Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dead Talkin': PRECINCT 13 by Tate Hallaway

Urban Fantasy
308 pages, paperback
Available August 7, 2012
Publisher: Berkley
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

Recent college grad Alex Conner is thrilled to have landed a job as the Hughes County coroner/medical examiner in Pierre, South Dakota. But when her first day on the job ends with a missing corpse, Alex starts to wonder if she would have been better off collecting unemployment...

When the cops made some cryptic comments about being careful with the body they brought in, Alex just thought the boys in blue were messing with her. That is, until something freaky happens that no amount of med school could have prepared her for. By the time Alex gets herself together, the body has disappeared and the other residents of the morgue start talking her ear off.

After working up the courage to report the missing body, Alex is transferred to the mysterious Precinct 13 where she discovers that her new co-workers—including a cute technomage named Jack—are paranormals just like her. Now, Alex is being encouraged to use her ability to speak to the dead to solve crimes. And despite being in the middle of nowhere, Hughes County sure does have a lot of paranormal activity…

POSITIVE: The worldbuilding. With so many supernatural creatures, it should be overwhelming but they're introduced to Alex and to us in a simple, straightforward manner. The morgue where Alex works is a little strange, especially after the corpses start talking to Alex and the Chief barely blinks an eye, referring her to Precinct 13. However, Precinct 13 itself is a cool little island of weird.

POSITIVE: Alex. After having a pretty rough time of it growing up, being committed, being in a permanent relationship with a therapist, Alex has finally broken free and found a job she thinks will be right up her alley. As the paranormal once again invades her life, she hopes she isn't going crazy again and is pleasantly surprised to find out that, hey, she's not nuts (always good to know, right?). Because it's better than thinking she's crazy, Alex is quite accepting of everything she learns and does her best to do the right thing within the new world.

POSITIVE: The humor. Okay, it's not a laugh-out-loud kind of funny but I love the little bits of humor that are interspersed throughout the story, especially as Alex is introduced to her strange new world.

WISH: I could have used a bit more background in the first third of the novel. Not info-dumping, per se, but making things less mysterious. There are all these hints about Alex's past, her problems with her family and evil stepfather, a mystery man named Valentine (who, with only a few references to him, seems like a bad influence rather than a good part of her life), and her stint in a psychiatric ward. Rather than innuendos and sly references, some solid info would have been helpful.

OVERALL: An intriguing addition to the urban fantasy world, PRECINCT 13 is a fun ride with a learning-to-be-a-bad-ass main character. (Here's to hoping this series continues!)

12 comments:

  1. Oooo I kind of like that she's not a badass from the start, and we get to watch as she slowly cultivates her badassery:) I haven't read a good UF in a long time, I've been on a YA kick and am ready for something different. I'm definitely going to pick up Gunmetal Magic, and I think I might add this to the list as well!

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    1. Oh, yeah! Sending this one your way. And you'll love Gunmetal Magic. So awesome.

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  2. Sounds really good over all, and I totes agree with you that knowing you're not nuts is always a plus! LOL

    Other than that, it sounds like a pretty interesting world.

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    1. Personally, I'd want to know I wasn't crazy, even if the "real" world wound up being nutty!

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  3. I've been very interested in this novel.Nice to see you liked it.Pity about the world building but if it's funny I think I should be able to overlook it :P

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    1. Definitely a fun read and I think the worldbuilding will develop even more in the next (if there is a next one).

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  4. Ooh, this one sounds fascinating, and the worldbuilding sound great! Glad that there's even a bit of humor here and there :)

    Awesome review!

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    1. Love it when a "serious" book has humor. A lot of UF is just action-action without the hehe.

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  5. Boy, I can't imagine anyone being thrilled to take a job in Pierre, South Dakota. But since I'm moving to Montana, I suppose I can't say much. This sounds like a good start to a series.

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    1. Yeah, I wasn't so sure about the setting either. Not a place I'd be dying to go but better than her last place, I guess. Can't wait to hear how you like (or not) Montana!

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  6. I really loved this book and the supernaturals. And I love when there's some humor. I didn't really notice the needing more background sooner, but now you've mentioned it I do think I need to agree.

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