Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
New Tricks (A Dog Days Novel) Mass Market Paperback – November 25, 2008
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Reminiscent of the Harry Dresden novels."
"A world that has both bark and bite." -- Rob Thurman
"A delightful take on good vs. evil...will certainly leave readers looking for more from this unlikely hero and is dog."
About the Author
John Levitt is the author of the Dog Days novels, an urban fantasy series inspired by Levitt's seven years as an officer in the Salt Lake City Police Department. He now splits his time between Alta, Utah, and San Fransisco, California.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mason, our mage protagonist who used to work as an enforcer with mentor Eli and wealthy martial arts expert Victor in San Francisco's Magical Bureau of Investigation (MBI) branch, is still smarting from the events that last occurred in "Dog Days". Campbell, a healer who once made his Ifrit Louie -- a magical creature that looks like a miniature Doberman -- whole again after a life-threatening injury, and whom Mason was falling in love with, had conveyed some bad news to him; and bad things had befallen some people Mason cared about. But all these have passed, and there's nothing else that Mason can do except to move on with his life.
This installment opens with Mason, Victor, and Eli discovering a hideous crime that seems to share a pattern with crimes first reported in Portland, Oregon. Victor and Eli ask Rolando, a former colleague and now their Portland contact, for help. Rolando and his sister Josephine, both practitioners, arrive to confirm for their friends, Mason, Victor, and Eli, that the crimes do share the same pattern: someone has been victimizing practitioners, attempting to possess them, leaving them not just dead but completely hollowed out, their bodies empty shells. A jade-like stone found in the San Francisco crime scene, and a dark practitioner named Byron, who according to Rolando has coincidentally just moved from Portland to San Francisco become the initial focus of the team's investigation.
The team shows the jade-like stone to a very learned but retired practitioner and asks if he can tell where the stone may have come from. The retired practitioner answers "No, but I'll bet Mason could find out". He explains: "Mason has an extraordinary talent for music. Music creates worlds ..." To Mason he says: "Channel your talent through the stone and you'll find where it came from." Mason carries out the suggestion to the accompaniment of a classical piece of music, and when this magical place starts materializing before him, he and his magical companion Louie, with whom he has a special bond, enter the place to investigate. Time runs out, however. When the classical piece of music reaches its climax, Mason finds himself gasping for air; the world around him shatters, and he is back at Victor's, "flopping around on the floor like some epileptic fish." When Mason recovers, he reports his findings, and the team puts together a working theory.
Meanwhile, the team finds out where Byron lives and Mason starts shadowing Byron. The death of another practitioner and other developments, however, lead Mason to train his suspicion to somebody else. After all, Byron is not the only one who has coincidentally moved from Portland to San Francisco recently. But just when Mason thinks he has the right suspect, most readers are probably shouting: "No no Mason! You're not questioning your assumptions objectively and thoroughly!"
That Mason could have made such a non-trivial mistake was somewhat out of character, and therefore, not entirely convincing or satisfying. My reading of Mason has me thinking that in order for Mason to do what he does best, which is to improvise magical solutions to problems as they arise, his strengths have to include the ability to think on his feet and consider all major possibilities while analyzing a situation. But I do understand how he could have been thrown off course by events that occurred earlier in the novel, so I'll let this slip by. :-)
Besides, there are more things in this installment that I like than dislike: I like the usual chemistry between Mason and his sidekick, Lou. They really do make a great team! I like that Campbell is still around, and that Mason's magical talent has grown a little bit, having learned from Campbell how to harness plants' energies, although I wish there had been even more growth in Mason's character and talent. I like the additional layering of music to the world building and other additional conjuring of possible connections between creativity and magic (for example, the observation that practitioners with Ifrits tend to have talent in music or other creative arts), which make this series a bit different from others, and I like how the events set off in this novel sets the next installment up for all kinds of possibilities!!
If you haven't read the first installment, "Dog Days", in this series, you can still read this novel (in fact, all titles in this series) as a stand-alone. The author does a really good job providing appropriate background information as needed.
This disagreeably written book was a waste of time. The plot is shallow. We are led back repeatedly to someone who is supposed to be the main villain but does not seem that villainous. The "hero" of the story is supposedly creative and powerful but looks like an idiot time after time.
I do not see how it could receive a five star rating from anyone as it is lacking in good plot development and characters with which anyone could feel empathy. In conclusion, my advice is to save your money and purchase a different book.
I did really like the world created in this book and the first one; these remind me very much of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, though these do pale a bit in comparison to those. I especially enjoyed the larger world hinted at in this one, especially through the magical outsiders like the Bridge Guy; they were much more interesting than the mystery. I also enjoyed the slow unraveling of the mysterious origin of Ifrits like Lou the "dog." And even though I knew it was coming, the final confrontation was excellent, I thought; it was disturbing, and there was certainly a little too much supervillain monologuing, but I enjoyed the bad guy's comeuppance. So I will look for the next one, and hope that it's a little more surprising.
Most recent customer reviews
was really a good urban mystery book. The first book is called, "Dog Days".Read more