I’d heard of Lilith Saintcrow but not had the opportunity to read any of her work until now. Having just finished the first book in the Dante Valentine series I wish I had started much earlier! Saintcrow has created a wonderful character in Danny (Dante), a woman who stands out from the crowd with plenty of layers to her personality. She is both powerful and kick ass but also tempered by vulnerability on a fundamental level. The hints of trauma in her past are well created, and I found her easy to believe in.
Japhrimel on the other hand is an interesting enigma; his inability to understand human nature made him seem almost naive at times and yet powerful at others. As his interactions and emotions evolved where Danny was concerned he became much more likeable, but still retained his sense of ‘otherness’.
Having Dante as a Necromancer for hire isn’t a unique premise in the market these days, but the slant that Lilith injects into to the story is. Of course, the devil turning up on Dante’s doorstep to hire her is a bit of an eye opener!
The magic system the author created is incredibly intricate but easy to understand. It is based in mythology, history and current practices and beliefs, then woven together to form different branches of skills. The Necromance ability of Dante’s is fascinating and I really enjoyed this aspect of the overall read.
I also liked the futuristic setting that was used, I thought it was unique and a good way of explaining a lot of things that had happened in the world without having to play with current events. I honestly thought it would be a paranormal romance and was pleasantly surprised that sex and romance were not at the forefront at all, and what there was of it was very well written, leaving it to the reader’s imagination rather than spelling it out blatantly. I’m not sure if it should be classed as Sci-fi, Urban Fantasy or a hybrid of both. Either way, it’s good!
I thought the pace was really well judged, with action scenes which were exciting and tense. I was so caught up in the story and the characters, the ending just about broke my heart! I don’t know how this book can be topped by the next but I can’t wait to find out!