Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dead Man Rising by Lilith Saintcrow (3/5 stars)

I really, really liked the first book in the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. Dead Man Rising (the second book in this series) was a disappointment.

You meet up with Dante (Danny) a short time after her hunt in the last book and the "death" of Japh. Dante has been recklessly taking bounty after bounty to distract herself from her grief over Japh. Jace shows up to help her out on her bounties and has forsaken all of his connections with the mob for her. Gabe ends up calling Danny in on a grisly murder and Danny finds that these murders may be linked to something that happened at Rigger Hall (the horrible school where Danny was first educated as a psion and tortured, etc, etc).

This book had a lot of action but it wasn't nearly as interesting and crisp as the first book. This book makes no progress in Danny understanding her new half-demon nature. Danny spends most of the time grieving over Japh's death and, when she is not whining about how much she misses Japh, she is sitting around talking about how horrible Rigger Hall was and how she can't bear to even enter the place or think about it. I thought it was all a bit over the top and dramatic, even for Danny. I mean the Rigger Hall incidents were years ago. We all have bad memories from childhood, and hers were much worse than most, but in the first book she seemed to be a reasonably well-adjusted person despite her tough beginning. She spends this whole book whining, grieving, and falling to pieces. I understand Danny is going through rough times but, come on, that doesn't need to be the content of the *whole* book.

I found myself rolling my eyes at Danny's dramatic and strange behavior a number of times. I was hoping all of this was going to lead somewhere profound but even the climax of her facing her fears at Rigger Hall fell dead for me. I really, really hope the third book is better. I liked the first book a lot so I will read the third, if the third follows the second I am done with this series. So in summary this book was passable but not nearly as good as I was expecting.

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