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New Tricks (Dog Days, #2)
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New Tricks (Dog Days #2)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  898 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Former enforcer Mason would normally be concerned with finding ghosts and vampires stalking the Castro section of San Francisco. Fortunately, Halloween provides the perfect explanation for the abundance of ghouls. But someone is trying to possess his old flame, Sarah. Now, with the help of his magical dog Louie, Mason must uncover the black magician responsible.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Ace
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 13, 2008 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery, urban
I really like this author. He was a cop for 7 years and is a musician, and his experiences clearly inform the novel. I found Mason, the lead, to be very appealing both in this book and in the first in the series Dog Days. Those who know me will be unsurprised to know that I enjoy having a dog as a character! The magical premise is tight and believable. I would call it an urban fantasy, but it's not dark or depressing. I did find this book a bit more, um, simplistically? plotted than the previou ...more
Tim Simard
Feb 14, 2009 Tim Simard rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, paranormal, fiction
The second in a series with an interesting twist and a group of compelling characters. Mason is a refreshing change from the usual main character in this type of book (I'm getting a bit tired of the whole "busty corset-wearing witch who saves the world with a spell, a snarky comment and her cleavage" thing). I makes me want more and it makes me want to make music again...
Feb 14, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, urban-fantasy
I was hoping that John Levitt's Dog Days novels would sharpen up their act with Book 2, and I am pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed. One of the biggest beefs I had with Book 1--our hero Mason's friends' annoying propensity to harp on him about what a slacker he is--was pretty much absent from this book. And there's nice mileage with Mason making music here, and of course, plenty of cute not-really-a-dog mileage with his Ifrit, Lou.

In this installment the crime that has to be solved is the
Jan 15, 2009 Trip rated it liked it
Sadly, I figured out the mystery at least 50 pages before the protagonist did, which I had to count against this otherwise fine book.
Jan 15, 2009 Loren rated it really liked it
The second book in the Dog Days series is darker than the first, but felt more assured in the author's hands. Levitt continues to use San Francisco to its best advantage as a setting, summoning the magic in Land's End, the city's small music clubs, Baker Beach in the fog, and the art installation at the dump. If only I hadn't been able to figure out the villain hundreds of pages before the protagonist... Still, I like the characters very, very much and look forward to the next in the series.
Jun 03, 2010 Melodie rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2010
Mason is a likeable character, but his ifrit, Louie, is by far the best part of these books. I liked the first one better than this one, so I'm thinking I'll stop here if they're going downhill already. Someone is trying to possess Mason's friend, Sarah. Figured it out very early on. The writing is well-done, this series just seems like everything else out there.
Feb 28, 2009 Michele rated it it was amazing
After "Dog Days" I of course had to get the sequel and I'm happy to say I really liked this one even more. Lots of plot twists and unanswered questions (leading to yet another book). The ifrits seem to be very important creatures and hopefully as the series continues, we'll learn more about them.
Mar 22, 2009 Patty rated it it was ok
This one was slightly better than the may be because the characters were developed and now a story could have more attention. Even so, there are others in the Urban Fantasy genre out there that are better...but if you're a fan of the genre overall, give them a try.
Sep 11, 2016 Stonemagpie rated it liked it
This book is a little better than the first, but not by much.

I do love Lou, Mason's Ifrit, but he is by far the most interesting character... and he's the dog.

The biggest problem with this series is that there is nothing really new here and the characters are hard to connect with.

It's not a terrible book, it fact it's quite good in places, it's just very forgettable, I only read it a couple of weeks ago and I can hardly remember what happened.
A good second novel in a series. Only issue is that the author really needs to start fleshing out the supporting characters a bit if he wants the series to endure. There was much more of that in the first novel than there was here, and really it should have been the opposite.
Aug 24, 2009 Joey rated it really liked it
I liked this follow up a lot too... looking forward to the next book Unleashed which comes out later this year!
Apr 19, 2010 Julia rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Mason is a pick up jazz guitarist who is a magic practitioner, who occasionally has to solve mysteries of the woo woo type in San Francisco. In this book practitioners are being left comatose, they call in help from Portland. The best parts were when he was playing music, also fun is his relationship with his Ifrit/ familiar Lou, who looks like a little dog.
We'll see. I'm not sold on this book yet.

update on 12/11: PU! I had to give this book back (sorry Em!) I hated the protagonist, the magic system made no sense, and the writing was in dire need of pruning. Feh.
Jun 05, 2010 Anita rated it it was ok
I liked the Harry Dresden vibe of the first book in this series, enough that I was excited to read this sequel. I was very disappointed. The plot seems recycled from the last book, and all the interesting characters get killed off. Why introduce so many new characters just to kill them all? At least keep a few alive to explore further in later volumes. Also, the hero, Mason, doesn't seem to grow much in this book. I'll still probably read book 3 to see if this series improves, but if the first b ...more
Mar 23, 2010 JC rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A decent follow-up on the first novel, though not as cohesive as his first effort. I still really enjoyed it and loved experiencing the lives and adventures of Mason and Lou. The stakes played a little higher in this one, and fans of Harry Dresden will find themselves getting frustrated with Mason for failing to notice what's right in front of his face, because we already watched Harry go through the same thing.
Sep 24, 2010 Anne rated it did not like it
The main character was blind to a situation that was pretty obvious to the reader. Really annoying when it seems like a main character is too dumb to deserve surviving the final conflict. Plus not even the character is convinced that he is truly talented, not s shining endorsement.

