“Better Off Undead: The Bloodhound Files” by DD Barant


I have another review for you all.  This one isn’t filled with humor like the others posted this week, but those of you who are paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi fans may be interested in this series and want to check it out.  I have been following “The Bloodhound Files” since reading the first two books a year ago.  It is unique compared to anything I’ve read before.  There hasn’t been any actual romance so far, but there is a bit of hope something could come up in the future.  The set-up is certainly there, though I’m actually content with how things are going for now.

The series has a well-written storyline that keeps you intrigued from the get go and has some great humor interspersed throughout.  It is not one you will regret trying if you are into the genre(s).  I’ll leave off saying any more, but you can take a look at my review below for the latest book that released this month.  The first paragraph sums  how the first book started before I move on to the synopsis of the current novel.

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Imagine waking up one morning to be told you were going to an alternate earth, in a different dimension. Your earth being much like the one we know, but the other having some glaring differences. Oh, the countries and cities of this other earth appear much like our own, but other things are very different. The most obvious being the fact humans only make up one percent of the population. The other ninety-nine percent are vampires, werewolves, or golems. In other words, humans are a protected species that may not last much longer. Yet you come from an earth that doesn’t have any of these mythological beings, which makes you feel rather out of place. Well, that is how Jace Valcheck feels when this happens to her, and she did not get a choice in the matter. Those who brought her over made a deal so as to gain her cooperation. All she had to do is use her FBI profiler skills to catch a human serial killer (virtually unheard of on this version of earth) and after he is safely dealt with, she could go back home.

If you haven’t noticed, this is book four of the series and that agreement began in book one. Nothing has gone quite right for Jace, as other problems keep getting in the way. She came close a couple times, but hasn’t had much luck lately. In the intervening months since her arrival, she has adapted and even made friends, but this adventure may ruin her plans to ever get home. Dr. Pete, a werewolf friend whose identity was altered earlier in the series from some nasty magic, could be saved and brought back to how he once was. Unfortunately, before the solution can fully work, he bites her. This exposes Jace to the lyncanthrope virus which will change her on the next full moon. If a method to counteract the virus isn’t found in time, she will turn into a species she has no desire to become. There is a possible way to stop it, but it could result in deathly consequences. Jace has a lot of choices to make, on top of her usual job to do, which includes hunting down a mafia werewolf who has become a dangerous threat to society (well, more so than a usual mafia guy). Nothing will be easy until all her latest problems are resolved.

I must admit, this series seemed to be diverting off its course a bit since book one (which had been my favorite). Yet “Better off Undead” brought back all the original characters and excitement I remembered from before. I really enjoyed the humor, brief emotional moments, and action that ensued. It was what I had been hoping for and more. Jace didn’t get much progress made on the hunt for the serial killer, but that might have ended the series, so that was okay for me. In this one she focused on trying regain her old friend Dr. Pete, who had become Tair- an evil, alternate version of the man she knew. As for whether she was successful, I can’t say since you’ll have to read the novel to find out. She also had to deal with the idea of becoming something other than human. This brought her down a bit, but she bounced back quickly, ready to fight for her life. Just like the Jace that has shown a remarkable determination to overcome the odds of all the other adversity she has faced since arriving in the alternate dimension.

For those who have read all the previous novels, you will find “Better Off Undead” to be the best yet. It has the tough heroine that we have seen throughout the series, all the main characters we have grown to love, and the action stays in the Seattle area where it all began. It is not a novel you want to miss. For those who are new to the series, you may want to start off at book one, if you really want to understand the dynamics at work for later books. The author does take time to explain some of the past events, which could make it possible to read this one alone, but it would still be better to go to the beginning.

I highly recommend The Bloodhound Files for those who enjoy a mix of paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi adventure. The world building and character development are excellent, as well as unique. The next book, “Back from the Undead,” is set to be released in April of 2012. I will certainly be picking it up!  Five whips for this great read.

WhipWhipWhipWhipWhip

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For those who would like the series reading order, here it is:

Dying Bites
Death Blows
Killing Rocks
Better Off Undead

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~ by Suzie on October 15, 2011.

5 Responses to ““Better Off Undead: The Bloodhound Files” by DD Barant”

  1. Cool. Added it to my list. I love cops and fantasy. :-D

    • You should like this on then. It has that detective feel to it since she has to work on cases. Another fun thing is this alternate earth has no guns due to some spell put on the planet centuries before, but she brought hers along with a crate of ammo. No one knows what it is and doesn’t take her seriously when she points it at them, but if she has to shoot, they learn quickly. It also explores the idea of being a human as a minority and what that feels like. The author did a great job with making this a very entertaining series.

  2. Maybe Spoilery, but I tried not…

    I have totally enjoyed the first three books in this series but…
    In reading “Better Off Undead” I find myself frustrated.
    The entire universe seems to be written just to allow Tair to get away with anything/everything he wants.
    I have not yet finished the book so take this with grain of salt.
    Every time, every single time, that Tair needs something, the universe hands it to him.
    It is a miracle that he knows where he will be taken and can plan ahead.
    a miracle that he knows exactly how his actions will affect everyone in the area.
    a miracle that he happens to be able to get the one thing that will keep the forces of good from finding him.
    (if this thing actually worked why wouldn’t every dang bad guy have one?)
    a miracle that he can always find the person he needs
    a miracle that no one can step in to help stop him because of a miracle spell thingamabob that the universe designed just to put one over on Jace.
    Arrrgggghhhhhh, did I mention I was frustrated.

    • I’ve known a few people in my real life who are a lot like Tair and get away with things that boggle the mind, not to mention manipulate everyone around them to do what they want. For me, Tair is very realistic (minus the magical elements we don’t have). Plus hunting bad guys in Iraq proved beyond frustrating at times. I like that the author used an antagonist that is fleshed out and real. Sure, he is annoying, but the fact your emotions got so worked up just proves the writing is good, lol. On the other hand, I’ve had books where a character affected me to a similar degree as Tair does you and I couldn’t stand it. The most I can console you with is Jace should be dealing with someone else in the next book.

      • LOL thanks for the comments. It is true that if the writing sucked I wouldn’t be so invested in the characters that they could drive me to distraction. Guess I will just have to take a deep breath and dive back into it.

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