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Dead To Me (Simon Canderous, #1)
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Dead To Me (Simon Canderous #1)

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  2,503 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
A new urban fantasy featuring a man working on the right side of law-with talents that come from left field.

Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he's gone over to the good side. At New York's underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he's l
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Ace
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Having just finished a true kitten squisher (The Luminaries), it was time for something light and frothy. Dead To Me fit the bill, providing entertainment for one evening, two coffee breaks, and one lunch hour. Not at all convoluted, it was easy to keep track of in these short reading bursts.

If I was to compare it to food (and really, why not?), I would call it cotton candy. No nutritional value, empty sugar calories, and potential cavity hazard.

I felt it had a rather adolescent tone, with the m
Mar 17, 2008 Schnaucl rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2011 Carol. rated it it was ok
Ghastly, er, ghostly. There are kernels of good ideas here, but for the most part the book is filled with tropes, awkward writing, intrusive explanations and wildly inconsistent characters. I kept putting it down in disgust, but picking it back up because my OCD disorder wanted to know the ending.

Tone and Plot: It's like an adolescent male writer is regurgitating Dresden lite, mixed with the Ministry of Magic courtesy of Harry Potter, sprinkled with every stereotype of the male detective in the
Jun 12, 2008 Brownbetty rated it it was ok
A potentially interesting book (which seemed vaguely as if it might be a sequel, but I couldn't find out whether or not this was the case) which ended up being disappointing.

The story is told in first person by Simon Candorous, who is an unreliable narrator: and not the literary sort of unreliable, where he tells you untrue things because he's got a secret, or is interestingly deceived, he's just the sort of unreliable which forgets to pick you up at the bus station because he thought that was
Sep 11, 2008 Kati rated it liked it
The first half of this book is awesome: funny, quirky, interesting. But the second half... It feels like it's written by someone else. The author suddenly uses phrases like "I threw up in my mouth a little" or "we exchanged a WTF look." I mean, huh. I really liked Simon, Connor, the Inspectre and Irene, even Wesker was funny with his acerbic sense of humor. But Jane... If there's a poster girl for a stereotypical blondie, it's her: gorgeous and cute but with empty space where her brain should be ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 18, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good...I wish I could give it slightly less than 4 stars, but I can't and I do want to give it more than 3. While it may not rate (to me at least) as high as some I've given 4 stars, but again, it's better than just, "pretty good".

I would say that even though I had read books before this that would qualify as urban fantasy, my "formal recognition" of the genre would be through the Dresden books by Jim Butcher. I have looked for other urban fantasy reads and series that are as good o
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
This is like the American version of Simon Green without the complexity and original characters. I enjoyed this book but it was very uneven. Sometimes events were serious and intense or even realistically funny and other times the action and characters felt slapstick and two dimensional or like an old time superhero comic book. There were a number of puns and one-liners that felt like they belonged in a parody not a novel.

The Bad
Simon falls in love way too easily. The man he hates does good thi
Feb 08, 2014 Penny rated it really liked it
The reviews on Goodreads had me very worried about reading this book. But once I started reading it I found the reviews were wrong. I really enjoyed this book. It held my attention with all of the dialogue and action. I really enjoyed the characters and found them believable. I will definitely read the second book in the series.
Apr 02, 2008 Readin'ruth rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: absolutely no one unless I hated them
This is quite possibly the WORST book I've ever read. I could NOT put it down. It was like watching a train/biccycle wreck. You know it's going to be really bad but one's mind can't comprehend quite how low the writing (in this case) can go. It managed to go farther than I ever imagined.
I know that when it comes to urban fantasy/paranormal, I am supposed to cut some slack when it comes to the first book; that sometimes, a series will not get as good until book #2 or #3. So, I'm ready to have low expectation on this. At the same time, male protagonist in UF is so rare, I really want to end up liking this even before I start.

