Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bastard Reaction: A Shot in the Dark by K.A. Stewart

A Devil in the Details was K.A. Stewart's debut novel last year in 2010, first in the Jesse James Dawson series; a very promising start to her career. I was a bit skeptical when I decided to read the book as the blurb and description didn't sound too appealing, but after a couple of chapters I could tell that this series would quickly become one of my favorites in the genre.

Let's forget plot for the time being, that can be hit or miss. The current main draw to the series is the compelling first person narrating voice Stewart has created, in many regards similar to that of Harry Dresden. And how many times haven't we stumbled upon people looking for something similar to Dresden? Well I finally found a series that I could endorse for fans of Dresden, particularly to those that enjoy that narrating voice. Keep in mind that I'm strictly recommending this on the merits of that aspect, nothing to do with plot, characters, setting, magic, etc. In Jesse James Dawson you'll find a honorable character, full of wisecracks and humor remarks, and also a flawed character which in many ways Dresden also is. And yes, he gets beat up quite badly on his way to kick just a little bit of ass.

In all, Stewart has created one of the best male first person narrators in the Urban Fantasy scene in my opinion, to the point that I thought the book was written by a man. Not because men are better writers than women, but because of how easy it felt to identify with the character me having two balls and a stick. It was a testament to how well the author wrote a character of the opposite sex, which is not an easy task.

Plenty of action, plenty of humor, a stable loving family, and a good mystery with its twists was a recipe for a successful novel.

A Shot in the Dark was released earlier this summer, and sequel to A Devil in the Details. Let me get this out of the way, did not enjoy it as much as the first one, but still very much enjoyed. It has more to do with my tastes more than anything. The second books was a bit more of a horror book in a secluded cabin scenario, which in all I'm not a fan of those. But that aside, everything that I enjoyed in the first one, was present in this one. The world keeps expanding and more dimensions get revealed.

With that said, the author needs to be commended for shaking things up and writing something slightly different from the first, keeping the world fresh and exciting. A bit slow in the beginning but once the action starts in this one it doesn't stop until the very last page. So in all, I really can't complain much about the secluded cabin scenario because it delivered many cool action scenes and those are most welcomed.

K.A. Stewart is an author to watch out for and very much looking forward to the next Jesse James Dawson installment. For a more comprehensive review, look for Mihir's in FBC (which I haven't read yet, but I stand by my statement).

Where to buy:
A Devil in the Details Mass Paperback in The Book Depository
A Shot in the Dark Mass Paperback in The Book Depository

You can get more info on the author and series from K.A. Stewarts Blog.

And as always, you can come and discuss the series over with me at SFFWorld forums.

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