Presumably everyone here already knows what this one is about, consider how big the TV show is. Dexter is one of my absolute favourite TV shows. But I...morePresumably everyone here already knows what this one is about, consider how big the TV show is. Dexter is one of my absolute favourite TV shows. But I didn't decide to pick up the book 'til recently (after already having watched 6 seasons of the show). I wasn't in a hurry to read it, as most of the revewiers seem to be of the opinion that the books just aren't as good as the series. But I thought I'd fancy making my own opinion on it.
Spoiler note: my spoilers only apply if you HAVENT seen the tv series (season 1), if you HAVe seen it, feel free to read all...
Dexter works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police department. He also happens to be a serial killer. But he follows a code given to him by his late father Harry (who was the only person ever to know Dexter's secret), which allows him to continue his secret life without getting caught, and the code also states that he only kills 'bad guys'. Basically he cleans up anyone that slips through the net of the judicial system.
In Darkly Dreaming Dexter the Miami police are investigating a series of particularly creepy murders. Dexter's sister Deborah really wants to be on the case, but is stuck on duty posing as a hooker. Deborah knows Dexter has a particularly good knack for figuring out homicide cases (but she never guesses why), So she gets Dexter to let her in on any of his 'hunches' so she can use the information to help her police career. Meanwhile Dexter gets the distinct impression that this particular killer is directing his crime scenes AT Dexter. It's a like a kind of creepy serial-killer love-notes that only Dexter can read. And he's not sure if he actually wants these cases solved.
If you've seen the tv show, it's basically the condensed plot of the first season. But there are notable differences. Dexter is a notably odd character, not that he isn't in the show, thats pretty much the appeal of him. And yet here, he's actually a little harder to relate to. He waxes poetic a lot, particularly about the moon, but only to himself. His outward character, whatever everyone else sees of him, is very easy-going and jovial, in fact he's always cracking jokes. But much too many smart-ass jokes. I mean really, maybe he'd do better fitting in if he just kept a bit quiet sometimes? But then I suppose its ridiculous of me to expect such a short novel to show many insights into a character that's I've seen be developed through 6 series of a television show. And of course Michael C Hall is such a phenomenal actor on the show, not suprising the original written character can't compete with him.
As I say, the book is fairly short compared to the series, there isn't much side plot to speak of. Dexter's relationship with his girlfriend Rita is included, and provides some interesting moments highlighting Dexter's strangeness of character. But it's only a brief part of a short novel.
(view spoiler)[There is absolutely no side plot with Deborah and Rudy. In fact there is no Rudy. The killer is aways a mysterious character until Dexter discovers his identity. Which kind of lessened the tension slightly. But presumably thats also to do with the fact I already knew that Rudy/Brian is Dexter's brother. Although an interesting point that cropped up is that in the novel Brian looks remarkably similar to Dexter (which causes complications the one time Brian is caught on security cameras), which is something they obviously didn't pull off in the series. (hide spoiler)]
I guess the main reason why I didn't really enjoy this novel is probably because I've seen the tv series, which kind of spoils the mystery. But now I'm pretty damn impressed with the production of the show, because they really have improved upon the novel so much. The show really is better than the book! But much kudos to Jeff Lindsay for the original concept, I'm sure it would have recieved 3 or 4 stars if I'd have read it first.
Don't think I'm going to bother reading the other novels. I don't have to, theres 2 more series of Dexter already in the contract! I can't wait. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Some books, you put off reading for ages, and then finally, you get around to it, and you think "Hey this is good, I wish I'd read this earlier". Here...moreSome books, you put off reading for ages, and then finally, you get around to it, and you think "Hey this is good, I wish I'd read this earlier". Here, I have to say I'm pretty glad I waited to read this one. Not because its bad, but because I enjoyed it so much that I devoured the entire series (5 books) all the way through in about as many days. I couldn't have imagined waiting for each book to be published, it would have tortured me to death!
As it was, it was rather like eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerry's in one go. So bad for me, a complete guilty pleasure. But SO TASTY! Nom!
Of course reading 5 books in a series back to back, actually makes it kinda hard to review them individually later.. but I'll have a go.
MacKayla (Mac) Lane's life is all American sunshine, rainbows, pink nail polish, and days lounging by the pool. Until her sister Alina is brutally murdered while away at uni in Dublin, Ireland. After 3 weeks the dublin police close the case with no leads. Mac finds this impossible to accept, and jets off to Dublin, initially to try and make them reopen the case, but she ends up investigating her sisters murder herself. But when Mac begins to realise powers that she never knew she had, and discovers that her sisters murderer is more than just a human killer, she soon finds her own life in danger. And her only help is the mysterious and highly unfriendly Jerricho Barrons.
