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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.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dying Bites (Bloodhound Files book 1) by DD Barant


Dying Bites takes place on an alternate earth. If you’ve seen Howard the Duck, then you have a bit of an idea of what I’m talking about – that was another world where the birds evolved instead of the apes, but they still spoke English, used condoms, had the same form of government, had TV and Lazy Boy chairs, etc.

The alternate universe in Dying Bites originally had humans as the top of the food chain, but instead of the Chinese inventing gunpowder and fireworks (and thus, guns and nuclear weapons as a primary weapon source centuries later), in this world the Chinese tapped into magic, creating clay “men” who fought with magic. And this brought out the vampires and lycanthropes, who are now the majority, with humans making up a fraction of one percent of the earth’s population. Humans are part of the food chain here, they are not the dominant species. Slang for a human is "OR" - original recipe. (Yes, apparently this universe also has KFC.)

There was a Jack the Ripper in this universe, a Hitler, Stalin, etc. Language is exactly the same, she can tell where someone is from by their accent (Texas, London, etc). They still speak Japanese in Japan, there are still secret research facilities at the south pole, there is an FBI and an NSA, and a computer taken from our earth can get on the internet in this other reality.

Once you get beyond that, and get into the story on this alternate world, it’s actually a very good story. A very, very, good story.

I like Jace, and I like most of the decisions she makes. She’s quite literally like a fish out of water, but she hits the ground running without totally freaking out. And I love her smart assed replies.

I am way curious about how the series is going to progress from here.

Here's the blurb:

Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world—one in which only one percent of the population is human—is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day…

Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she’s the best there in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David’s world—one that also includes lycanthropes and golems—is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again…

I can see that there is the possibility for lots of food for thought as the series progresses. The three dominant species are Vampires, Lycanthropes, and Golems. The humans are having to basically act as terrorists in order to be heard, and Jace has been trained to have zero respect for terrorists. But... she's human, and so are they. I don't want to say much more because I don't want to give spoilers, suffice it to say that I loved the first book and can't wait to read the next one.

As for the writing elements, the plot is brilliant. Twisted, but brilliant. The pacing is good, prose is skillfully done, dialogue is kick-ass, character development has a depth that I really appreciated, and world building is top notch. I loved some of the details given in the world building - beautifully done.

The debut book in the series gets a 10 of 10 from me. I won't rate the series after one book.
  • Book Rating: Dying Bites: 10 of 10

And now I'm getting started on Death Blows. Can't wait to see what happens next.

1. Dying Bites: The Bloodhound Files
2. Death Blows
3. Killing Rocks


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