Friday, July 18, 2008

Dead To Me

Title: Dead to Me

Author: Anton Strout

Published: February 2008

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Stand Alone/Series: Book 1 of Simon Canderous

From the Author Site: Possessing the power of psychometry has meant a life of petty crime and failed relationships for Simon Canderous, but now he's gone over to the good side. A recent recruit to New York City's underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, Simon's learning his way around mazes of red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation. But it's not just the paperwork that has him breathless...

After Simon spills his coffee on (okay, through) the mysterious ghost of a beautiful woman—who doesn't know she's dead—he and his mentor decide to track down her killers. But Simon's not at all prepared for the strange and nefarious plot that unfolds before him, one involving politically correct cultists, a large wooden fish, a homicidal bookcase, and the forces of Darkness, which kind of have a crush on him.

Review: I was pulled into the story at the very first chapter! Due to some unfortunate timing in other life activities, I was not able to finish it in one sitting, but I certainly wanted to that.

You really get emotionally tied to Simon Canderous from the very beginning. There he was trying hard to keep a girlfriend when his powers go crazy on him, and she, of course thinks that he has been reading her secret diaries, dumps him like a ton of bricks. And like any other government agent, he is underpaid and overworked due to budget cuts. But unlike the drudgery of a government job, working in the Other Division of the DEA keeps Simon on his toes while he keeps trying the hit the curve balls life keeps throwing at him. And his poor love life, first a ghost, a very attractive ghost, but dead none the less. Then its the Enemy!

I loved the whole idea of the DEA (that is the Department of Extraordinary Affairs). And the department names and the names of the different groups were highly amusing, not to mention the different pamphlets and training seminars at the DEA! My personal favorite is "DEA or DOA, Your Choice"! It reminded me of all the ridiculous reading material I have to read whenever I start at a new company. Though I wish my reading was more interesting, who wouldn't rather read "Witty Banter to Ease Any Paranormal Situation" than "Manual Data Recording Rules".

As for the setting, it was based on modern date New York City but with the twist that there really are zombies, vampires and ghosts around and the average person just doesn't see them. And thanks to the Department of Plausible Excuses, the government continues to keep the average citizen in the dark to the extraordinary world. Although it isn't a very original world, it was done quite well and was made quite believable. Of course the government is keeping secrets from the general public and they could be hiding the extraordinary world from the general public! Most of us will never know what they are hiding.

I will definitely pick up the next adventure of Simon Canderous!

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: It was fun to read and the characters were delightful. Not for someone who is looking for romance, but definitely for everyone who love a good story.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

6 comments:

Katie(babs) said...

I thought this was a funny and cute read. It was nice to read about a male protagonist for a change.
Glad you felt the same way as me :D

Anton Strout said...

I bow to your clear genius!

Aymless said...

Blossom - Well of course I agree. You are a book goddess after all. ^_~

Anton - Thanks for visiting!

Carolyn Jean said...

I've been seeing this book around. Thanks for the review - it sounds great, and it would be refreshing to read about a male protag for once.

I love the line, "It reminded me of all the ridiculous reading material I have to read whenever I start at a new company."

LOL I know what you mean!

Sarai said...

Okay this moved up on the TBR pile

Tracy said...

omg the Department of Plausible Excuses? That's a great one! lol

Good review!

 

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