Better Off Undead (The Bloodhound Files, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – October 4, 2011
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|Mass Market Paperback, October 4, 2011||
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“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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I'm sorry I didn't read it sooner. I forgot how refreshing and funny a lot of the dialogue in this series is. By far, it's one the author's strong points. There's genuinely good humor and I'll be frank and say I completely missed it and regretted not picking up this volume sooner.
Overall - great book. I was pleased with the resolution and happy that it didn't turn into another normal girl gets super cool powers ploy. Some relationships are fleshed out a bit more, though the inconsistency of Gretchen's character (as mentioned in a few other reviews) also kind of irked me.
If you're getting a little jaded with the urban paranormal genre - this is a nice change in a much beloved genre.
Better Off Undead manages to do a great job of continuing the arc of the ongoing story line, including Jace's relationships with Cassius and now-transformed-to-Tair Dr. Pete, while being a self-contained story in and of itself. In this installment, Jace hunts down slavers in a mob-driven plot with all the slowly unfolding twists and turns of a police drama. She's bitten by a werewolf at the beginning of the story and her efforts to stay human, while pondering whether she would choose to be vampire or werewolf if forced to change, give greater insight into Jace's motivations and changing character as she adapts to her new life in what she somewhat tongue-in-cheek, calls Thropirelem, after the lycanthropes, vampires and golems who make up the vast majority of the population.
I've thoroughly enjoyed all the books in this series, but this was my favorite because we got to see Jace's development as she realizes she would no longer feel at home if she ever actually makes it home. This adventure leaves her poised for more as she starts to make a path of her own in her new world.
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... and I'm not sure I "got" any clues along the way although it makes sense after I finished the book. It's more fulfilling to anticipate where the plot will go and get the surprise in the climax... I just wasn't entirely sure.
It's a good book and definitely moves some things along... just not the initial plot line that will get the main character home. So I wouldn't really agree that this is the best book yet. I definitely liked the first and second books more for moving the overarching plot... this book moves along the Dr. Pete/Tair plot line, which is mostly okay to me. Aristotle Stoker, where did you go in this book and what are you up to?? :)
Top international reviews
This is a fantastic urban fantasy series with a feisty, wise-cracking main character. I enjoyed the first three books but I thought this one kicked things up a gear with the threat to Jace's humanity. I tore through the book, eager to see what would happen. The 'cure' was risky and brought potential complications into the mix but I was shocked at the outcome. I hadn't seen it coming at all.
The banter between Jace and Charlie is brilliant as usual, in fact I think Charlie is probably my favourite character in this series. All of the characters are well developed and interesting. Even Galahad is growing on me now - I thought he might become an annoyance but is actually pretty amusing.
The best of the series so far, can't wait to see what's next!