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Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales #2)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,031 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The dark and dangerous follow-up that continues the adventures of a magical tattoo artist begun in Angel's Ink

In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town,
Trade Paperback, 371 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Harper Voyager
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Kim Harrison
Oct 23, 2012 Kim Harrison rated it it was amazing
Ha, ha! I got to read it already! One of the perks for having the same editor as Jocelynn. :-)
Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
4.5 stars

Originally reviewed on Romancing the Dark Side:

Gage stole my heart! Another fabulous installment to The Asylum Tales!

Fairies, trolls, elves, vampires and werewolves are just a few of the residents of Low Town, where warlock Gage Powell owns his tattoo parlor, Asylum. Unable to use his magic for anything other than self defense, he tries his best to live under the magical radar and earn a decent living tattooing alongside his friend Bronx and elven girlfriend Trixie, but his troubled p
Jennifer (a.k.a The Book Nympho)
Originally posted at The Book Nympho

First Thought:
Still loving this world!

The Set Up:
Gage was outted to his friends as a warlock in Angel's Ink and now not only is Gage in danger of the White Tower but so is his friends and family.

Reaver, the dark fae mobster in Low Town is blackmailing Gage with the threat of doing harm to Bronx so that he has to work for him. So not only does Gage have to worry about the witches and warlocks he has theglorifiedthug on his back too.

Then there's Trixie's pass th

Apr 12, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
At an early age, Gage was found to possess magic and was thrust into the world of the Ivory Towers, the ruling class of witches and wizards. Discovering quickly that it was a kill or be killed world, Gage left the Towers at age 15, giving up his right to use magic. Living every day in a mortal world, Gage makes his way as a tattoo artist. But someone is threatening the secrets of the Ivory Towers and the council has declared war especially targeting Gage. Now he must balance on a razor edge and ...more
We first met Gage, a wizard in hiding turned tattoo artist, in Drake's prequels (The Asylum Interviews: Bronx & The Asylum Interviews: Trixie). In those shorts, we meet his fellow artists, Trixie (elf) and Bronx (troll). In the first full-length novel of the series, Angel's Ink, Gage tattoos angel wings on a woman dying of cancer. Not long after he learned the dire consequences of his decision to add a little extra something to the ink.

Now, in Dead Man's Deal, Gage is faced with figuring ou
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

I had hoped to get my hands on a copy of Angel's Ink before reading this, the next book in Drake's Asylum Tales series but I didn't quite manage it. Thankfully Dead Man's Deal worked surprisingly well as a stand alone and I gratefully escaped into a world of magic, monsters and mayhem.

Dead Man's Deal features Gage Powell, a wizard who turned his back on his training in order to escape the horrifying politics of his fellow magic wielders in the Ivory Towers. He makes his living as a tattoo artist
Jen (Red Hot Books)
May 27, 2013 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
I liked Angel's Ink, as well as the two novellas published so far in this series. But I'll tell you, this story is where the series really hits its stride. Maybe it's because we've gotten past all the introductions and establishing the characters. But more than that, it features a fast moving plot and unpredictable course of events. With great world building and a fantastic sympathetic hero, it's a book I didn't want to put down.

As the story begins, Gage is being forced to work for Reave, the Da
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Apr 22, 2013 Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) rated it really liked it
I liked the first book in this series but I didn't love it. For some reason I never connected with Gage and that made it a little hard to really fall in love with it. But, I did like the plot and the writing and the fact that it was in Gage's POV. Especially since that is pretty rare in the Urban Fantasy genre right now.

So I was a little hesitant going into this one because I really did want to fall in love with it. I really did want to like Gage more.

Thankfully, this second installment blew me
Mary Roya
May 17, 2013 Mary Roya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved the latest story from Jocelynn Drake, "Dead Man's Deal", The Asylum Tales. As usual I became involved with the characters. Gage, our hero, Trixie the hiding Elf and Bronx the troll all become family. Even in real life sometimes friends that are not blood become closer than real family. I find that element intriguing in this story.

I like how the hated Guardian Gideon becomes an almost friend. Enjoyed the emotion of Gage meeting up with his family.

This story is chocked full of
I liked Dead Man's Deal every bit as much as I did the first book. There is still a Dredenesque feel to the series - both star outcast mages who are good guys - but I don't mind that. This time Gage is between a rock and a hard place, having been blackmailed into working for a dark elf mob boss and having the mages of the Towers out for his blood since they think that Gage is giving away their secrets. So Gage manages to win in the no win scenario, but ends up having to make some concessions in ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Feb 17, 2014 Dark Faerie Tales rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Fast paced dark urban fantasy with multiple stories interweaving into one final surprising outcome.

Opening Sentence: They were killing pixies.

