Working for the Devil

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!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Lilith Saintcrow
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Living With the Dead

Being accused of murdering your new boss isn’t the best way to get ahead in business.  Innocent but unable to prove it, Robyn Peltier has no idea what to do.  When it seems the murderer thinks she knows something and is after her too, she calls on best friend Hope Adams for help.  Along with Hope comes her boyfriend Karl, who Robyn finds a little creepy.  When it starts looking like the murder was supernatural in origin, Hope tries to help but keep Robyn unaware of the other side of her life.   Unfortunately, with Hope’s demon side revelling in all the chaos, a detective that can talk to ghosts, and Karl being a werewolf, Robyn quickly finds herself embroiled in a world she never knew existed.  She can fall apart or come out fighting and with the murderer on her heels everywhere she goes, falling apart is not an option.

I find Hope Adams an intriguing character.  Being a half-demon of chaos, she lives with her two natures, trying to keep both halves satisfied and controlled, but struggles to find a balance.  I’ve seen her grow through two previous books from a scared young woman afraid of her demon half to a bold, confident reporter and it’s been a good journey.  I liked that the mundane and supernatural world meet with the characters of Robyn and Finn, who I liked a great deal and both were great additions to the cast.

The book itself was a good, smooth read with enough tension and twists to keep you turning the pages.  This is something I’ve come to expect from Kelley Armstrong and her easy to read style of writing.  Happily, she delivers once again.   I also love the cameo appearances of characters from different Otherworld books, something that happens across the series and I hope that continues!

I found Living with the Dead quite poignant, the relationship between Hope and Karl was bittersweet and while I found the end quite sad, I also realise the necessity.  I look forward to Hope’s next book to see how she matures even further.

A great addition to the Otherworld series and a treat to read.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kelley Armstrong
  • Series: Women of the Otherworld (9)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)