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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dead Man Rising (Dante Valentine, Book 2) by Lilith Saintcrow

Dead Man Rising is the second of five books in the Dante Valentine series. It was good, but not as good as the first. The first was great, this one was better than okay and right on the edge of good. I hope the next books go back to the quality of the first.

This book made me cry. A lot. Huge elephant tears. There were pages and pages of angst. I found myself skimming through the pages of angst to make sure I didn't miss something important (I didn't) just to get beyond it.

This felt like an "in between book". Kind of like New Moon, you have to have this part of the story for the rest of the story to work, and this part isn't any fun at all. Or, at least I'm hoping there was a good reason for all of that sadness and angst.

Book one was a fun book. Book two was not. For a large number of reasons. The main crime to solve in this book takes Dante back to her own personal hell. Lucifer is sending letters and calling her on the phone, bringing another kind of (more literal) hell to her doorstep. And then there is Jace. And, perhaps most of all, the pain she feels over the loss of Japhrimel.

Here is the blurb from the author's site.

Bounty hunting is a helluva job, but it pays the bills. And it lets necromance Dante Valentine forget her issues. Like struggling with her half-demon side and the memory of her lover’s death.

Now psychics all over the city are being savagely murdered, and a piece of the past Dante thought she’d buried is stalking the night with a vengeance. Too bad she’s got no way to tell which fiend — or friend — to trust. Or that her most horrifying nightmares are gathering to take one kick-ass bounty hunter down for the count.

But that’s only the beginning. The Devil just called. He’s looking for Dante’s lover - the one he killed…

A book doesn't have to be "fun" to be good. It can still be well written and make you cry and be a good book. But, in my opinion, the pages and pages of angst were just too much. Most of it was still well written, but some things were just repeated too many times.

Danny/Dante is still well written and a fully three dimensional character. And the main crime plot is good. And the follow through plot from the previous book is good. It's just that I personally felt the angst was overdone.

I'm giving this book a 7 of 10. If it weren't for a set up of better things to come, I might give it a 6 of 10. The series at this point, after two books, is also at a 7 of 10. I gave the first book in this series a 9 of 10, and I really hope the next books take us back to that.

Book Rating: 7 of 10
Series Rating: 7 of 10

1. Working for the Devil
2. Dead Man Rising
3. The Devil's Right Hand
4. Saint City Sinners
5. To Hell and Back

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