Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Title: Dead Spots
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: N/A

Paperback, 283 pages
Publication: October 30th 2012 by 47North 
Buy the Book

Source: I bought it for myself.

Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused--vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can't get out so much as a "hocus pocus." This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles's three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.

But one night Scarlett's late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD's Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he'll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn't sit well with Dash, the city's chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it'll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.
I’m not going to rehash the summary since its pretty straight forward.  I came across Dead Spots while browsing Amazon for new books to read (the usual lol), and thought the summary sounded intriguing. The only thing is that this is published under 47North, which is an imprint under Amazon publishing…and I never tried any of their books before (ended up getting two more books under the children section lol!). Curious about the book, I went to the author’s website and read the first chapter for free. It was a great first chapter; sounded promising and definitely piqued my interest in which I immediately order a copy!  While this book has the usual vampires, werewolves and witches,  Olson’s supernatural beings were form from an evolution concept having to do with Darwin and how every branch had a ‘magical branch’ splitting to form the three groups. Also our main heroine Scarlett is a null, able to cancel out magic within a 10 feet radius give or take. This means werewolves/Vampires become human again till they leave her vicinity and Witches can’t cast spells. I haven’t seen many ‘nulls’ in books I’ve read except for the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger but then again Carriger’s series is steampunk and more on the lighter/humorous side. 

I really like Scarlett, she is not perfect ,a little broken by blaming herself for her parents death and what she does for a living but even after all that, she strive to be better for the people around her. Although she’s not a kick-butt heroine she’s still one tough chick, and does whatever she can to keep her friends safe. There is also a love-triangle in this book between Eli, the second-in-command to the alpha werewolf and Jesse, a human LAPD cop. I don’t usually like love-triangle but this one didn’t bother me, I mean thankfully Scarlett is not an angsty little teenager.  The secondary characters were also interesting, although not all of them were well-fleshed out.  I hope to see more of the group dynamics in future books (PLEASE let there be more books!)  since this book’s main problem focused on the vampires , not the weres or witches. 

The book alternate back and forth between chapters from first pov and third pov, took me a little while to get use to but once I got into the story, I hardly notice the changes. Olson’s debut novel is a dime a dozen in an already saturated genre, and I hope that this is a start to a new series.  Fans of urban fantasy will want to put this book on their wish-list; it has wonderful world-building, great supporting characters, suspense, and a few twists/surprises that I didn’t even see coming! Overall a well-written book (I can’t believe this is a debut novel), and an entertaining story…I can’t wait for more Scarlett and company.  This is among the best books I’ve read all year! I suggest checking out the free chapter on the author’s site, found here http://www.melissaolson.net/dead-spots-chapter-1.html and see if you like it as much as me…I hope you do! :D

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