The Review:

Gage Powell returns with a whole new set of troubles in Dead Man’s Deal. A dark elf has learned Gage’s secret and has been using him to do his dirty work, even forcing Gage into using his magic which he has been forbidden to use. If Gage uses his magic then his time as a free man is running
Feb 14, 2014 Ruth rated it it was ok
Shelves: spec-fic
c2012: FWFTB: wizard, tattoo, forbidden, magic, uprising. Dash - I was really hoping that I would like the second book a little more than I did. I did think that the author made the male 'voice' a little bit more authentic than in the first book. Perhaps I did not read carefully enough but there seemed to be some glaring inconsistencies. For example, Gage's brother appears in the tattoo parlour and both Gage and the brother appear to be very surprised at meeting each other ie 'Gage Powell. I gue ...more
eden Hudson
May 22, 2014 eden Hudson rated it really liked it
Shelves: body-mod-fiction
Even though the summarizing and re-summarizing of events still bothered me, this series gets cooler by the book. If you're at all into urban fantasy or tattoo fiction, you should be reading The Asylum Tales.

One problem I had with Angel's Ink (the first book) was that sometimes Gage came off as overly whiny and angsty, but that's less present (like, 50% less) in Dead Man's Deal. Even better, Gage is finally starting to realize that his Absolutely No Killing Ever rule isn't going to work if he wan
Gage Powell has a lot on his plate. He has to find someway to help the Queen of the Summer Court conceive a child so that the King will stop trying to make Trixie, Gage's girlfriend, his consort. Then there is the problem wherein the local mafia, led by a dark elf, has blackmailed, threatened, and overall coerced Gage and his friend Bronx to work for them. And last but definitely not least, the Towers are ticked off about something...and they know of the perfect whipping boy to take it out on.

Jan 04, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it
Shelves: swapped
This book was certainly better than the first book. I'm still not feeling the relationship between Gage and Trixie. There was a bit less going on in this book and that was my main gripe about Angel's Ink. I did enjoy Gage more as well since his character wasn't being pulled in a thousand different directions. I hope Bronx has more of a role in the next book. I felt like he and Trixie's character's were after thoughts with this installment.

Carbunkle Flux
Mar 06, 2014 Carbunkle Flux rated it liked it
So, this book just kind of appeared in a sale on nook and it sounded interesting so I was like 'Okay. I will subject myself to the urban fantasy story about the magical tattoo artist with the muscles.'

I think I went away from this pleasantly surprised. Oh, I'm not going to hold any illusions that this book is smooth sailing all the way through, but I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would.

So what is this story about? Possibly entirely too much. For some reason having a solid main plot arc
Alice Liu
Aug 28, 2014 Alice Liu rated it it was amazing
There are small kindnesses in Dead Man's Deal. They are few and far between, and come in unexpected places, but they are enough to turn small tides for wizard-cum-hero, Gage Powell. All he really wants is peace, love, and understanding. What he gets is the responsibility of the world on his shoulders. The irony is that even as he saves entire groups of people, they still view him as the enemy. What I love most was that though this is Gage's story, there are many other characters who are also fig ...more
Brian Palmer
Jan 02, 2015 Brian Palmer rated it really liked it
Angel's Ink, the predecessor to this novel, seemed to set a template: Gage, a powerful runaway warlock forbidden to use most of his magic, would operate an enchanted tattoo shop. A customer would undoubtedly come in, some thing would happen, and Gage would stumble through a case of the week. At least, that's what I *assumed*.

This blew that theory up completely, as it turns the dial to 11, bringing in sharp changes to the world that the author had outlined: (hint: we see some of the effects of th
Apr 22, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Very much worth the read! Even though this book can be a stand alone, please please please!! take the time to read ALL the earlier books. You will not be dissapointed :D
May 16, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
I loved this! Even though a lot of Gage's problems have been now solved, there's a whole other can of worms waiting for him!
Amy Goodloe
May 05, 2015 Amy Goodloe rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy, magic
My absolute favorite thing about this series is the idea that vampires are so OCD that you can distract them by tossing sunflowers on the floor. I wish the rest of the story had more of this kind of humor.

One of the reasons I prefer to read urban fantasy by women is that I don't really want to hear about sexual urges from a man's POV, so I was curious to see what happened when a woman wrote a story from the POV of a main character who's a man. In some ways, Drake manages to do even more of the s
Jan 11, 2016 Jessica rated it it was ok
While Drake is a pretty great author in terms of her writing skill she just overloads on plot and subplot and subsubplot. There is so much going on in this book that I couldn't really keep track of it all. And it wasn't like anything resolved before adding the 26th plot line it was just all placed on top of each other with a sloppy bow on top as an ending. This book was more ADD than a 3 year old hopped up on sugar at chuck e cheese. It was a bummer too because i loved the first one and waited a ...more
Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales, #2) by Drake, Jocelynn
The second novel in the Asylum Tales series is better that the first. The story is tighter, the stakes are higher, and the action is more compelling. By the time I finished it I was ready for book 3! Over all a really fun read and well done.
Lot’s of spoilers!

