Friday, September 3, 2010

Dante Valentine

The internet is slow today. It could be our internet company, though, which sucks big time. Anyway, that's why this took so long to upload!

As you can guess by the book in the "Sweet Lady Reads" section on the sidebar,  I'm reading Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow.  Like most paranormal series, this one totally owns me until I'm finished, which luckily is only in another couple books. There are 5 in the series:

Working for the Devil (2005)
Dead Man Rising (2006)
The Devil's Right Hand (2007)
Saint City Sinners (2007)
To Hell and Back (2008)

All of the covers seem to have the red/black/white style, which is a nice reprieve from the "bare-midriff-leather-clad-seductress" cover on every other paranormal book ever.

I can only vouch for books 1-3, but man they are totally addictive. This series isn't about vampires. Well, there are vampires, but they aren't in the foreground (at least not yet). The books are about a necromancer named Dante Valentine. She also goes by "Danny" Valentine. In a future (seemingly) where paranormal creatures have come out, humans with what we would call a "sixth sense" are called "psions."

Psions are people with all kinds of magical abilities: witchy spellcasting, precognition, raising the dead, all kinds of stuff. Psions in this new world (and it is new, with different kinds of political formations and religious groups) are not exactly popular. They are mostly feared, but legally tolerated.  What makes a necromancer different is that they are instantly recognizable. They have a face tattoo and are legally allowed to carry weapons. They are all forced to dye their hair black in order to maintain some kind of united front and also to certify that you are dealing with the real thing. They have an gemstone implanted into their tattoo that sparks when they get angry. It's not really very earth-mothery. Somehow it reads to me like sci-fi. I can't explain why just yet.

Dante, our heroine, is a necromancer, she can raise the dead to ask it questions. She does it for money, and she's considered one of the best. She can raise the dead from ashes, which is apparently a big deal. You usually need most of a corpse, and she once raised hundreds of dead to account for the victims of a huge disaster. So people know her in the paranormal world. She is also a bounty hunter, specializing in bringing in paranormal bad guys. And since I just read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and saw the movie, I pretty much pretended she looked like Lisbeth Salander the whole time I've been reading the series.

Also, because of the futuristic setting, with its weird language and dystopian elements, I also think of the Whedon comic Fray, about a vampire slayer in the future. 

What I don't think really of is Harry Potter, and even though there is a magic academy, and hints of horcruxing, it's definitely darker and more subtle. I was going to write about the magic academy here and then I started to see parallels to Hogwarts that might really mess with your brain when you're trying to read the story. Not Hogwarts. Remember that, ok?

In the first book, Dante gets roped into working a bounty that poses some emotional and physical challenge. She is supposed to take on a serial killer who is also a demon. Did I mention the Devil makes her do it? I guess you can figure that one out by the title. He assigns her a demon bodyguard. Anyway, great story, full of action, a kick ass heroine who has some serious anger issues. I love it. There is a romance element, but it is very small in the first book. The subsequent books deal with it more, and it goes places I wasn't expecting. When you're dealing with futuristic necromancers and demons, though, who can make predictions?

Oh, and I almost forgot, if you hate cliffhangers, these books are not for you. There are all kinds of questions brought up that don't get answered until the following book. Some answers I'm still waiting for. Plan to read the whole thing or nothing at all!

If you're looking to pass the time...I'd say get reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment