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Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,112 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
The dark and dangerous follow-up that continues the adventures of a magical tattoo artist begun in Angel's Ink

In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town,
Published May 7th 2013 by HarperAudio
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(showing 1-30)
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Kim Harrison
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ha, ha! I got to read it already! One of the perks for having the same editor as Jocelynn. :-)
Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
4.5 stars

Originally reviewed on Romancing the Dark Side:

Gage stole my heart! Another fabulous installment to The Asylum Tales!

Fairies, trolls, elves, vampires and werewolves are just a few of the residents of Low Town, where warlock Gage Powell owns his tattoo parlor, Asylum. Unable to use his magic for anything other than self defense, he tries his best to live under the magical radar and earn a decent living tattooing alongside his friend Bronx and elven girlfriend Trixie, but his troubled p
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
Originally posted at The Book Nympho 

First Thought:
Still loving this world!

The Set Up:
Gage was outted to his friends as a warlock in Angel's Ink and now not only is Gage in danger of the White Tower but so is his friends and family.

Reaver, the dark fae mobster in Low Town is blackmailing Gage with the threat of doing harm to Bronx so that he has to work for him. So not only does Gage have to worry about the witches and warlocks he has the glorified thug on his back too.

Then there's Trixie's pass

We first met Gage, a wizard in hiding turned tattoo artist, in Drake's prequels (The Asylum Interviews: Bronx & The Asylum Interviews: Trixie). In those shorts, we meet his fellow artists, Trixie (elf) and Bronx (troll). In the first full-length novel of the series, Angel's Ink, Gage tattoos angel wings on a woman dying of cancer. Not long after he learned the dire consequences of his decision to add a little extra something to the ink.

Now, in Dead Man's Deal, Gage is faced with figuring ou
At an early age, Gage was found to possess magic and was thrust into the world of the Ivory Towers, the ruling class of witches and wizards. Discovering quickly that it was a kill or be killed world, Gage left the Towers at age 15, giving up his right to use magic. Living every day in a mortal world, Gage makes his way as a tattoo artist. But someone is threatening the secrets of the Ivory Towers and the council has declared war especially targeting Gage. Now he must balance on a razor edge and ...more
Katie Michaels
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked Angel's Ink, as well as the two novellas published so far in this series. But I'll tell you, this story is where the series really hits its stride. Maybe it's because we've gotten past all the introductions and establishing the characters. But more than that, it features a fast moving plot and unpredictable course of events. With great world building and a fantastic sympathetic hero, it's a book I didn't want to put down.

As the story begins, Gage is being forced to work for Reave, the Da
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I liked the first book in this series but I didn't love it. For some reason I never connected with Gage and that made it a little hard to really fall in love with it. But, I did like the plot and the writing and the fact that it was in Gage's POV. Especially since that is pretty rare in the Urban Fantasy genre right now.

So I was a little hesitant going into this one because I really did want to fall in love with it. I really did want to like Gage more.

Thankfully, this second installment blew me
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

I had hoped to get my hands on a copy of Angel's Ink before reading this, the next book in Drake's Asylum Tales series but I didn't quite manage it. Thankfully Dead Man's Deal worked surprisingly well as a stand alone and I gratefully escaped into a world of magic, monsters and mayhem.

Dead Man's Deal features Gage Powell, a wizard who turned his back on his training in order to escape the horrifying politics of his fellow magic wielders in the Ivory Towers. He makes his living as a tattoo artist
Mary Roya
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved the latest story from Jocelynn Drake, "Dead Man's Deal", The Asylum Tales. As usual I became involved with the characters. Gage, our hero, Trixie the hiding Elf and Bronx the troll all become family. Even in real life sometimes friends that are not blood become closer than real family. I find that element intriguing in this story.

I like how the hated Guardian Gideon becomes an almost friend. Enjoyed the emotion of Gage meeting up with his family.

This story is chocked full of
I liked Dead Man's Deal every bit as much as I did the first book. There is still a Dredenesque feel to the series - both star outcast mages who are good guys - but I don't mind that. This time Gage is between a rock and a hard place, having been blackmailed into working for a dark elf mob boss and having the mages of the Towers out for his blood since they think that Gage is giving away their secrets. So Gage manages to win in the no win scenario, but ends up having to make some concessions in ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swapped
This book was certainly better than the first book. I'm still not feeling the relationship between Gage and Trixie. There was a bit less going on in this book and that was my main gripe about Angel's Ink. I did enjoy Gage more as well since his character wasn't being pulled in a thousand different directions. I hope Bronx has more of a role in the next book. I felt like he and Trixie's character's were after thoughts with this installment.

