Title: Already Dead (Joe Pit #1)
Author: Charlie Huston
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2007
Paperback: 277 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Review Copy
Reviewed by: Carolyn
RATING: 8/10 – Brilliant, couldn’t put it down.
They live among us, slaves to the very condition that empowers them. They are the Vampyre, and their sole chance at survival lies in banding into Clans. Only Joe Pitt has gone his own way. The upside is freedom. The downside is there’s nobody on his side when trouble comes around.
Joe gets rough receptions from all the countless Clans shifting about on the island of Manhattan, but his current trouble is with the Coalition ? the Clan that controls the city river to river, from 14th Street to 110th Street. To make things right, Joe takes on his most perilous case: The daughter of a prominent New York family is missing, and her Vampyre fascination makes Joe the ideal man for this high-stakes job. With his ferocious style, Charlie Huston offers a thrilling new twist to one of our oldest myths.
‘Already Dead‘ is exactly what I was hoping for: gritty, edgy and dark, and I was pulled into Joe Pitt’s life from the very first page. Joe is a vampyre and a paranormal detective of sorts, and is investigating deaths by zombie and the disappearance of a young girl after being hired by her mother who desperately wants her found. As the investigation moves along, both cases come together in a satisfying conclusion.
Joe doesn’t give off great vibes at the beginning of the book, and he’s even slightly unlikable, a bit of a sleazy character, with a sad and unsavoury past. But after a while I started to like him. He’s actually a good guy who’s just trying to get by, living his life as he wants to live it. Although sometimes it gets him into trouble.
Joe’s world is that of rival vampyre gangs, which divide New York City. Joe belongs to neither, a rogue vampyre, preferring to stay neutral and only taking jobs from the rival clans when it suits him. This is treading dangerous ground, as each clan wants him to join them, and Joe knows it’s only a matter of time before they make him choose.
There’s also a side of romance with the addition of Evie, a human woman with her own problems, especially with her health. She isn’t aware of Joe’s ‘disease’ and he’s not sure he wants to tell her. And yet the very thing that makes him a vampyre could save her life. We see a sweeter, gentler side to Joe when he’s with Evie and I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops throughout the series.
Huston doesn’t use quotation marks, although each passage of speech is separated with a dash. I thought this would cause confusion when I first started reading, but each character is so distinctive that I had no problem recognising who was talking.
Vampyrism is caused by a Vyrus and zombies are made by the transference of a bacteria which needs to feed on brains to survive, so there’s enough lovely brain gorging to satisfy even the most diehard zombie fan.
‘Already Dead ‘is a unique take on the vampyre story and a brilliant read. It’s raw, atmospheric and has a very urban feel to it. If you love vampires and zombies then I’m sure you will love this book. But be warned this isn’t the run of the mill urban fantasy, it’s quite different with it’s noir fiction style, but it’s one I would recommend in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to read the rest of this fantastic series.
You can find out more about the author here:
I have a copy of Already Dead for one very lucky winner, courtesy of Orbit to giveaway.
This contest is International and ends Saturday (27th). Winner will be announced on Sunday (28th)