I'll read the next one in the hopes that he recaptures that edgy, interesting feel of the first book.
Dec 14, 2010 Joy rated it liked it
Shelves: series, urban-fantasy
Good read, nothing great. Solved the mystery before it was revealed. Easy to finish the book in a day or 2.
Enjoyed this one even more then the first. Less whining, and I like getting more details about Lou, the Ifrits, and creativity/artistry.

Enjoyed the twists and turns, some obvious, and some not so obvious. Can't wait to dive into the 3rd book.
May 31, 2011 Leilani rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I'd like to give it 3.5 stars, but can't. Though I enjoyed spending time with these characters again, watching Mason be a musician and wander around San Francisco, and of course enjoying the company of Lou the Ifrit, it did get a little frustrating watching everyone keep their faces resolutely turned away from the blindingly obvious answer. The ending was still dramatic and interesting, and I was entertained all the way through. A good and quick read.

I noticed in reviews for the 4th that appare
Jun 01, 2011 James rated it liked it
This was another solid addition to a series that it shaping up nicely. It is a bit slower, and more mundane in regards to magic in comparison to, say, Dresden, but it is a pleasurable read that doesn't fail to captivate.

It may not be an original or overly compelling plot, but it was well written, explored and presented and made for a good read. These series so far (okay, I'm only on the second one) seem to be more stand-alone novels than as a part of a series. Yes, there is plot points that go t
Jul 26, 2011 Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, werewolves
Unlike the other book I started recently. I felt like this book held on its own. I haven't read Book 1 yet, and for once I didn't feel like I had to read it to enjoy it. Oh, sure - I probably missed subtle clues and references to the last book - but it worked out just fine.

Hopefully this means that it is a well-written book and not that if you read them in order, you'd be annoyed by repetition.

Interesting premise, interesting characters, not too-predicable plot twisting. A fun read all around.
Robert 'Rev. Bob'
Feb 08, 2014 Robert 'Rev. Bob' rated it really liked it
The first book in this series set up an interesting twist on the usual style of urban fantasy magic, and this sequel did a nice job of deepening that mythos without also falling prey to the mistake of ramping up the power levels. It's also refreshing to see a modern fantasy series that doesn't revolve around romance, although that did form an important aspect of this book.

All in all, I regret taking so long to get around to this book, but at least that means I've got two sequels waiting for me..
Rachel C.
If I thought the last book started slowly, well, Levitt showed me. This second book doesn't gear up until the last 25 pages, I kid you not. This time, he doesn't even have backstory to blame. It's just a long, slow meander.

And the villain is poorly hidden to boot.

Not good.
Jul 22, 2012 William rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed all the books in this well written series so far. It could be compared to the Dresden books by Bucher in some respects, though it doesn't have the heavy-handed firepower of a super powerful paladin, but it does have the added 'Man and his Dog' element, along with the main character's desire to get serious with his music career, and a reluctance to get involved with his magic-user's group once again.

The character has a history that precedes the start of first novel, giving him some
Aug 14, 2012 Felicity rated it really liked it
I couldn't really tell you why I like these - they're straightforward formulaic urban fantasy without much in the way of bells and whistles - but I do. They're unpretentious, somehow and it doesn't hurt that the hero is likable without being smug or superhuman, the magic is well thought out, the characters are more or less believable and the whole is firmly rooted in a well evoked San Francisco and couched in straightforward prose with no bells or whistles. No, they're not great art, but they're ...more
June Kramin
Mar 27, 2013 June Kramin rated it it was amazing
I really loved #1 - I don't know what took me so long to get around to book #2. I love Mason's character & all his quirks. The personality he gives Lou is great as well - they make quite the pair. Enough reference was made to book one & the returning characters to freshen up my memory. It's a great story - so sad to see the unhappy 1-star ratings. I will be diving into 3 shortly.
Aug 10, 2014 Mei rated it liked it
I enjoyed this better than the first one. It read better, people were more developed and there was a nice pace to it. Sadly the answer was blindingly obvious, but I for one did not mind so much that no one in the book worked it out, as things unravelled in their own time anyway. Not a deep and meaningful read but alright for a bit of fluff.
May 18, 2016 Amber rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-at-aacpl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian Cockerill
Jan 01, 2016 Ian Cockerill rated it really liked it
I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the first in the series, but it is an entertaining read nonetheless. The 'hero' is an underachieving practitioner/guitar player, but is a nice take on an 'everyman' so easy to identify with, the magic is nicely wirtten and this, overall, is a decent read.
On the downside the culprit is a bit too obvious to the reader (but no one in the book).
Still, I enjoyed the book and will definitely stick with the series.
Jun 12, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it
This story is a little less like a Scooby-Doo episode than the first one. The lead character is still a mopey slacker with a magical dog, an old van, and detective friends meddling in others' business. However, the body count is rising, odd magical forces are revealed, and darker elements in the lead character's persona are hinted. The series may soon leave the Saturday morning cartoon universe.
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About the Author - from his website:

I grew up in New York City. After a stint at the University of Chicago (I didn’t graduate–I had things to do) I traveled around the country and ended up in San Francisco. Drugs and rock ‘n roll. Did some light shows for bands, learned to play guitar – the usual stuff. I forgot all about writing.

A few years later, while working at a ski lodge in Alta, Utah, I fo
More about John Levitt...

Other Books in the Series

Dog Days (4 books)
  • Dog Days (Dog Days, #1)
  • Unleashed (Dog Days, #3)
  • Play Dead (Dog Days, #4)

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