Written by: Kelly Gay
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 391 (ARC)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil . . . .
Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim--but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?
Glad It Was Free: in the end, I have very mixed feelings about this book. On paper, everything about it looks great, and it's one of the reasons I really wanted to read this. But on an emotional level, I just couldn't connect. Maybe it's because I'm not divorced, I'm not a mom, and I'm not even comfortable with kids, so any motivation that stemmed from those items I could intellectually get, but not emotionally connect to. And then there's the fact I never really believed Charlie as a cop. I thought she was too much what people THINK cops would be like and not enough of what cops ACTUALLY are like. Sure, her death changed her, but you don't see the before, and you're left with the after that, if you don't read the plot summary, you don't know there IS an after. Heroine aside, the book's all over the place. There are some cool, interesting elements in the world-building, and I like the overall feel for the cast once everyone starts working together (Charlie sucks as a loner, believe me), and the book does spot the best couple ever: a gargoyle and a cat. ;) The ending's pretty solid in terms of the creepy factor, and like Charlie, I wonder who's been playing who for the whole book. That said, I like the potential of this series, and I'm with janicu in that if I learn that Charlie's growing and learning from her mistakes, the next installment might be worth the read. Might. For now, I'm glad I got a free (though battered) copy to satisfy my curiosity.
Review style: I nearly stopped reading this, and I want to talk about why. Most of it relates to the heroine, but also the story itself. There's pluses and minuses to this book, and I want to sort through them. Expect spoilers, just to be on the safe side. :) If you're interested, the full review is in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.
REVIEW: Kelly Gay's THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS
DON'T MISS OUT: Win an ARC of the upcoming werewolf anthology, RUNNING WITH THE PACK, edited by Ekaterina Sedia. For a list of contributors and details on how to enter, click here.
You also have a chance to win one of three signed copies of Lyn Benedict's debut, SINS & SHADOWS. To enter, click here.
Last but not least, one signed copy is available of Maria V. Snyder's INSIDE OUT. To enter, click here.
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson