Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare
February 7, 2010
Paperback/E-Book, 244 Pages
Why I read: Author offered it for review, and honestly, I fell for the cover. Plus I couldn’t pass up reading about a vampire named Disco.
Favorite Quote: “I want this shit over and done. Can we strive to obtain that goal? I have a meaningless existence, and I can’t put that kind of action on hold indefinitely.”
Rhiannon Murphy likes to define her life as a bartender. She gets up, goes to work at the Black Panther, a strip club, and goes home. Her life may seem mundane, and that is exactly how she likes it, except for the tiny fact that she can see dead people. She is a necromancer, although she tries to ignore this fact and lead a normal life. A “regular” necromancer can’t see the dead undead,(really dead vampires) but Rhiannon can see dead vampires, and a “living” vampire, Disco notices this fact, and needs her help. Vampires have been disappearing, and no one knows why. Disco starts to stalk Rhiannon at work, and she wants nothing to do with him. She is a smart girl and knows vampires are not the sort you want to mingle with. But Disco is persistent, and let’s face it- mighty sexy.
Disco seeks help in a woman who is very sharp-tongued, blunt, and just a little stubborn. She is buff and can take down someone bigger than her, but the thought of socializing in a crowd of strangers sends her into panic mode. Rhiannon despises seeing dead people, and she questions why she should help “see your undead asses the second time around? Isn’t the first time enough?” Disco tells her she basically has no choice, and she knows better than to argue with a vampire. She figures she will give him what he wants, then she can return to her life. As if dealing with vampires is ever that simple.
After reluctantly agreeing, she learns there are others like her, as in Ethan McDaniel, or Goose as she calls him. With his help, they start investigating the vampire disappearances, and the dark black market of selling vampire blood. Rhiannon gets thrown into vampire politics, and she must decide if she wants to give up her lonely life and have a new family, one that might even include a sexy vampire.
As I said on Twitter right after I finished, Dead, Undead and Somewhere in Between is full of awesome. It is the best feeling to pick up a book from a new (to me) author and have no idea what you are about to read, and then not be able to put it down until you read the last page. Rhiannon is a heroine that made me laugh throughout, at some points I wanted to strangle, but overall was totally impressed with her growth and journey in the book. She lived a tough life in foster care, and really trusts no one. Then two men come into her life – Disco, a mysterious vampire, and even though her brain tells her vampires are evil, her instincts tell her he is one of the good guys. At first he demands her necromancy services, but their relationship becomes so much more as time goes by. Rhiannon doesn’t want to love, or like, or trust, but she grows and learns that some are worth taking a chance for. He confuses her, and says and does things that makes her tongue-tied – quite a feat.
The other man in her life (who is just a friend) is Goose, a fellow necromancer and always the gentleman. It is interesting to read about their dynamic – Rhiannon is much more powerful in her necromancer skills, but Goose has much more knowledge of the craft. They need each other to bounce off of, to make any progress in the mystery. Goose is deeply involved with Disco and his vampire family and I think seeing that relationship helps Rhiannon come to terms with them.
There is a point towards the end where Rhiannon rushes to investigate with no back-up, and I knew at that point trouble was brewing for her. I cringe when heroines (or heroes) who live in these very violent worlds, take matters into their own hands, when they know violence is right around the corner. Why not wait for help or consult with others. While she does get in trouble, I liked how events unfold.
I also have to mention Paine, Disco’s second in command – a tortured soul who when touches someone can see their past and future and sees their death. He carries around a very heavy burden, and JA Saare gives you just enough of him where you must know more.
The ending will make you shake your fist at JA Saare – I love to be tortured waiting for the next book, and oh does she torture us! Dead, Undead and Somewhere in Between is a great urban fantasy, with strong sexual tension and even a smoking hot love scene. I laughed, and was truly captivated throughout the book. This is definitely a book that I savored every page and I am eagerly anticipating the release of the second, The Renfield Syndrome.