Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review

Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between
J.A. Saare
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Kindle eBook

From the author's website:
One bad corpse can ruin your whole day. No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s 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’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her – until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she 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.

My take on it:
First of all, if this were a print book, the first thing you’d notice would be dog-eared pages marring the pristine condition. Alas, as it’s an eBook the visual display of my favorite lines and scenes is not quite as dramatic. This book drew me in from the first line. I mean, seriously, the first line. Opening line:

Rhiannon’s Law #27: When you’re working in a gentlemen’s club and one of your dancers takes off those heels, alert the big guns, an ass kicking is on the menu.

I read this line in a sample excerpt on J.A. Saare’s website and stopped. I didn’t want to read further until I could read the entire book. Three reads later, I’m still hooked.  Saare has a unique voice blaring out from the lines, creating a sense of Rhiannon’s personality, through her straight-forward narration and kick-ass attitude. I don’t know that I could do Saare justice by describing it, so I’ll add another quote:

I had beers to refill, drinks to concoct, and other witty Casanovas with well-researched one-liner’s to endure.

Add in the dark, hot and sexy Disco (yes, that’s his name. Don’t judge, he’s hot) and you have a fiery combination that continues to blaze as the plot plays out. Rhiannon bartends in a strip bar, providing endless opportunities for witty remarks and sexual insinuation to keep a smile on your lips.

Beyond that, I love a kick ass chick lead. Rhiannon definitely fills that role. She takes a beating and keeps on snarking. A quality I admire in a narrator. But she also has a vulnerable side, which strengthens the bond I feel with her. Even the side characters have a life of their own and aren’t carried by the story. Disco’s family and Rhiannon’s co-workers project their own personalities in their actions and their voices. 

With these characters to spur it along, the plot plays out nicely. Though I will admit to being upset with Saare for the ending (which I’m not giving away). However, I cannot maintain my displeasure since the sequel The Renfield Syndrome is set to release August 23, 2011!! Actually, I found out about The Renfield Syndrome after reading this book again last week, and getting upset again. Filled with all of my reader angst, I Tweeted her about a sequel. How in the world I missed the upcoming release? I wish I knew!

Favorite lines:
If he’d been a human male, it would have left him cockeyed for days. I guessed the family jewels were either non-existent or just plain vampire durable.

The only way my life could get worse is if I got my throat ripped out. Coincidentally, I was due to leave my place of employment and enter into a darkened alley to meet up with a vampire. So the odds weren’t stacked in my favor. Not at all.

Rhiannon’s Law #37: Don’t get so high and mighty. God will only reward that arrogance with a huge bitch slap back to reality.

I have a meaningless existence, and I can’t put that kind of action on hold indefinitely.

Check out Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between or, if you've read it already, pick up a copy of The Renfield Syndrome at the tail end of August.

P.S. After you've read Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between, check out Eyes On Me and More Than Words from the author for even more on our leads!


  1. OK, snarky and sexy, what's not to love. You guys are really adding to my already hard to manage TBR list. ;)

  2. You've just reminded me of why I used to read so much urban family. This is the kind of book I would have tackled previously. I would probably still read some of it if not for my blogging schedule. You've definitely made some excellent points, though, and I will keep an eye out for this book. Thanks, Kyla!

  3. @creativedeeds - That is no lie! My list grows so much faster than I can read!

    Kyla, I love your voice in your reviews. You review like you are talking to us rather than peddling a book we really ought to read. Do you know what I mean?

    In any case, UF is not what I would call a usual read for me. However, of the ones I have read, I have found them enjoyable. Looks like UF is going on my list of preferred genres. :) And Disco? Glad you said don't judge cause Disco? Really? But Alas, if he is hawt enough, I suppose the name can be overlooked. I will read this book and judge for myself. I am curious to see just how hawt a guy named Disco can actually be. ;)

  4. I actually have this book on my Nook, as I type! *laughs* And while I read a ton of UF, I admit that the real reason I bought it is because I love tweeting with the author. She's one of those "super nice" ones I'm lucky enough to have found.

    I love you, Ky, and will take you at your word that Disco is hawt enough to make me forget his name. And hopefully mine, too. *wink wink*

    I like how you use snippets of the book to better showcase the tone, and to emphasize your points. And since you say the characters are made of win, I'll have to bump this up my TBR list.

    *ignores paper cuts said TBR list is now giving me for rearranging and adding to it... again*

    Louise @ Between the Covers



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