(view spoiler)
May 08, 2016 jess rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to jess by: My own interest. ;)

Truth be told, there's not much to be said other than that. Jocelyn Drake has done a phenomenal job in creating a world that's what I can only best describe as "everyday supernatural". ;)

The characters are so well developed already, but discovering even more about them in this book was a great find. And like her last book Angel's Ink it very quickly becomes a book you just seemed compelled to read just one more page (only to find yourself having read another two chapte
Gage is in trouble. Big trouble, with Reeve the dark elf being the least of his worries. But Reeve is bringing major trouble nonetheless.

The Ivory Towers are finally moving to find Gage. What seems like each time he turns around, witches and fellow warlocks are at his doorstep (or in his house, his shop, in the sidewalk in front of him...) with all intents to kill him. There is also trouble brewing with Gideon - the towers want to replace him because he clearly isn't getting 'the job' done. Gid
Mar 05, 2014 TheGeekyBlogger rated it really liked it
Read/Listened for Fun (Kindle/Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.25
Character Rating: 4.75

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

NOTE: I did originally get this from Edelweiss but did not download it in time for review. I purchased my own copies through Amazon/Audible.

First Thought when Finished: Dead Man's Deal by Jocelynn Drake was excellent! This series is now on my must buy as released list!

Story Thoughts: Oh Gage!You are the king of getting yourself tangled up in the mos
Stephanie  G
Jul 03, 2013 Stephanie G rated it liked it
Gage is working for a mob like dark elf. Since Gage can’t use magic to get himself out of the elf’s hands, he doesn’t have much of a choice. Gage is told that the elf is going to have someone swing by his tattoo studio to get a kind of protection tattoo. The last person Gage expects to walk through his door is his brother. The surprises don’t end there, the information that his brother is supposed to be harboring is not only dangerous, it could bring the whole world down around their heads. Whil ...more
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
Sep 26, 2013 CoffeeTimeRomance andMore rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Gage is the go to guy for tattoos in Low Town. With elves, fairies, trolls, vampires and werewolves living beneath the nose of the Ivory Towers, magic is in high demand. Unfortunately for Gage, the wizards know he is using forbidden magic. So they will do anything to put a stop to it. An uprising is brewing in Low Town. Gage finds himself pinched between sides and loyalties. His bad decisions leave him and his friend, Bronx, at the mercy of a dark elf with sadistic uses for Gage's abilities. Ful ...more
William Bentrim
Jan 24, 2013 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing
Dead Man’s Deal by Jocelynn Drake

I guess I am now a Jocelynn Drake fan. I really, really liked this book. I liked Angel’s Ink which filled in all the background information that I wanted when I read Asylum Interviews:Bronx. Both Trixie and Bronx can be read as stand alone stories without any problem. However I do recommend you read Angel’s Ink first. In this book, Gage, who is an ex-warlock, struggles with the Towers (Home of the Warlocks), his love, his loyalty and his conscience.

I particularl
All Things Urban Fantasy
May 08, 2013 All Things Urban Fantasy rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

DEAD MAN’S DEAL continues to expand the excellent dark and gritty world of The Asylum Tales series with even more magic and mayhem. While there were moments that slogged due to necessary exposition the revelations about the world building and dangerous action kept me invested in the story.

In DEAD MAN’S DEAL more of Gage’s dark past as a student wizard in the Ivory Towers (which is basically Hogwarts) is revealed. His experiences are truly horrific and
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A former Cincinnati native, Jocelynn briefly lived in the wintery wonderland of Wisconsin before mounds of snow had her running for the sun-kissed beaches of South Florida. She started writing when she was 12, spending one summer re-writing the story of Robin Hood because it really needed a kick butt female character. Since those early days, she’s written fantasy, romance, horror, science-fiction, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Asylum Tales (3 books)
  • Angel's Ink (The Asylum's Tales, #1)
  • Demon's Vengeance: The Complete Final Asylum Tales

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“I think I should be in mourning. Many brain cells were lost in the creation of that orgasm."

Trixie chuckled. "I appreciate their sacrifice.”
“I could feel her wipe away something wet, but I refused to think she had made me cry as well as admit that I was a coward. The League of Men was going to come confiscate my balls at this rate. But it didn't matter. Trixie was worth it.” 5 likes
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