Like others, I didn't think I was going to like Mac at all, all the pink nailvarnish, the obsession with accessorizing, and her extremely good little clean-mouthed white girl upbringing. Just so far apart from me I didn't think I'd connect with her at all. I didn't think I'd like Jerricho Barrons either. Every review tells me he's a complete Jerk (he really is), and wears nothing but impecably ironed expensive suits and ties. But now I've read it, I completely get it. There is much more to both of these characters than can ever be explained at first glance. Mac may seem shallow on the surface, but there is a hardened self-sufficient take-no-shit core to her that really shines through.
Jerricho is still a complete jerk, but he's not making excuses for it, and I quite respect that. It's highly likely that his mysterious character hides a tortured past, but he never uses that as an excuse. He'd rather not talk about it. In fact he'd rather not talk about anything at all. He's a typically agressive alpha male character, and I should be tired of that cliche, but I'm not.
I wish I could recommend this book/series to my friends who appreciate Urban Fantasy but don't like the Romance element. But unfortunately I don't think it would be a good idea. This one might just about be acceptable, but later ones.. I've got no prob with it, I love this guilty pleasure, but I just couldn't recommend it. Which is a crying shame because I really LOVED the fantasy elements in this book. Fae are not just about sparkles and magic.. this stuff is really dark, and really original. The world building is exceptional, I'm not often impressed so much by PNR these days, but this one had me.
If you even only occasionally fancy a UF/PNR series, or you've been tempted and disappointed before. READ THIS ONE. (less)
Josh Lanyon FTW! Love him for combining Mystery with romance. Love him for his awesome characters. Love him for the big sexy straight-acting gay cops. Lov...moreJosh Lanyon FTW! Love him for combining Mystery with romance. Love him for his awesome characters. Love him for the big sexy straight-acting gay cops. Love him for his head-strong, damaged, and modest but beautiful lead characters.
Had high expectations of this book, 8 people of my friends list read it and gave it 5 stars. Then I finally got around to it myself and was horribly d...moreHad high expectations of this book, 8 people of my friends list read it and gave it 5 stars. Then I finally got around to it myself and was horribly dissapointed. The premise of the story, and the opening showed promise. A professional hit man, gets given a job on a guy he thinks twice about killing, and then has to protect the guy himself to make sure no one else finishes the job.. interesting idea. Only it all went south from there. At first I told myself "It'll get good soon", then I switched to "It'll be over soon". But then I realised I was only 2/3 thru the book and I had to give up. I'm still labelling it as read tho.
The main things that ruined this book are: 1 - D's Accent (D being the hitman). To me his written accent made him sound like a really dumb yokel. I don't mind having a coloquism, I don't mind a bit of an accent written it, but push it too far and it sounds awful. An example "You ain't done nothin' ta bring it ta yer door, Francisco. You witnessed a crime 'n' were gonna help put them bastards away. Ain't no reason ta kill ya, not by my reckonin'". Sounded especially bad when he was having an argument with himself in his own head.
2 - Unrealistic. Reading a book about a hired assassin, I was hoping for a bit of gritty realism, I did not expect to see D log onto a website for hired killers and start chatting with them.
3 - Unsafe sex. Many sex scenes, never a single mention of a condom. No lube either for the first few, that would have been a total disaster, not romantic at all.
4 - Too many tantrums. I see why some people thought this could have been a het romance. Jack (the target), throws at least one tantrum ever chapter, is always pushing D to tell all his personal stuff, and generally behaving like a spoilt teenage girl.
5 - Tell and not show. I see this happens in a lot of books, where the author wants to give a certain character a reputation. So he has every other character talk about how scary or bad or evil the guy is. But the character in question never does anything to back that up. D for instance is hyped up all the time to be this really really awesome hit man, that everyone else sees as a legend, untraceable, cold blooded killer. All I ever see him do is wait in a guys living room with a gun. After that he was pretty useless, and had to call for help all the time. If you want a character to have a certain rep, you have to write it yourself, show us what he's like, don't tell us.(less)
Decided to try this series, as I keep hearing 'Dresden files' everywhere for some reason, and apparently it's even a tv series? I couldn't let an urba...moreDecided to try this series, as I keep hearing 'Dresden files' everywhere for some reason, and apparently it's even a tv series? I couldn't let an urban fantasy get so popular without knowing what its about!
