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Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 128 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Firstly, I love a good mystery novel. I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. I also grew up reading science fiction and fantasy and fell in love with Robert Heinlein and Marion Zimmer Bradley at a young age. Over the years, I have grown to enjoy paranormal stories about vampires, werewolves, and the like, and I was drawn to Luchesi’s novel because she had employed two of my favorite loves, mystery and paranormal fantasy.
The story starts off well. I will not go into the details for fear of spoiling it for other readers, but I liked the plot line. Luchesi combined elements of a hard-boiled detective novel with urban paranormal fantasy. I enjoy this genre, and she did a great job of blending the two together. Her writing style is engaging, and I could tell that she put a lot of time and effort into the story. I also liked that the story was set in Chicago. I know the city well and she did a good job of keeping it real.
However, I thought that she could have developed the chemistry between the two main characters, Danny and Angelica, better. They fell into bed too fast and they fell in love even faster. I realize that they are supposed to have this spark for each other because they knew each other in past lives, but I do not think this subplot line worked well. Their attraction to each other felt contrived. I would have liked to have seen this love story develop at a slower burn rather than the fiery explosion that occurred early on in the story.
My other criticism of the story was the ending. Just when I thought the story had ended, it kept on going and going. I disliked the flashback scene at the end. It went on for several pages, and I think this material would have been better served in the next book in the series, or it should have been fleshed out better in the story rather than tagged on at the end. I believe flashbacks or visions should be used sparingly as a device to move your story along because I think there are other writing devices that could have conveyed this information better.
Lastly, I encourage all novel writers to craft a Table of Contents page because it helps their readers navigate through their story easier. I do not think it is necessary to create a clever title for each chapter, numbering them in sequence will do fine. In sum, I am giving Luchesi’s novel four stars because I think it has real promise. I liked that her vampires were good and bad, and more importantly, not sparkly! In future novels, I hope she explores the other paranormal species in more depth and continues the good work of the PID.
Stake-Out had what I expected from a mystery/paranormal thriller: a guy with a gun, pointed at danger. The color scheme and the font intrigued me, along with the tagline on the book. It’s a shame I don’t own a print version, because I imagine the typography is beautiful towards the back.
For once, I liked both main characters, which was a surprise. There’s usually a book where I want to strangle one of them because they fall into a stereotypical character trope category, such as ditzy bimbo or the sexpot who manipulates people.
Danny has some quirks, but for his situation, his behavior was appropriate. It was believable enough for me to keep reading to see if he’d resolve his issues with the female main character. (I don’t usually like relationships in books between main characters, so Luchesi did good here!) He grew a little toward the end, but that’s expected, especially with the first book in a series.
Angelica intrigued me, but confused me at the same time toward the beginning. This was an interesting twist, because that was the secondary reason to read the story. Something about her character was easy to guess, but if I wrote why, it’d spoil the book for the readers.
The small timing issues was the reason I could only give a four star review, but still a good rating for a first book.
I loved the plot, but felt that some scenes transitioned too quickly and jarred me out of reading. I would have liked to see three to four chapter starts not have so much time pass between them, because I wondered why a chapter started several days later. It wouldn’t be apparent until the second or third page with a sentence or two to explain.
At one point, halfway through the book, I was kind of at the edge, wondering how the rest of their assignment would go during the stake-out portion. The reader will have several emotions whirling at once as they get to this section of the story. The timing here was perfect, because both parties experienced the same thing on different levels, so it wasn’t jarring.
Plot-wise, most of it was explained - save for the cliffhanger Luchesi left the book off on. It was appropriate, but I still wanted to read more, because one major point was not resolved. However, for a series, you kind of have to leave some unresolved stuff, as long as you close up that book with no other issues.
Otherwise, readers wouldn’t want to continue a series, would they? :)
The style goes between showing and telling, and improved as the book went on. All writers go through this transitionary phase, so there was more showing as the book went on. There is a fine line between showing and telling, so that is one thing to consider.
The one thing I loved about Luchesi’s writing was the quirky statements as people were thinking. She referenced realistic things that are in today’s society to compare a situation with. There were several times I found myself laughing at these remarks, so that was a plus.
Positives and overall evaluation
Overall, Stake-Out was a good starting book and I hope that Luchesi’s skills grow as she develops into a writer. The characters were likable, I could relate to their situations and the plot moved fast enough to keep the reader’s attention.
I’m looking forward to Luchesi’s next book, and hope that anyone who enjoys paranormal/urban fantasy will consider Lily Luchesi.
Most recent customer reviews
Vamplet love it
I really liked reading this story. It's well worded.Read more