May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this! Even though a lot of Gage's problems have been now solved, there's a whole other can of worms waiting for him!
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much worth the read! Even though this book can be a stand alone, please please please!! take the time to read ALL the earlier books. You will not be dissapointed :D
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “A smart man would keep his mouth shut. I wasn’t always a smart man.”

In Low Town, where elves, fairies, trolls, werewolves, vampires and other manners of supernatural life are happily walking among humanity, everything has its price. Gage Powell just wants to run his tattoo parlor and live a quiet fuss free life with his girlfriend, but Gage has learned that the warlocks and witches who command the Ivory Towers are neve
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Fast paced dark urban fantasy with multiple stories interweaving into one final surprising outcome.

Opening Sentence: They were killing pixies.

The Review:

Gage Powell returns with a whole new set of troubles in Dead Man’s Deal. A dark elf has learned Gage’s secret and has been using him to do his dirty work, even forcing Gage into using his magic which he has been forbidden to use. If Gage uses his magic then his time as a free man is running
Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales, #2) by Drake, Jocelynn
The second novel in the Asylum Tales series is better that the first. The story is tighter, the stakes are higher, and the action is more compelling. By the time I finished it I was ready for book 3! Over all a really fun read and well done.
Lot’s of spoilers!

(view spoiler)
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of Spoilers*

In the heat of the moment magical tattoo artist and ex-warlock-in-training, Gage, made a mistake and killed his former mentor using magic, meaning that he will have to forfeit a year of his life; a year that will be spent in the underworld with Lilith who already has a piece of his soul. He doesn’t know when that year will be taken, but Gage knows it could happen at any time.

In the meantime, he is trying to live a normal life, but his probl
Laurie Treacy
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I get jazzed just hearing the name Gage Powell. My favorite rocking tattoo artist/shop owner warlock really expands in Dead Man's Deal. No sophomore slump in Jocelynn Drake's second book of The Asylum Tales series. I just see strength, more creativity, and an urban fantasy series I'm seriously hooked on.

"A smart man would keep his mouth shut. I wasn't always a smart man."
Gage is easy to love. From his wicked sense of humor to skewed way of looking at things to his fierce need to defend what or
Stephanie  G
Gage is working for a mob like dark elf. Since Gage can’t use magic to get himself out of the elf’s hands, he doesn’t have much of a choice. Gage is told that the elf is going to have someone swing by his tattoo studio to get a kind of protection tattoo. The last person Gage expects to walk through his door is his brother. The surprises don’t end there, the information that his brother is supposed to be harboring is not only dangerous, it could bring the whole world down around their heads. Whil ...more
Jessica (a GREAT read)
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Dead Man's Deal is the second book in the the new Asylum Tales series by Jocelynn Drake! This one picks up about two months after Angel's Ink and we immediately see Gage and Bronx working a job for Reave, the dark elf mob boss. But Gage is still a good man at heart and cannot stomach helping Reave out in his illicit affairs, so he does his best to muck things up!

The bulk of t
Kristie Elston
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed at Dark Faerie Tales:

Quick & Dirty: Fast paced dark urban fantasy with multiple stories interweaving into one final surprising outcome.

The Review:

Gage Powell returns with a whole new set of troubles in Dead Man’s Deal. A dark elf has learned Gage’s secret and has been using him to do his dirty work, even forcing Gage into using his magic which he has been forbidden to use. If Gage uses his magic then his time as a free man is runni
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

All Gage has ever wanted was to keep his head down and forget about his horrid past in the Towers. But the Towers do not easily forget a slight and have placed a restriction on his magic use. Problem is that magic is a very part of him, and he cannot so easily resist its seductive nature. His guardian has been fielding some of the interference from the Towers, but they are growing restless with Gage's continued freedom and are determined to
Carbunkle Flux
So, this book just kind of appeared in a sale on nook and it sounded interesting so I was like 'Okay. I will subject myself to the urban fantasy story about the magical tattoo artist with the muscles.'