There are many mixed reviews about this, some love it and some hate it. But I am suprised at the negative reviews, as many complaints could be raised against the genre as a whole, but if you pick up an urban fantasy book - don't you know what you're getting into? I've seen complaints about the following; the way Harry does magic, what Harry wears, the sexism, the private investigator cliche.. But I don't see the problem, as just about ever Urban Fantasy novel does it the same. And even despite this, the book is still original, well planned out, and generally very good.
If you want to find sexism in UF, try the Anita Blake series, thats 10 times worse, except no one would complain about that because it's the Woman surrounded by Good-looking males. Somehow, it's apparently a problem to some readers, that Harry happens to be a straight male, who notices good looking women, and some of those women happen to be attracted to him. Hey it's fantasy! If I wrote fantasy, It'd have sexy girls in it too! (And food.. possibly cake.) But anyway you can't complain that a Fantasy is too.. fantasy.. End Rant.
The best part? The potions! I have never seen a single wizard in Urban Fantasy use potions before now, I have to say it was the best bit for me. It was like Harry Potter for Adults, but not as lame as that sounds..
In the end, a very solid 4 stars, enjoyed it, nice easy read, with original interesting ideas, and a decent mystery. Definately going to continue reading the series.
The second in the PsyCop series, Vic starts seeing way too many ghosts around and it's causing him problems, Lisa is stuck away in psy train where she...moreThe second in the PsyCop series, Vic starts seeing way too many ghosts around and it's causing him problems, Lisa is stuck away in psy train where she can't help him. I like the way Vic isn't totally in control of his own story, we get a lot more of the other characters in, which is really awesome cos all the characters are really well drawn. I like this series because it could quite well be classed under mystery aswell as paranormal. It reminds me a lot of Josh Lanyon's Adrien English, being as they're both so well written and characterised. Plus, got a soft spot for gay cop stories :D
This was the best one yet, and this series doesn't even start off bad like some do. I've loved this all the way through. I think I cry over Jake every...moreThis was the best one yet, and this series doesn't even start off bad like some do. I've loved this all the way through. I think I cry over Jake every scene he's in, I can't help it. Want the next book now!!(less)
F*cking loved it. You just can't go wrong. The mystery is always so good, I've never felt dumb while trying work it out. You honestly feel like you're...moreF*cking loved it. You just can't go wrong. The mystery is always so good, I've never felt dumb while trying work it out. You honestly feel like you're figuring everything out along with Adrien. And he's such a great first person character cos his internal commentary is pretty witty, and his feelings are ones that are easy to relate too. Not to mention that Adrien/Jake are one of the best m/m romance pairings I've ever read, perfect blend of love and complications.
Let me start by pointing out that I'm already a huge fan of Sarah Monette. I love everything I've ever read by her. I suppose that could make me biase...moreLet me start by pointing out that I'm already a huge fan of Sarah Monette. I love everything I've ever read by her. I suppose that could make me biased towards her works, but I'd actually like to think that it only makes me more harshly demanding. Afterall, if I've rated most of her other works 5 stars this one has A LOT to live up to.
But oh look - ANOTHER 5 Star Rating. She's done it again! damn I love this woman.
Kyle Murchison Booth is a quiet, shy, reserved man; an insomniac with very little social life, and seems to spend most of his time at the museum where her works, cataloguing old books and papers. He does however stand out from the crowd, being that he is well over 6 foot tall and all his hair is mysteriously and prematurely pure white. And then add in a brush with necromantic magic that has in some way attuned him to the darker side of life, so that he's practically a ghost magnet. Well. He's certainly my kind of protagonist.
The Bone Key is a collection of 10 short stories (in which Booth is the first person narrator), most of which were originally published separately in various horror zines and publications. Obviously they can each be standalones, but they're much better collected together in one giant ghoulish smorgasboard. Apparently Monette's chief inspiration for Booth was Lovecraftian horror. I'm afraid I can't comment much on that, as I think I was born a little too late in the century and lovecraft completely passed me by! But honestly, this? This was some bloody good horror.
The best things about The Bone Key are probably also the worst things. Hear me out.. The Good: They're scary as f*ck. The Bad: They're SCARY as f*ck. The Good: The individual stories are quite short. You can get through them really quickly. I'd rather not be stuck in the middle of a horror mystery just at bedtime.. I'd 've never get any sleep! The Bad: They're short and they're over quick. Yes they're that good.