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Unnatural Acts (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI #2)

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  500 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
To Be Dead Or Not To Be Dead

In the Unnatural Quarter, golems slave away in sweatshops, necromancers sell black-market trinkets to tourists, and the dead rise up--to work the night shift. But zombie detective Dan Shamble is no ordinary working stiff. When a local senator and his goons picket a ghostly production of Shakespeare in the Dark--condemning the troupe's "unnatural
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Paperback, 337 pages
Published December 24th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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[Name Redacted]
Oct 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
A big disappointment. I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, Death Warmed Over, but this second volume fell distressingly flat. The plot seemed scatter-shot; the villains, twists, and revelations were all immediately obvious; and the author's approach to social commentary was heavy-handed and unnecessarily dominated the majority of the narrative. For 90% of the book I felt more like I was reading a thinly-veiled political tract than a detective novel. Tiresome. I kept getting the disti ...more
Tom
Unnatural Acts
by Kevin J. Anderson
read by Phil Gigante

This is book 2 of Kevin J. Anderson's Zombie P.I. series. If you listened to the first book, you pretty much know what to expect from the second book. If you haven't read the first book, this book is a hard-boiled detective novel with a silly, monster slant on it. The problems being investigated are unique to the "unnaturals" and tend to have some amount of humor involved in a Terry Pratchett/Douglas Adams kind of way. You can easily start wi
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Brian Clopper
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I love Anderson's earlier thrillers, Ill Wind and Mount Dragon.

This book, not nearly so much.

The main character is lifeless and not altogether invested in the narrative other than to move from point A to point B to react to plot developments.

While the author strives to throw a lot of inventive supernatural twists into the mix, they all feel safe and bland.

The mystery unfurls with no surprises.

I wish I could be positive because I wanted to like the book so much, but it just fell flat for me.
Cathy
I liked it a bit more than I liked the first one. It wasn't quite as jerky, although it wasn't particularly smooth either. It just doesn't have the wickedly funny humor that the publishers are trying so hard to convince me that it does, there's nothing about it that makes me laugh. It's vaguely stylish but still not what I expect from Anderson.
Csw
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I quick piece of amusing brain candy.
Trey Waltman
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun, weird, sad, all describe parts of this book. These books aren't high brow literature but they are fun to read. Definitely recommended
Michael Brown
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: series-reading
Long very complicated story. Many small cases for the Zombie detective and his ghostly assistant all slowly become interlinked and then take an unexpected twist. Good series with lots of humor.
Mo
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good pacing, cases, and plot twist. Dan's pondering why anyone would be interested in reading stories about a zombie P.I. was an amusing meta moment.

Will continue reading this enjoyable series.
Stephanie
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
Enjoyed this one. The hunt is on for several cases - I wonder if he'll get paid for any of them?
Corey
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was cute and amusing. Nothing particularly thought provoking but an entertaining story.
Kelly
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy, paranormal
It took me a bit to get into this second novel, but once the mysteries started piling, I couldn't put it down. The sense of humor with the unsettling realities of unnatural existence kept a balance between laughter and the ick factor.
The only downside was the lack of surprises. The plot was quite predictable. The entertainment in this series is with the humor and the characters, not so much suspense.
Lynn
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Today’s post is on Unnatural Acts by Kevin J. Anderson. It is the second in his Dan Shamble series and 325 pages long including a sample of the third book. The plot is told from the first person point of view of the main character Dan Shamble. The cover has Dan and Sheyenne together with a Shakespeare play going on in the background. The intended reader is someone likes funny novels making fun of fantasy and urban fantasy tropes. If you liked the first novel you will like this one too. There is ...more
Johnny
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery, humor
Assuming that ghosts, gremlins, zombies, and were-creatures are unnatural, Unnatural Acts is well-named. After the Big Uneasy, it became less likely that people would stay dead. Classic supernatural types, including protagonist Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., began congregating in the former French Quarter of the former Big Easy. Said quarter became the “Unnatural Quarter.” The first time I heard of the Dan Shamble series, I made a snarky comment that it was a stupid idea and I would steer clear of it ...more
Beth
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
'Unnatural Acts' picks up where 'Death Warmed Over' left off, now with a new set of unnatural clients and their problems. As PI Dan Chambeaux investigates his cases, the Unnatural Quarter contends with the vitriolic persecution of Senator Rupert Balfour and his supporters. At the same time, the Smile Corporation, smelling (hehe) a lucrative opportunity, starts to commercialize through buying up several business, starting a 'kreepsake' shop and encouraging human tourism to the Unnatural Quarter. ...more
David
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Once again, Kevin Anderson explores a world that has released the dark-side creatures of the night. Vampires, Ghosts, Poltergeist (a ghost that can manipulate objects), werewolves, witches, and all sorts of monsters, ready to be investigated by Zombie Private Eye, Dan Chambeaux (kidding pronounced Shambles)...

