Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: Dead Spots

Dead Spots
Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of urban fantasy, especially with damaged heroines.
Trigger Warnings: Murder, graphic description of disemboweled and hacked-up corpses, (implied) child molestation, violence against women and children

My Thoughts: From the three blonde, sorority-girl-type witches, I knew this book had promise. I loved how Jesse Cruz reacted to everything; I think I would probably react in a similar fashion. I was also very amused by his story about how he was so scared of vampires when he was a kid, and he hid garlic cloves in his pockets, and put empty wine bottles all around his room, because he figured since Dracula didn't drink wine, he wouldn't like to see the wine bottles all over the place! That really made me laugh!

There were a few weird inconsistencies I noticed, though. For instance, at one point Jesse goes and has a big breakfast with his mother, but then in the next scenes, described as “an hour later,” he's described as having an empty stomach. When Olivia is first described, the first sentence in the paragraph calls her “a pretty woman” and the last sentence in the same paragraph describes her as “neither pretty nor ugly.” Then there is a place where Scarlett texts Will to ask exactly when Ronnie had texted him, but when I looked back, it was only mentioned that Will had received “a weird text,” and not that it was from Ronnie. There is also a lot of mixup and confusion over when the deadline is that Dashiell gives to Scarlett. Initially he tells her Friday at 6 a.m., but then the next day Jesse's boss says it's Sunday. The next day is the showdown, and three days later it is Wednesday. So that's a mess. And there are a couple other little things like this where the timeframe is mixed up. However, I read this book as an ARC, so there is a possibility that these things were noticed and fixed for the final copy, so it has not affected my rating.

While not a fan of love triangles, I think the developing triangle in this book is very realistic. I know I've been in a similar position many times. I also really liked Scarlett herself generally. She's in a tough situation, but she keeps trying to do the better thing. I think fans of urban fantasies will enjoy this story—the first book in a series—very much, and I'll definitely be watching for future books in this series to see what happens next. The ending has a huge twist that has left me wanting to know what happens next.

Disclosure: I received an ARC paperback from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: A woman with the ability to counteract magic is in a race against time—and the supernatural underworld—to catch a killer before another body drops. 

Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused—vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can't get out so much as a "hocus pocus." This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles's three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark. 

But one night Scarlett's late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD's Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he'll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn't sit well with Dash, the city's chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it'll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.

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