Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between By J.A. Saare

From amazon.com:  No one knows better than Rhiannon Murphy that one bad corpse can ruin your whole day. She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her-until now. The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no. But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

Reasons I love Rhiannon: She is foul-mouthed, works in a strip club as a bartender, and happens to be a closet necromancer.  Recipe for a hot mess? Indeed.  Sadly her time bartending comes to an end when hottie vamp Gabriel (I just refuse to say Disco…more on this to come) and fellow necromancer Ethan (AKA Goose) come asking for her assistance in tracking a vampire serial killer by means of chatting with the dead.  Goose is shocked by how little Rhiannon knows about the world of necromancy and becomes her quirky mentor.  She is quickly tossed into a supernatural world where bitchy strippers are the least of her problems and rival vamp families want to claim her.  Left with little choice, she agrees to help Gabriel and Goose, and of course ends up in all kinds of trouble.

The Good: I have to start this by saying that any book with a Ghostbusters reference is going to make my favorites list even if it’s the worst shite of all time.  The fact that J.A. Saare brought up the irony of necromancers meeting in the same library that Ghostbusters was filmed in was utterly fantastic. (Not sure if you can tell but Ghostbusters is my favorite movie of all time)   There was a lot of great dialogue as well. The relationship between Rhiannon and Goose is already really funny; I can’t wait to see more of them.  This was my favorite exchange:

“Don’t tell me,” I snickered.  “You’re in a club that gathers together like raving Trekkies to share secrets of the afterlife.  I bet you even have am Enigma CD you crank up to get in the mood.” 

“Don’t be silly.” His face lit up with an enormous grin.  “We listen to Enya, not Enigma.”

Though I felt like this was a pretty quick read, the plot was really interesting, as was necromancy in general, and I am really excited to see what happens next.  The bad guy was really creepy.  But is there anything scarier than a creepy kid? The Ring kept me up for weeks!

The Bad:  Holy Cliff Hanger Batman!! Is this chick related to Karen Marie Moning?? Ugh…I hate cliffhangers.  Especially since I found this book enjoyable but not particularly memorable, so I will have to read it again before the second book comes out. (“Reread a book you say? Well that’s a first!” –Amazon Credit Card) And can we have a talk about these names? Disco?? Really?  There are already more Wraiths than I can keep up with, names like Zsadist that I don’t even know if I am saying right, and now Disco?  What’s next? The hot demon twins, Gluttony and Sloth? 

The Bumpin’ Uglies:  Sooooo…Gabriel is a blonde haired, blue-eyed hottie vamp.  I know another super hot dude named Gabriel. 

Coincidence?  Not in my mind.

Even though Gabriel’s personality was way overshadowed by Rhiannon and he spent most of the time quietly lusting after her, I still found him sexy as hell and REALLY appreciated the shout out to the ‘lines.’  You know the lines…the lines right under the pelvic bones that lead us to the Promised Land?  “His abs were equally mesmerizing, visible hip bones disappearing beneath his slacks.”  Abs get all the love, not that I am complaining, but the lines are certainly sexier to me.  For example, Becks has nice lines. 

The smut in this one was pretty steamy, but can I just say I am kinda sick of reading about virgins?  Give me a sorta slutty Riley Jensen type to a virgin any day.  I just think it’s distracting and prudish and not something I can relate to.   But Gabriel and Rhiannon certainly have titillating potential, so I am reserving judgment until the next installment.  Maybe we will get a little Goose action as well!

Rating: 7.5 (-0.5 for making us lust after a guy named Disco)

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Greywalker By Kat Richardson

From barnesandnoble.com:

Kat Richardson excels at creating vivid, fast-moving novels that blend urban fantasy with paranormal mystery. In Greywalker, Seattle P.I. Harper Blaine is viciously attacked and murdered—but after exactly two minutes, somehow she returns to life. Now she’s seeing strange things all around her—dark visions from the shadow world—and living a normal life may no longer be possible no matter how hard she tries.

Greywalker begins with Harper Blaine, P.I., getting the crap beat out of her and then dying for two minutes.  Because of the time she spends hovering between life and death, she becomes a “greywalker,” which basically means she can walk in and out of the shadow world that seems to surround the real world.  All this really means for us readers is that Harper can see ghosts, vampires and other creepy shadow things and will stay sick for the rest of the book. 

My extraordinarily shallow sounding review:  I thought reviewing a book I didn’t like would be easy.  If we are being honest with ourselves, what girl does not excel at bitching about things?  Right?  Yeah, this book just left me bored.  My only real complaint is that the one potential love scene in the book was skipped over, and all we see is the morning after.  Who actually wants to see the morning after?  Can’t we just think back to college for that??  Aside from the lack of hotness, the book was just not fun.  The explanations of the Grey and the physics behind different energy states were painful.  And I am a scientist in real life, for the record.  I dork out on physics all the time.  The descriptions of the Grey itself left me confused.  I feel like it was different every time Harper went in.  Oh and speaking of our heroine…wait maybe we should define heroine.  Heroine:  a woman possessing heroic qualities or a woman who has performed heroic deeds.  Okay, so never mind, there was no heroine in the book, because Harper stayed sick and achy the entire time from going into the Grey, while her ‘friends’ saved the day.  The supporting cast was okay, but no one had real personality.  The villain was only seen for about 5 seconds and I was sorta fuzzy on his motives anyway.   So yeah, when I read books from these genres, I expect fun, attractive characters, decent plots and entertaining dialogue.  Oh and SEX SCENES or sexual tension at the very least.  This book had none of these things, and I just couldn’t get into it. 

Rating: A very generous 3