Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Book Review - Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

Author : Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Spectra (October 21, 2008)

Synopsis

Robyn Peltier moved to Los Angeles after her young husband’s sudden death, trying to put some distance between herself and her memories. Though she’s still grieving, the challenges of her new life as the PR consultant to Portia Kane—the world’s most famous celebutante wannabe—can sometimes be amusing, even distracting. But when her client is gunned down in the back room of a nightclub, Robyn is suddenly on the run as the prime suspect in the murder. And as more bodies pile up around her, it seems like only Hope Adams, Robyn’s best friend, and Hope’s somewhat spooky boyfriend Karl are on Robyn’s side.

Hope Adams follows the kinds of stories whose headlines scream from supermarket checkout lines. But the difference is that Hope’s stories are even weirder—and they’re all true. Though determined to help Robyn, Hope knows it’s only a matter of time before her friend is caught. But it’s not the police Hope is worried about. For Robyn has gotten herself in the middle of a turf war between two powerful Otherworld cabals who’ll spill any amount of blood—human and inhuman—to protect what they consider theirs for all eternity. And the only way Hope can keep her friend alive is by letting her enter a world she’s safer knowing nothing about.
Review

I've long been a fan of Ms Armstrong's ever since Book One of the Women of the Otherworld series, Bitten, released way back in 2001. Powerful characterizations combined with a irresistible blend of the paranormal, romance, intrigue, passion and action has rightly made this a hugely popular series. While I really enjoyed, and still re-read, the first few books of this series, the later additions haven't been quite of the same high caliber. In this book, Book 9 of the series, Armstrong has departed from the norm and given a new perspective, a human perspective, to the Otherworld and I quite liked it.

So far, the majority of the protagonists in this series have been some sort of paranormal being. However, this book has one of the first non-paranormal characters (an ordinary human) as a central character. It's interesting to see how a human reacts to being unknowingly sucked into a paranormal intrigue. Armstrong's writing here is very strong and readers get an idea of how it would be if they were really living one of these Otherworld stories. It's just not for the faint of heart! The other main leads are series regulars, the half-demon Hope Adams and her older lover, the werewolf Karl. Each of the story's different chapters are told from the point of view of a different character, which is initially confusing. But the treatment works and the story develops very quickly. The suspense is well-maintained and keeps the readers along with Robyn Peltier on the run, trying to solve the murder mystery.

Hope and Karl's complex relationship is further strained by the events. Similarly, Robin struggles with the recent loss of her husband while trying to save her own life and uncover what Hope and Karl are keeping her ignorant of. There are many kinds of paranormal beings, new and old favorites, who all contribute their little bit to the story.

Cons

There were some aspects to the story, particularly one that involved children and sex, that I wasn't entirely comfortable with. Furthermore, I was never that enamoured of Hope and Karl's story and would rather have had Paige or Elena being a part of this story rather than them.


As the series progresses, the stories and characters have become more and more interwoven. As such, a new reader is advised to read this series in order rather than just picking up this book, as it wouldn't make much sense to them.


In Short

This book is an interesting addition to a great series.

Buy the Book - here.
Visit the Author's site - here.

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2 comments :

  1. I am waiting for this book to come in at the library! I love the whole series, and look forward to each new book with great anticipation!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too, Marg. The next one is Men of the Otherworld, due out early next year. I'm looking forward to that!

    ReplyDelete