Unfortunately, I don't. Somehow, Simon ends up for me as incompetent most of the times; it's like the only thing he does is running here and there with a bat
Aug 19, 2012 David rated it did not like it
Should be retooled for the "Young Adult" section

Dead To Me has the dubious honor of being one of a select few books that I couldn't finish. It's not offensive. It's not overly boring. It's not even that poorly written, although I did find it childish, which I think is the root of my issue with it. Simon (our hero) works for the DEA (Department of Extraordinary Affairs), which includes such departments as "Haunts-General" and "Things That Go Bump In The Night". Simon's boss is a, which m
This was an interesting case for social media. This book came to my attention here on Goodreads a while ago, but for some reason I dismissed it as not up my alley. But the author is very involved here as an active user, not just to promote his books, so I'd see his name sometimes and wonder if I'd been too hasty. Then I'd also see it or one of the books on twitter, and see friends' reviews of his books in both places. It became clear that I should reconsider after I'd seen several positive revie ...more
Apr 07, 2008 aaron rated it really liked it
another book by a first time novelist. strout has written a couple of short stories but this was his first lengthy novel. what has produced is a great addition into the urban fantasy genre. simon is a psychometrist which means that he touches objects and sees visions of those who previously touched them. what follows is a romping good time (for the reader at least) as he runs into ghosts, cultists, and attacking bookshelves. enjoy the read.
Mar 22, 2008 Alessandriana rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did, but something just wasn't clicking. It felt like the author didn't have a good handle on any of the characters; they tended to act irrationally and unpredictably. The plot wasn't bad, but overall, I wasn't really thrilled. Too bad.
Nancy D
Jan 17, 2017 Nancy D rated it liked it
3.5 Being limited to whole stars is frustrating. I didn't "Really like it" but it was better than "good"
Feb 18, 2010 Tammy rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Simms
Aug 21, 2014 Lindsay Simms rated it it was ok
This book disappointed me, to put it lightly. I was so interested in the premise; I've never read about psychometry before, and it seemed genuinely refreshing in a genre that has a lot of series that are basically copies of one another. This book had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, that potential was not only wasted, but it was poured down the drain, while the garbage disposal whirred away.

Let's start with Simon. If I wanted to read a book from the point of view of a twelve year old, I'd read
Jun 19, 2008 Katie(babs) rated it liked it
Dead To Me is the first book in a series about Simon Canderous, a twenty-four year old psychometrist, living in New York City and working for the secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs. What's a psychometrist you ask? Well, psychometry is the ability to touch an object that someone owns and find out things about them, such as memories or a certain time in their lives when they owned the object. Poor Simon hates having this ability because anything he touches with his bare hands, will allow h ...more
Tiffany Danner
Jan 06, 2010 Tiffany Danner rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
A few months back I declared my love of male written and male point of view urban fantasies, but up until that point I had only read Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I asked for recommendations and Anton Strout’s name was tossed my way. When Literary Escapism announced the League of Reluctant Adults challenge I knew it would be the perfect time to pick up the Simon Canderous series and dig in.

Simon is an incredibly likable character. He is your typical bad guy gone good, but with an interesting twis
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
It took me two attempts to get into this book; the first time I started reading it I just couldn't work up the necessary interest in it to continue. However, at the second attempt, for some reason, I had no trouble and read it right through to the end in one sitting. I ended up glad I had persevered with it.

This is light urban fantasy; we don't get terribly deep character development, or great complexity, and the Department of Extraordinary Affairs (DEA) where the protagonist (Simon Canderous) w
May 31, 2011 James rated it it was ok
I generally don't like over criticising a book but this was not one of the best that I have read. The idea, whilst solid, was not really as cool as one might have expected, whilst the plot while original failed to captivate. In short, this book promised so much and then just failed to live up to them.

The Good points:
1. It had an interesting premise.
2. It wasn't boring and I didn't have to force myself to read it - always a plus
3. ...

