Catherine's Reviews > Don't Kill The Messenger

Don't Kill The Messenger by Eileen Rendahl
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Feb 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, crime-police-mystery-private-invest, doctor, fantasy-paranormal-sci-fi, magic-mystical-ability, read-2011, series, vampire, were-shifter, excellent
Read from February 20 to 21, 2011 — I own a copy

*4.5 Stars*

I am so thrilled that I finally got this book. I've had my eye on it for a while, but I finally grabbed it when I saw Amazon had it listed for $6. (Yeah for great prices!) After reading--and enjoying--this book I know I won't quibble about paying the (ridiculous) Trade prices for the future releases. I enjoyed it that much!

I really liked the unique take on Melina's role in the supernatural world. As she said, she's a small cog in a big wheel. Due to a twist of fate she's stuck as a Messenger. Not all of the supernatural creatures like each other so sometimes they need a neutral go between to deliver things for them. That's where Melina comes in. She has a few perks like increased strength, but she's really getting the short end of the stick. She's unpaid and has a hard time having a life due to unexplainable beings popping up needing her to deliver things. She has to make her task a priority or suffer the consequences from not doing her duty. Her one experience with these consequences as a teenager have made her take this responsibility seriously.

Because of the lack of pay that goes along with being a Messenger, Melina works two other jobs. One of them is at a hospital and the other is at a dojo. Mae, a prior Messenger, owns the dojo and is Melina's friend cum mentor. Working at the hospital is also Alex, a vampire. Taking a job from him is what gets Melina into the mess in the first place.

I really liked Melina. She was surprisingly normal for a UF heroine. Her life is mundane and normal which is one of my favorite things about the Sookie Stackhouse series. She doesn't have all the answers and she makes mistakes along the way, but she owns when she has been dumb. No one is perfect, I just need some self awareness about the stupid moves to keep from being irritated. Most UF heroines don't have that, but Melina does.

She also finds herself attracted to quite a few men in the book. But--shocker--she doesn't ho down. Being attracted to someone doesn't mean she can't control herself. She knows that acting on that attraction is not a good idea with some of the supernatural creatures. She has no illusions about the goodness of them and she wants to steer clear.

I think some might find the slower, mundane aspects of the plot irritating, but I loved it. It actually felt like this was a mostly normal person trying to navigate a supernatural world. Also, she doesn't solve the mystery through sheer badassery. She does what I would do when stuck. Calls around and pumps people she knows and likes. And Googles it! What smart modern heroine doesn't Google stuff nowadays?

There's a part toward the end that some might think is a TSTL moment, but I didn't. Surprising really, because I am quick to be frustrated by idiots. But Melina was going through some issues that made her actions understandable. Yeah, it was dumb, but I could see why it seemed like the best thing to do at that moment with her emotions in that state. People dealing with stuff like that do some crazy things. I guess I'm just trying to explain that it seemed logical for a completely illogical action.

I had some irritants, but they weren't enough to really impact my overall enjoyment of the book. A big issue for me was Melina's love interest Ted. I, personally, found him boring. That much perfection is not interesting for me to read about. I saw many other guys throughout the story that I would have preferred we have more focus on. Even Ben, the teenager who reminds Melina of herself, has more depth and shades of gray than Ted does. Ted is like the white knight who is always there to support you and help you and not push you too hard and trust you even when you aren't trustworthy. It's sounds nice in theory I suppose, but can I get a personality beyond that goodness? No one is that perfect all the time.

I am also not that thrilled that Ted is a cop. I've been down this road many a time with shady characters pairing with upright, moral love interests and I'm over it. It doesn't last long before they're fighting over ethics and the shady character has to break laws to protect the public in a world that doesn't know about supernatural folks while the moral person is tortured over the choice of staying true to their ethics or supporting their boyfriend/girlfriend and sacrificing their beliefs and becoming a slightly dirty cop. Next thing you know the h/h start resenting each other for the choices they've had to make... Maybe the author will surprise me and not go down this road, but I'm not counting on it.

I also found a certain conversation between Mae and Melina to be too abrupt and jarring to feel natural to their characters. That really should have been handled better because I just found it out of place and clumsy. I also found it odd that the consequences of not fulfilling the Messenger duty weren't delved into after we heard about her issues with it as a teen. Shouldn't something have happened here?

But these were slight issues in an otherwise great book. Another thing that I forgot to mention was how much I enjoyed the way reactions were dealt with as certain people learned about the supernatural world. Some were shocked, and some thought it was great until they realized it wasn't as cool as the movies made it out to be. I'm looking forward to future details about that.
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Reading Progress

02/20/2011 "I got this book new for $6 from Amazon. Yeah me! Usually trade books are ridiculously expensive." 6 comments
02/20/2011 page 88
28.0% "This book is great so far! The heroine is likable and although she finds various people attractive (like normal people) she isn't ruled by her hormones and hoing down." 4 comments
02/21/2011 page 112
35.0% ""Aunt Kitty is the kind of aunt who takes you shopping and buys you makeup when you're twelve, lets you rent R-rated movies when you're staying at her house when you're fifteen and proclaims "Dessert First" night every so often just for the hell of it. She's like a teenager but with all the rights of a grown-up. The only thing more dangerous that I can imagine would be cats with opposable thumbs."" 5 comments
02/21/2011 page 170
53.0% "I can't figure out Alex's angle, but he intrigues me. Is he just playing with her or is he honestly interested in her? I'm less interested in cookie breath (who seems like something has to be other about him with the smell thing going on) but I'm still really liking the book."
02/21/2011 page 320
100.0% "There are actually 323 pages in this book if some helpful librarian would like to fix it."

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by AH (new) - added it

AH This really looks interesting. I'm glad you enjoyed your bargain book. Great review!


Catherine Thanks, AH! It was definitely interesting.


message 3: by Archer (new)

Archer Looks like a good read, will start looking for it.


Catherine I hope you enjoy it, Archer.


message 5: by Quinn (new) - added it

Quinn Great review, Catherine. The normality of the heroine and her life is quite an appealing aspect for me. I might have to take a look at this one.


message 6: by Alisha (new) - added it

Alisha Sold! You've got me really anxious to pick this one up. Thanks for sharing yer thoughts on it!


Catherine Quinn - Thanks! That is a draw for me too. I love it in Sookie as well.

Alisha - Woohoo! Hopefully you like it as much as I did. And hopefully it's still only $6 at Amazon for you. ;)


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