Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Any pizza is personal-sized if you believe in yourself.”
Tallulah Corentine expected some down time after cheating death a few times in her last assignment but her employer isn’t the most considerate of bosses. In fact Seth, the God of Storms, isn’t considerate at all. When Tallulah is contacted by the Seattle PD about a body, she’s dismayed to find a child bearing the mark of Seth has been murdered and fears her old boyfriend Prescott, the right hand of death, has had a “hand’ in it. Tallulah soon learns that this is one of eleven murders that span the countryside. All soon to be clerics to the gods and goddesses.
As every cleric and priest in North America make their way to Las Vegas for the annual Convention of the Gods, Tallulah worries that they have all just painted a huge target on their backs. With the help of a demi-god, a teenage stowaway, and a man who just screams “bad luck” Tallulah has to discover and stop this killer before they strike again.
Driving Rain is the second in Sierra Dean’s delightfully dark and amusingly suburban-like urban fantasy series that pairs a smart mouth cleric for the God of Storms with his son, a gorgeous demi-god trying to find his footing in this new to him world. A heavy character driven base fuels the story with snappy wit infused dialogue, an intriguing mystery, and some forbidden romance as it flows smoothly along towards the end. Fans of the show Supernatural are sure to enjoy this series as the heroine, Tallulah, reminds me heavily of Dean Winchester and like Dean, her job is thankless, painful, and often done under duress. Leo, her current unwanted sidekick, is a shoe-in for Sam (Dean’s long suffering brother).
“No, I don’t need sidekick . I don’t need an assistant. I work alone.”
Unlike book one, this installment is pretty low key action wise and not filled with constant danger. In fact, I really felt this installment was extremely calm; focusing on more on emotional internal issues. Tallulah is extremely excited for the annual Convention of the Gods. Not only is it a three-day long party, it will give her a chance to see Cade, the bad luck priest of Audra and a romantic interest, and her twin sister Sunny, a cleric for Apollo. She hasn’t seen her twin in over five years and any attempts to stay in constant touch with her would have drawn unwanted attention to them. Family, companionship, and love are the three things Tallulah misses the most that are denied to her due to the rules for clerics. The gods and goddesses don’t like being second best to anything or anyone so any relationships beyond their own temple are forbidden.
“I felt a pang, thinking of the life my sister and I might have had if not for the stupid marks we’d been born with. I hadn’t even had a chance to imagine being something else because I’d known my whole life this was my fate.”
Tallulah Corentine is the type of urban fantasy heroine I love. Strong, intelligent, loyal, and fallible. Born with a special mark that announced to the world she was a vessel for a God, her future was decided without her knowledge or input. Tallulah is a cheer-worthy urban fantasy heroine. Her love of American muscle cars and 80s hair metal bands give her an amusing and decidedly human edge. Tallulah has been with Seth since her parents handed her over to his temple as a child and while she resents 99.9% of her time spent working for him, there is that 1%-that single moment when her life feels more of a gift than a curse.
“In my whole life I’d never had people cheer like that for what I did. I felt…I felt special. I felt seen.”
A series of plotlines hold your attention while keeping the main storyline flowing smoothly. We learn Tallulah is still dealing with the fallout from her last gig and she has been charged by a God to find the person responsible for killing the cleric. Deans use of time travel in the resolution of the main conflict was surprising (we don’t see much time traveling anymore)but felt a tad lazy in its attempts to resolve a previous plotline. I’m curious to see if Dean writes in a paradox for Tallula to solve in the future.
Dean brings back her dynamic secondary cast to help Tallulah with an introduction of a few new faces to help. One such new face hits Tallulah hard in the heart as she tries to show a teenager that being a cleric is anything but the glamorous and fun money making gig she seems to think it is.
“So it’s a take your juvenile delinquent to work day, then?”
I love the dynamics with which Dean infuses her characters. These well developed entities are so deliciously layered that you aren’t sure what their game is but you can’t wait to find out. This world is so open to more exploration. Dean has not even begun to tap into it’s potential for new adventures and new characters in which to help Tallulah carry them out.
Through Driving Rain takes a different route than book one, it still offers fans the action, suspense, humor, and unpredictability that we have come to expect from Sierra Dean. I do wish the villain had been a bit more involved in the story. The reasoning behind the murders was sad but I felt there was more to it then we were told. Regardless, I loved revisiting with Tallulah, Leo, and the rest of the gang and getting a deeper, more personal look into the emotional side of Tallulah. I look forward to the next book in the series-Highway to Hail-which is slated to release early 2018.