King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise
(Jeremiah Hunt #2)
Tor (Nov 2012)
Hardback, 352 pages
Urban Fantasy

King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise picks up where Eyes to See left off, with Jeremiah, Dmitri and Denise on the run from the FBI and wanted for serial murder.

Wrongly accused of being serial killer The Reaper from book one, Jeremiah and his friends flee across America in a desperate attempt to outrun the FBI taskforce that has proclaimed Hunt as their number one most wanted. Lying low in motel rooms and nondescript locations has served them well so far, until Denise demands that they abandon their isolated lifestyle in favour of the big city.

This is the city of New Orleans, which has come to her in a supernatural vision being ravaged by flames. After seeing ‘New Orleans’ written on the window when she awakes from the vision, Denise knows she cannot ignore it and is prepared to go ahead with or without Dmitri and Jeremiah. Refusing to abandon her, the trio embark on their journey to discover the true meaning behind the vision.

Upon reaching New Orleans they are greeted by Simon Gallagher, and old friend of Denise and Dmitri’s who seems to have had a past relationship with Denise. This stirs up some jealousy in Hunt, who seems to be falling for Denise despite little plot development in this area. Simon informs them of a mystery pandemic that is sweeping the state, seeming to only affect gifted individuals. The victims show no symptoms and are physically healthy, but are in a comatose stupor of silence and immobility.

With the pandemic victims increasing by the day, there is a limited amount of time for Hunt and the others to get to the bottom of what’s causing the mystery illness, whilst still trying to evade police detection. Tensions are running high, and when the source of the illness is revealed there’s a race against time to prevent the problem worsening, with the threat to Hunt and his friends becoming worse than deadly.

This return to the world of Jeremiah Hunt and his ghost sight wasn’t as exciting as the first novel, and I was disappointed that the series hadn’t improved upon the first instalment. As a character, Hunt wasn’t really developed any more and I had expected at least a little bit of growth after the conclusion of book one. He also seems to have developed a growing love for Denise, which I didn’t feel had been detailed enough and seemed too instantaneous for my liking.

I enjoyed the multiple perspectives in the novel, as we primarily get Jeremiah’s viewpoint with his first person narrative, giving us an insight into his complex emotions, but we are also given the views of Denise and FBI agent Robertson. Denise’s perspective offers a better interpretation of her own supernatural powers, as well as her own feelings towards Hunt. Robertson’s perspective was also interesting as we are always aware of the FBI investigation and how close they are to discovering the trio, adding a bit of extra suspense. However, despite this I would have loved to read something from Dmitri’s character, as he hardly undergoes any development even though he is ever-present.

In terms of the plot, I thought that it was built up nicely at the beginning but then began to lose intrigue. This was because it begins with the seemingly explainable plotline of the pandemic, and then declines by introducing a variety of new supernatural concepts. I liked the initial supernatural instances, but then when even more beings were introduced towards the end I felt that this was a step too far and that the author had tried to incorporate too many creations and imposed an overload. Hopefully the third novel in the series will be better than this one, as book one created a solid foundation for good plotlines and I think this second edition just missed the mark.

VERDICT:

This second book in the Jeremiah Hunt series lacked some of the spark of the first book, as I didn’t feel that Hunt really progressed as a character. There was very little information offered on the other main cast members, and the plot lines went from feasible supernatural to downright bizarre by the end. I wasn’t as impressed with this second instalment and hope the series offers something new in book three.

RATING:

JOSEPH NASSISE ONLINE
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BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER

  1. Eyes to See
  2. King of the Dead

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Rebecca

A book-loving student, currently studying English at university, whose favourite genres vary from crime to paranormal to romance! Slightly obsessed about books, will extensively spend time making sure no spines or pages are creased before purchasing.

2 Comments


Spaz April 23, 2013 at 12:33 am

I completely agree that this book missed its mark. It felt a bit disjointed to me. The FBI agent’s scenes had NO real bearing on the plot and was just something to get in Hunt’s way. No character development to speak of and you’re absolutely right that Hunt’s “love” for Denise didn’t develop in the way real emotions do. I also have issue with Nassise’s writing, specifically the way he likes to end chapters with a “little did we know…” hook. It feels gimmicky and amateurish to me. Having said all that, I’ll give through the third book to decide if Nassise can hook me or not. He fumbled the ball with King of the Dead, but I want to see if he can recover the ball and run it in for the touchdown.

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Rebecca April 29, 2013 at 7:40 am

Yes, I understand what you mean about Nassise’s writing style as it doesn’t always add to the story, especially when the ‘little did we knows’ are answered straight away in the next chapter. I’ll also pick up book three to see if it gets better, and am hoping for an improvement to form.

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