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Better Off Undead (The Bloodhound Files, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – October 4, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Choice and control are major themes of the newest Bloodhound Files outing. Despite humans being an extreme minority, FBI profiler Jace Valchek's pugnacious personality won't let her back down, even in the face of long odds. Barant continues to explore themes of persecution and discrimination with outsider Jace struggling to find her place. For Jace, events come to a life-changing crossroads, giving readers a true emotional punch. A steller addition to an already outstanding series. (RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars! TOP PICK!))

Snappy writing, a page-turning story and fresh world-building make Dying Bites a satisfying meal of a book. (Kelley Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of Men of the Otherworld and The Awakening)

Dying Bites is wacky, unpredictable, fresh and amazing. I would kill to write as well as D.D. Barant. Seriously. (Nancy Holder, author of Pretty Little Devils)

This engrossing debut adds another captivating protagonist to the urban fantasy ranks…Barant's well-developed world offers intriguing enhancements to mythology and history. Jace is remarkable, strong-willed and smart, and she sets an unstoppable pace. Look for the Bloodhound Files to go far. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

A heroine with plenty of guts, moxie and a sense of the absurd. [A] fresh and original take on urban fantasy…Huge kudos to Barant for spicing things up with a story that expertly integrates detective work, kick-butt action and a wacky sense of humor. Make sure you get in early on the outstanding new Bloodhound Files series. (Romantic Times)

D D Barant builds a strong world and fills it with fascinating characters that will delight and entertain. Dying Bites is a well-written urban fantasy with a gripping plot and a heroine who is quite believable with her very human flaws. I'm looking forward to seeing more in this captivating world. (Darque Reviews (starred read))

Five stars. An exciting new series. It has humor, mystery, and adventure. A great book! (Affair de Coeur)

Barant does an excellent job introducing a whole new world where vampires make up the majority of the population…quick and engrossing…a great new series. (The Romance Reader)

From the Back Cover

Welcome to a world in which only one percent of the population is human. Where fighting for survival doesn't always mean staying alive. And dying is just another part of everyday life…These are the Bloodhound Files. Enter at your own risk--if you dare.

Dark magic, unknown enemies, monsters of every stripe--FBI profiler Jace Valchek has seen it all. In this bizarre parallel universe, shape-shifting werewolves and blood-thirsty vampires don't even warrant a raised eyebrow. That is, until Jace has to face what life might look like as one of them …

BETTER OFF UNDEAD

It starts off as just another run-of-the-mill assignment: to track down the rogue don of a mafia werewolf family before he upsets the delicate balance of the underworld. But Jace wasn't counting on being bitten…and soon she's fighting the growing wolf inside her with a startling antidote--vampirism. Stopping a bloody gangland war won't be easy when Jace is feeling some new, and very inhuman, desires …

"An outstanding series." --RT Book Reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Original edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312545053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312545055
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By sazbah on October 9, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jace Valchek returns, and is back to form! Hopefully, if you're reading Better Off Undead (the fourth installment in the Bloodhound Files series), you're familiar with the story: FBI Profiler Jace Valchek is sucked into a parallel universe where the paranormal is normal. She needs to catch an insane human serial killer to get her ticket home. Here, as a human, she's an endangered species, but Valchek might just be getting her wolf on. Oh, and she needs to catch an insane werewolf mob boss, too.

After a somewhat shaky third installment, Jace is back to kicking butt. She's settled into a life in this world. The Jace/Charlie banter that is the lifeblood of this series is back (it was sorely lacking, for obvious reasons, in Killing Rocks [obvious if you've read it, that is]); Jace is again learning more about Thropirelem, but seeming more at home; Cassius is manouvering. It's GOOD. The best since Dying Bites. In fact, I genuinely think this may be the best in the series so far. Some of my favourite parts of this book were Jace's interactions with her shape-shifting St Bernard, Galahad, and there was another scene involving a very new Lem, Billy Beta, that got me a bit sniffly. The [very obvious] parallels with our own world's civil rights movements work here, and add depth, realism, and *soul* to this series.

Readers will also get some satisfaction as the ever-enigmatic Cassius gets even more backstory (there's a LOT of backstory when you're two thousand years old), and his relationship with Jace develops further. On an aside: Cassius is fascinating, and I would have thought I'd enjoy seeing more of him--which is exactly what we got in Killing Rocks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Garrison on June 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's the return of Jace Valchek part four. I'm not impressed. I loved the first two novels and eagerly started the third. As others have eloquently stated number three was disappointing.

This is a story of inconsistency. There's a sub-plot about Cassius. It's pretty awesome. There's a plot about Charlie. It manages to redeem much of the crud that afflicted his character in the third book.

Then there's the plot about Tair/Dr. Pete. It sucks. The problem is Tair. In order for Tair to "be cool" Jace has to be a moron. Denigrating your protagonist in order to elevate another character just isn't a good plan. Guess which plot line occupies most of the book.

The first part of the book is about Jace trying to change Tair back into Dr. Pete. Apart from her pathetic inability to accept the death of her friend, Jace falls for really sad tricks. I think the idea was that she was blinded by what she wanted rather than what she had. Instead, it came off as if Jace had a brain-ectomy she didn't remember.

There's a limit to how much you can be blinded by want and still be called intelligent.

The other parts almost manage to fill in the pit Barant dug with Tair. The trick was getting far enough into the book to get to them. Great villains are about loving to hate them. This book just has villains that need to be squashed so we can stop wasting time with them.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By GC on October 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
*Some Spoilers*

I was excited about the new book and had it on my upcoming books list, but felt it had been so long since the last book that I first reread the prior three books.

1. YAY about Jace's relationship with Cassius! We finally see some major action at the very end! I'll admit that I didn't quite know where the book was heading with the inoculation idea and the initial episode. It made more sense by the end as things started getting tied together. But... I wanted MORE than the one event before Cassius got busy with work. What happens next? Will the relationship continue to evolve?

2. Soooo... is it common knowledge that the video footage made a percentage of pires/thropes nuts? It seemed like NSA top secret level knowledge to me rather than public knowledge. Or maybe it's hard to hide the crazies and easy to figure where it originated from. This tiny detail just bothered me a bit.

3. We see more to Charlie! His opinions and knowledge, more about lem construction and rights. It follows nicely from the last book actually, which I thought seemed oddly different since it didn't move the overarching plot line from the previous two books.

4. Gretchen seemed a bit uneven of a character to me. She's first nice with a great dry humor, she's overprotective of her daughter (especially after the kidnapping of her newborn), and now she's a bit cold/cruel (also related to the overprotectiveness of her daughter)? I'm not sure I like her as much anymore... although undead "life" hasn't been very kind to her recently.

Overall... the crime/detective plot remains a real part of the book which is great! It seemed a bit less tight to me because I can usually pick up on clues and sorta figure out where the author might be headed...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read prodigiously but rarely write reviews. I've just finished the first four books in DD Barant's Bloodhound Series and found them very enjoyable (this after several months reading inexpensive, self-published Kindle fantasies and nearly giving up reading due to poor story-telling). Special Agent Jace Valchek is a resourceful FBI profiler with a hard-boiled, irreverent exterior, working to keep her moral compass aligned properly in an alternate universe where humans are an endangered species. The story-telling is entertaining, the characters engaging, and the questions of right and wrong complex enough to give a bit of depth to the mix. I recommend this series to anyone who also likes Harry Dresden or the Nightside.
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