Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Jesse James Dawson's vacation is interrupted by a pack of hell-spawned creatures. To save friends, family and himself, Jesse will have to put his trust in his most dangerous enemy-his personal demon.
Note: I received a copy for review from the publisher.
Buy links: A Shot in the Dark: A Jesse James Dawson Novel (Jesse Dawson)
My dearest and my darling reviewed the first in this series for me last year. Now, he is back with his usual charm and panache (back off, bitches, he's mine...and he totally snores) to review the newest offering in the Jesse James Dawson series by K.A. Stewart. Please show him the love...
After reading the first book in this series I was a little skeptical, as the first book had interesting concepts with imperfect but adequate storytelling. I am pleased to announce that this outing is extremely solid. Now that the characters and world have been established this book concentrates on a well done combination of action and tense anxiety. The story follows protagonist Jesse James Dawson, who eviscerates demons with cheery abandon. When someone makes the mistake of selling their soul to shady characters, they call in a champion like Jesse to fight in their stead. Now that Jesse has a few notches adding up on his belt, the underworld is conspiring to end his winning streak. Things quiet down after the ending events of A Devil in the Details, and (against his better judgement) Jesse proceeds to go on the annual paintball vacation with all of his best friends. The boys all head out to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies, where an ambush is flagrantly waiting for them. The situation quickly devolves into a seige of the tiny cottage. This was the highlight of the book, as all the action was punctuated by tense scenes of scrambling to mount defenses, as well as blaming eachother for the situation. Fighting eachother as well as demonic entities makes for a nice bit of drama. The atmosphere had a palpable sense of foreboding for almost the entire story, and really added to my entertainment.
There was some heavy handed foreshadowing that made the story extremely predictable, but this did not hinder my enjoyment of their fight for survival. The action scenes are well written and had me on the edge of my seat. Overall I enjoyed part two much more than the first. Indeed, this book seems like a major departure from all of the mundane activity of the previous story. Well done Ms. Stewart, you have gotten me to care about what happens next in the series. The only other issue I had was whenever Jesse had an inner monologue it came across a little like a womans' voice. I had this same criticism of A Devil in the Details, but honestly it is not as bad this time around. However, at some points it almost seemed like the author was deliberately trying to sound like a man, which kinda made it worse. At any rate these moments were few and did not affect the flow of the story that badly, but they were noticeable. Despite my gripes I did enjoy the story, and the characters were developed nicely (everytime Axel, the demon, shows up he steals the show). So if you've read the first book you really should pick this one up and see what's new in Mr. Dawson's world.
Final Grade: B