The reader is treated to a really humorous novel. In fact, at times, Anderson is so busy with the humor that he forgets that he is writing a mystery. Not that this is so bad, but it is almo
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Bookmom
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Zombie PI Dan Chambeaux, with Robin, the lawyer half of their business and Sheyenne, Dan’s ghostly girlfriend who does everything else in the office, take on a number of cases for their unnatural clients in this second installment. Some of the things being tackled are the rights of golems, living outside of the quarter, the arson of the stage and set of William Shakespeare’s latest ghostly play and retrieving the heart and soul of a zombie. Human haters of all beings unnatural are being led by a ...more
Jackie
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Things are starting to go crazy in “the Unnatural Quarter”. The Smile Syndicate is moving in, buying some business, putting the arm on others and starting up a line of “Creepsake Gift/Souvenir Shops” all aimed at getting more human tourists in to ogle the zombies, werewolves, vampires etc. Senator Balfour has proposed an “Unnatural Acts Act” attempting to restrict almost every aspect of live in the quarter. Chambeaux & Deyer are busier than ever as lawyer, Robin Deyer, files anti-discriminat ...more
Joanne
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal, mystery
I just love these zombie detective books! They're so funny with the major mysteries and the little minor mysteries that Dan Chambeaux, the zombie detective, tries to solve! There is just so much going on! Dan is hired by the self-proclaimed ghost of Shakespeare to find out who was responsible for the arson which destroyed his stage and props. The most likely suspect is a Senator who is vehemently against unnaturals and is trying to pass the Unnatural Acts Act, which is aimed at making life (such ...more
Alexa
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have recently been disappointed by a few mystery novels, but this book has restored my faith in that genre. Unnatural Acts is technically the second book in the series, but I didn't know that until I had already started reading it. However, i didn't feel lost and I think the series was designed to be able to jump in and out of, which i appreciated. I really fell in love with the characters, especially Sheyenne the Ghost, and the very original world Kevin J Anderson created. The romance, action ...more
Cherie
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Action in the Unnatural Quarter is a bustling business for zombie detective Dan Shamble and his human lawyer partner Robin. While unnaturals are being threatened with impending legislation from the Unnatural Acts Act, Dan and Robin have their hands full with a slew of unusual cases of their own, like the ghostly production of Shakespeare in the Dark going up in flames, and the mummified madame who needs security for her unnatural brothel. To make matters worse, his favorite watering hole is unde ...more
Ian Cockerill
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You know what? I really enjoyed this. It isn't great art, but the story and characters are engaging, it has a gentle humour and for a quick and relaxing read it hits the spot.
I guess its an obvious set up - a museum accident has brought back (or brought forth) all the unnaturals (zombies, vampires, werewolves, demons etc) into the World. After what one assumes would be some initial unpleasantness with eating people and so forth it turns out most of them just want to do pretty much what they did
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April
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a fairly enjoyable urban fantasy series about a detective "living" after some wierd cataclysmic event which led to people coming back after death as ghosts and zombies. He's a private dick first, zombie second. His girlfriend came back as a ghost, which means they can never physically touch, but he's OK with that because he really, really loves her. He also has interesting cases...a mummified madam, a werewolf/vampire couple, and a ghost of a bank robber who cannot be held in prison. An ...more
Frank Jude
23 million books in print in over 30 countries and I've never heard of Anderson. A zombie private investigator sounds like a great concept. Sadly, I kept reading this book hoping it would get interesting! How does someone write a boring novel about a zombie detective?