The bad points:

1. The writing was so disruptive, and the style
Dec 15, 2008 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, urban-fantasy
This book has been described as a sort of cross between Men in Black and Ghostbusters, and yeah, that's about right. Which means that Dead to Me is a lighthearted and very welcome antidote to a lot of the grim, gritty darkity-darkness that makes up so much of urban fantasy these days, with humor and a dash of romance driving the action rather than blatant sex and violence.

Simon Canderous is gifted with psychometry, the ability to read past incidents in a person's life by touching them or objects
Feb 14, 2008 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is a really fun debut novel in a new urban fantasy series, and coming from someone who isn't wildly a fan of urban fantasy (epic and traditional are more my thing) I really enjoyed it!

Anton Strout has a great sense of humor, and the prose is laced with witty sarcasm that had me giggling to myself at times (I don't often giggle while reading books, so this is definitely saying something!). I've always been a fan of more sarcastic novels, but it's not often that an author pulls it off well be
Barbara ★
Simon, a psychometric agent for the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, is involved in two major cases that somehow intertwine. Irene, an unusual ghost, has been murdered and her apartment trashed. Why? And Jane, an employee of the Sectarian Defense League, a cultist organization for evil. Simon has feelings for both Irene and Jane, the dead girl and the enemy, which pull him away from D.E.A. teachings. Of course, Faisal, the leader of S.D.L., is totally evil and out to kill Jane, Irene and Sim ...more
Feb 02, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: SCI FI Phreaks
Recommended to Laura by: everyone
This book is fantastic and I highly recommend all scifi people to pick this book up and read it.

funny thing was I found myself more drawn to the secondary character of Connor who I found to be more interesting. Simon Canderous was everything that a woman would want in a man, except that he could never, ever touch her without knowing about some part of her life that he doesn't need to know.

I liked the psychometry aspect of the book. How awesome would it be to pick up an item and understand the jo
***Dave Hill
Mar 19, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it it was ok
Shelves: text
All the descriptions of this book made me think I'd like it -- and, sadly, all my time reading the book made me think of how Charles Stross nailed with his Atrocity Archives series what Anton Strout is trying to do here. There's not particularly wrong with Strout's attempt to mix Dilbertesque company bureaucracy and politics with urban fantasy, but there's nothing here that wows me or makes me want to pick up the next volume in the series.

Recommended for folks who really like this sort of thing
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Simon Canderous can see the information about any object he touches. He used to be a thief, but now he is working for Department of Extraordinary Affairs. After he meets a ghost of a beautiful woman, his mentor and he decide to find out who killed her.

The author has some geography issues, but it was ok.
Jun 17, 2008 Jake rated it liked it
3.5 stars, really. But I plan on reading more when they come available.
Feb 16, 2017 Heather rated it liked it
This was ok. It was kinda slow at first, and I found myself quite irritated with Simon at times. But it's interesting. And what compelled me to read this was a short story I read featuring Simon and Connor. So I do intend to read at least one more book in this series. I wasn't too keen on the first Dresden book but fell in love with the series. Who knows; maybe that will happen here too.
Jan 23, 2017 Jenny rated it it was ok
The pacing of this book felt very off. I was surprised that the ending came when it did, it felt both too soon and like the book was still slogging through the middle.
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When not plotting against his mortal enemy Patrick Rothfuss, Anton Strout is the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series for Ace Books including Dead To Me, Deader Still, Dead Matter and Dead Waters.
His new series with Ace Books is entitled The Spellmason Chronicles. Alchemystic is first in the series, followed by Stonecast and the upcoming Incarnate .

He is also the host and curat
More about Anton Strout...

Other Books in the Series

Simon Canderous (4 books)
  • Deader Still (Simon Canderous, #2)
  • Dead Matter (Simon Canderous, #3)
  • Dead Waters (Simon Canderous, #4)

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“Of all the ways I had imagined my death, getting beaten by my zombified mentor while trapped by a cannibalistic window handle wasn’t one of them” 5 likes
“Luckily, we rarely dealt with the possible.” 1 likes
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