Friday, January 25, 2008

"Dead Sexy" by Tate Hallaway

It's been a long time since I read the first book starring Garnet Lacey ("Tall, Dark and Dead"), so I wasn't entirely sure I would remember who everyone was and what had happened in that book. Luckily, Ms. Hallaway gives enough back story explanation in this second book to fill in the blanks. Also nice because it means you wouldn't have to read the first one to know what's going on!

Garnet has been in Madison, Wisconsin for a year now, having run from her previous life after the members of her coven were murdered by the Order of Eustace (a uber-religious group that take that whole "thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live" thing too literally). She's been working at Mercury Crossing, a New-Age bookstore, living her life, loving her vampire-boyfriend Sebastian, and just generally keeping her head down. Oh, and she's been learning how to co-exist with the dark Goddess Lilith, the one that has possessed her since that terrible night one year ago.

But Garnet has a secret she's been keeping, one known to a few of her close friends. When she called on someone, anyone to help her that horrible night, the Goddess Lilith answered the call, and proceeded to kill the priests responsible for the murders of her coven. Unfortunately, at least one of those bodies has surfaced and now the FBI has come calling with questions in the form of Special Agent Gabriel Dominguez. He's looking for Garnet, except the picture he has doesn't look a thing like her. It's her from her old life, with blond hair and blue eyes, a very girl-next-door look, not at all like her current persona of Goth girl. Oh, and she now has violet eyes, thanks to Lilith's cohabitation of Garnet's body.

Of course Garnet panics, just as anyone would. How can she possibly explain that yes, it was her body that killed the priests, but not her? In addition to the FBI, she has other problems to deal with, mostly of the boyfriend kind, but also there seems to be a growing number of zombies lurching around Madison. What will Garnet do?

And that, of course, is the plot of the book. I really enjoyed this (must have, cause I finished it in about a 36 hr period!). The only thing that fell a bit flat was the zombie sub-plot; it was introduced, then picked up once or twice during the text and finally resolved at the end. It just felt like more of an afterthought or convenience for other plot points, just a bit flat is all. I really liked the FBI agent, and Garnet's backfiring love spell on him was hysterical. Also, I thought the boyfriend issue was very realistic; Garnet's ex-vampire-boyfriend, Parrish, is still in her life and she's been avoiding telling her current-vampire-boyfriend about it. Well, duh! How many of us mere mortals have had that very problem?

Overall, I would highly recommend this book, and I'm hoping for a third installment with our favorite witch.

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