He's obviously got a lot of fans, but I found the writing uninteresting, the plot one of the dullest I've read in some time and -- perhaps it's not possible to make zombies, ghosts, succubi, mummies and other assorted creatures and
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DavidO
Dec 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
The excellent cover which suggests a comedy about a zombie detective and his ghost girlfriend. Unfortunately this is the kind of comedy where you don't laugh, giggle, or even smirk. You just kind of wonder what was going through the authors non-funny head as he came up with the few "jokes" in the novel, and keep hoping for the torture to be over. There aren't that many jokes, fortunately, but that leaves you stuck reading a boring plot with characters who aren't that interesting.

So, long story s
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Metagion
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
In this latest adventure of Dan Shamble he has an arson case in the cemetery in which the late Bard did "Shakespeare in the Dark", and a rash of hate crimes against the supernatural community in the Big Uneasy...such as: who's been vandalising and threatening the Full Moon brothel ("the" place for humans & non-humans to 'get their freak on')? Who keeps buying up the locally run establishments under the "Smile Syndicate"? Are golems people, or property? Shamble sure has his hands full, and th ...more
Tim Hicks
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a good lightweight read. Nice break from Iain M. Banks and Alistair Reynolds etc. Clearly Anderson isn't trying to write a masterpiece here, but he's got a good, fairly complex plot and some decent characters, and there's some humour.

One whole star for having one character call another "an ambulatory wad of phlegm."

This is #2 in a series, but I don't reckon it matters. I didn't feel as if I had wandered into mid-series. I'll probably read #1 when the chance arises.
Wayne
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a hell of a good time listening to this novel. The narrator, Phil Gigante, did a phenomenal job of giving individuality and a humorous twist to the assortment of odd characters in this book. Honestly, the narrator gets a full star added to the review, because it was entertaining as hell. Well done, Sir! The story itself was quirky, fun, and interesting, all while remaining solidly in the horrific realm. A full five stars, so my recommendation is get to readin' slackers!
Jaime
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
The second book in the Dan Shamble series is a fun read. Friends and villains return, and things are even more complicated for the people of the Big Uneasy. The mystery was a fun ride, with a good twist, although it was not difficult to figure out. The book did feel a bit slow at times, but Dan and crew are so witty and likable it is easy to power through. I will definitely be continuing with this series.
Steve
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I recently read his book, Clockwork Angels (being a Rush fan) and thought it would be a good idea to try something else of his. Fun, quirky read that is a refreshing take on the usual detective novels. He has a good sense of humor and ties in a lot of modern social situations into a zombie book. Would be a great beach read. (Note: I didn't know this was the second in a series when I got it, at some point I'm sure I'll go back and read the first one).
Alice Liu
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Old school (paranormal) detective meets urban fantasy-lite. This is a fun light read with lots of smaller cases that somehow all connect at the end. There were times when I thought a case or two were too easily solved, only to find I'd been suckered into a false belief. This is not a heavy urban fantasy book, if that is what you are looking for. I'd equate it more with the more complex cozy mysteries (sans female lead) with supernatural characters.
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Pseudonyms: Gabriel Mesta, K.J. Anderson

He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and is the co-author of the Dune prequels. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in coll
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More about Kevin J. Anderson...

Other Books in the Series

Dan Shamble, Zombie PI (5 books)
  • Death Warmed Over (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, #1)
  • Hair Raising (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, #3)
  • Slimy Underbelly (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. #4)
  • Working Stiff (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. #5)

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