Wednesday, January 1, 2014

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Born in Blood" by Alexandra Ivy

Duncan O'Connor
Callie Brown

Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.

Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line…literally.

Born in Blood is a great start to a new series. This story reminds me of a good B-movie. It is fun, fast, snarky, corny, and a bit over-the-top. It entertains and I found myself laughing out loud. 

A large part of the humor comes from the hero's snarkiness.  He's jaded, tough, cynical, good at his job and way in love with the heroine.  He reminds me a little of the Bruce Willis' character, John Hallenbeck, from the movie The Last Boyscout - less suave, more rumpled, all charm: 

"Even with his short, pale blond hair damp from the shower and his stubborn jaw shadowed with a golden stubble, he had the look of a man who knew what to do with a woman. Match that with a pair of hazel eyes that sparkled with wicked charm and they were like putty in his hands."   

His character is one of the best parts of the book.  The lightening quick banter between Duncan and Callie are highlights to savor.  

The larger story is interesting too. Duncan is investigating a murder and is introduced to Callie through the service she provides through her gift as a necromancer.  She is a part of a special group consisting of witches, psychics, necromancers, Sentinles and other "freaks" living under the protective dome of Valhalla.  They don't easily interact with the humans around them, but they are still a part of the society.  This murder puts Callie in the direct path of a renowned murderer who seems to have a special interest in her.  As Duncan vows to protect Callie, he must also make some life-changing decisions as well.  

Since this is the first book, we are introduced to a variety of secondary character who will surely be the featured in future books.  They are intriguing.  I cannot wait to learn more about Wolfe, Fane, Serra and Mave. 

This is an entertaining book with a hint of tongue-and-cheek (whether it is on purpose, I don't know) that will leave you smiling.  (Okay, and there are some scary moments as well with the over the top villain but the ending will leave you smiling.)

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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