Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dying Bites by D D Barant

Yet another urban fantasy series. I'd really love to say this one stood out in some fashion from the genre, but the truth is it doesn't. From its cookie-cutter MC to its snarky, double-entendre title it's pretty much a carbon copy of everything on the UF shelf that you've already read.

Let's start with that MC--and I can't do it any better than the book does itself:

"I get my share of male attention. I stand five eight, do a hundred crunches a day and have the abs to prove it. I've been told I have the neckline of a goddess, though nobody ever says which one. My hair is long, very black, and full, while my features tend more toward the Slavic definition of beauty than North American. I don't put on a miniskirt unless I mean it, but when I do I can cause car accidents."

Mary Sue, any one? MC is tough as nails, carries an oversized gun (page 3: "It's a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan, a short-barreled revolver chambered with .454 ammunition..."), enough martial arts to handle a werewolf in full attack mode... you get the drift.

Pretty bad so far. The only thing that remotely makes this series different from its peers is its setting: the first pages introduce the MC being slipped from our universe through a dimensional gateway to a parallel one, and in this new place humans are a small government-protected minority of the population (rough thirds being vampire, were and golem--that last at least an interesting addition). And the only part of the plot that's worthwhile is that the MC is chasing a serial killer, and it's at least mildly interesting to try to figure out what's happening before the characters do.

The book culminates in a Deus Ex Machina ending, nearly literally, that comes through as a horrific blunt trauma to the reader's suspension of disbelief. It's clear that the author wants to set up a sequel--and in fact, one's available--but I have no idea why any reader would bother.

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1 comment:

K.C. Shaw said...

I liked this one a lot--although I seriously did not remember the mary sue aspects until you pointed them out. As I recall, that bothered me too but I was so interested in the setting and story that I didn't mind.

If you didn't like the first one, you'll hate the sequel.