, like evil ex-husbands (see the ex-Trophy Wives books) or people who are cruel to animals. And if you don't follow her, I highly recommend it, she's just a lot of fun. Her commentary about shows I don't even watch (Housewives!) is hilarious and she's just a lovely, fun person.



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