Title: Dead, Undead, Or Somewhere In Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1)
Author: J. A. Saare
Publisher: Mundania Press
Publication Date: February 2010
Paperback: 212 Pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Own Copy
Reviewed by Laura
RATING: 8/10, leaning towards a 9/10 - brilliant, couldn’t put it down
One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.
No one knows better than Rhiannon Murphy that one bad corpse can ruin your whole day.
She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her—until now.
The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.
But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.
Meet Rhiannon, foul-mouthed, serious attitude and kick arse, strip club bartender. She’s also a necromancer, a talent she’s done her very best to hide and ignore. Unfortunately her luck is just about to run out and the local vampires are suddenly taking a serious interest in her. Before she knows it, Rhiannon finds herself working for the vampires investigating a series of vampire murders.
‘Dead, Undead, Or Somewhere In Between’, is a fast paced, non stop, urban fantasy. Rhiannon is a character that takes some getting used to, she’s unique and fiery and has a mouth your mother would want to wash out with soap. Yet, I liked her. I wanted to find out what made her the way she is. What has made her defensive, tough and isolated from others.
In fact it got to the stage I was kind of desperate to find out about Rhiannon’s past by the time it all came spilling out. Despite her cock-sure attitude, Rhiannon also has a surprising innocence and vulnerability about her which made her a fascinating character when you scratched beneath the surface.
At the heart of the book is a great mystery and some seriously dark magic rituals as Rhiannon helps the vampires get to the bottom of the spate of murders. The story has some dark and bloody (literally) parts, which is just how I like my urban fantasy. The story moves at just the right pace, with just the right amount of action, romance and I’m not afraid to say it violence.
Rhiannon aside, there are some great characters, fellow necromancer Ethan, nicknamed ‘Goose’ by Rhiannon, the fabulously handsome and charismatic vampire Disco and his second in command Paine. Each of them compelling in their own right and for very different reasons. Each of them also having a significant impact on Rhiannon’s journey.
The love story in this book is absolutely lovely, more romance really than urban fantasy. At the beginning I suspected a potential love triangle as there were two possible suitors for Rhiannon, but I’m glad the book decided not to go down that route. The love story is a fabulous secondary plot line to the main mystery and surprisingly warm and tender.
Then there’s the ending. I so didn’t see that one coming! What a fantastic twist, if a killer cliffhanger! In fact it’s a route I’ve not seen urban fantasy take before and I’m totally intrigued as to how the story us going to proceed in ‘The Renfield Syndrome’.
I would highly recommend this book for urban fantasy fans, Rhiannon has all the makings of a great urban fantasy heroine that will give many of my favourites a run for their money.