Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus
Initial Thoughts: Love the voice!
|My Rating: 4.5 Stars!|
Live. Die. Repeat.
Dying violent deaths over and over again totally blows. Loner Jeff Grobnagger has learned this the hard way. Every time he has a seizure, he dreams that a hooded man strangles and kills him. He runs. He fights. He hides. No matter what he does, his efforts end in a pretty bad case of death.
But when someone tries to kill him in real life, he realizes that what happens with the hooded man isn't just a dream.
Who is the hooded man? And who tried to kill Grobnagger in real life? His quest for answers leads to a missing girl, cults obsessed with astral projection, an arcane puzzle sphere, an evil book, a buxom private detective named Louise and a mustached man named Glenn that makes 'the best martini you've ever tasted.'
Yep. If it weren't for all of the horrific deaths, Jeff Grobnagger would be having the time of his life.
OK, I've read McBain/Vargus's books before, and I have to tell you...one of my favorite writing styles *ever*. I was captivated by the voice from page 1. The style has a witty, clever, funny edge to it that completely draws me in. This book did not disappoint in that area.
Now that the gushing is over, let's get on with it, shall we? So you have this dude, Jeff, who's dying over and over again in what appears to be dreams. Or nightmares. I guess if some hooded mystery man is killing you, it ain't no dream. :) But this doesn't happen when Jeff goes to sleep; his world literally fades to black and launches him into this death sequence with increasing frequency.
Yeah, not good.
He meets this older gent, Glenn, with whom he develops a friendship. Glenn is the kind of guy that seems to know a little something about everything. He's the kind of guy who takes a stranger into his home. He's the kind of guy who "knows things". He's the kind of guy who raises red flags all over this sistah's brain!
I liked the characters. I liked Jeff with his self-depreciating humor. He's obviously broken, keeps away from people, wants to be alone, and you find yourself rooting that the guy is going to be fixed somehow. I also liked Glenn, with his nurturing nature and his happy attitude. And apparently the guy's a genius in the kitchen. I'd like to invite him over for dinner!
I liked the plot, which moves forward at an easy pace, and never loses it's witty charm, even when things go black. I think the humor is more evident when things go black, which is a nice contrast. There are mysteries upon mysteries in this little book; lots of suspicious characters and missing daughters and secret groups and oh my, who is Jeff to trust?
You know, read the whole book, and still can't answer that question. As the first book in a series, I guess we'll get answers in future books.
Which brings me to my only complaint. The book ends with more questions than it started with. To me, I like to have some closure when I read a book. Even books in a series should have some amount of closure at the end...the book should have a beginning, middle and end and I felt this one really only had a beginning and a middle. Yes, some questions were answered at the end, but not the bigger issues. Throw a girl a bone here! I don't mind cliff-hangers in series; that's the draw to get you to read the next book, and to me this ending was a cliff-jumper!
However, that doesn't detract from my over-all enjoyment of this story, characters and writing, and I will read on when the next books are released. A definite recommend for paranormal and urban fantasy fans!