I think I went away from this pleasantly surprised. Oh, I'm not going to hold any illusions that this book is smooth sailing all the way through, but I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would.

So what is this story about? Possibly entirely too much. For some reason having a solid main plot arc
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 4

*My Thoughts*

Dead Man's Deal is the second novel in The Asylum Tales. Our protagonist is Warlock trained Gage Powell who also just happens to work as a tattoo artist for Asylum which he owns. Ever since he was discovered using magic by the dark elf Reave in an attempt to stave off Simon Thorn (See Angel's Ink), Gage and Bronx (Troll) have been forced into doing things that they normally wouldn't do. When Gage tries to rebel, Reave sends him a surprise to keep him i
Les Romantiques
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du site
Reviewed by Belette
Review Copy from the Publisher

Dead Man’s Deal is the second volume of Asylum Tales series. The action takes place just after the first one, and readers may read Angel’s Ink for a better comprehension. This second book also contains the same quality for the author exploits the same characters who are more developed. There is also some humor as in Angel’s Ink, and I appreciate that in this kind of books.

I would say that Dead Man’s Deal
Gage Powell has a lot on his plate. He has to find someway to help the Queen of the Summer Court conceive a child so that the King will stop trying to make Trixie, Gage's girlfriend, his consort. Then there is the problem wherein the local mafia, led by a dark elf, has blackmailed, threatened, and overall coerced Gage and his friend Bronx to work for them. And last but definitely not least, the Towers are ticked off about something...and they know of the perfect whipping boy to take it out on.

All Things Urban Fantasy
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

DEAD MAN’S DEAL continues to expand the excellent dark and gritty world of The Asylum Tales series with even more magic and mayhem. While there were moments that slogged due to necessary exposition the revelations about the world building and dangerous action kept me invested in the story.

In DEAD MAN’S DEAL more of Gage’s dark past as a student wizard in the Ivory Towers (which is basically Hogwarts) is revealed. His experiences are truly horrific and
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Rating System
3 stars - Good book. I enjoyed it.
4 stars – Struck a chord, made me think or question
5 stars – Something about it haunted or stayed with me long after I finished it. Unforgettable.
3.5 stars

I liked this one more than Angel's Ink.
Watch for my review on


Someone has discovered the locations of all eight Ivory Towers – the strongholds of the warlocks and witches. Information like that could be used to br
Yes! I knew it! I commented in the first novel of the series that it was mediocre due to the lack of development of the main character Gage. This however didn't discourage me from wanting to read the sequel. And I'm glad I wasn't completely deterred because Drake gives us a witty, funny, and very human Warlord Gage who is just trying to survive in a world of totally out-of-control egomaniac Warlords and Witches who believe they are gods. Maybe, Drake needed the first book to set up the character ...more
Traci (Mad Hatter Reads)
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Just like in Angel's Ink, former warlock-in-training turned tattoo artist Gage Powell has A LOT going on in book number 2, Dead Man's Deal. He's being blackmailed by Reave, a Svartalfar (dark elf) mafia boss to use magic to assist with criminal operations, he's promised to try and help his elf girlfriend Trixie escape becoming the consort to the king of Summer Court, he owes one year of his life "and it wasn't one of those crappy years off the end. It could be one of the g
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A former Cincinnati native, Jocelynn briefly lived in the wintery wonderland of Wisconsin before mounds of snow had her running for the sun-kissed beaches of South Florida. She started writing when she was 12, spending one summer re-writing the story of Robin Hood because it really needed a kick butt female character. Since those early days, she’s written fantasy, romance, horror, science-fiction, ...more
More about Jocelynn Drake...

Other Books in the Series

The Asylum Tales (3 books)
  • Angel's Ink (The Asylum's Tales, #1)
  • Demon's Vengeance: The Complete Final Asylum Tales

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“I think I should be in mourning. Many brain cells were lost in the creation of that orgasm."

Trixie chuckled. "I appreciate their sacrifice.”
“I could feel her wipe away something wet, but I refused to think she had made me cry as well as admit that I was a coward. The League of Men was going to come confiscate my balls at this rate. But it didn't matter. Trixie was worth it.” 5 likes
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