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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Voodoo Dues

Title: Voodoo Dues: A Lian and Figg Novella
Author: Stephany Simmons
Page Count: novella length (Kindle format)
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: urban fantasy
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

As an anthropologist, Lian Cairn specialized in the study of others, the not so totally human races that exist in the shadows around us. After a life changing event, he decided to leave that career behind to become a bar owner. Settled firmly in his new life, he’s looking forward to the mundane, but finds that his old life isn’t going to disappear as he’d hoped.

When the local Voodoo Queen’s Grandson is murdered outside his bar, and she comes to Lian for help, Lian and his quirky bartender Figg, are sucked back into the world he’d hoped to leave behind.

Voodoo Dues was a fun book.  It was a good palate cleanser for in between other projects and had a cool vibe with very fun dialogue.  As a debut offering, this book had a lot of strong points and several areas where improvement will only make the story more enjoyable.

This story seriously cannot wait to get started- we bust right into the action right from the beginning, with minimal introduction to the main characters, Lian (an anthropologist turned bar owner) and Figg (his bartender/love interest.)  The point of view shifts back and forth between the two, which was a little jarring at first, but once I got into the groove of the story I didn't notice the shifting as much.

The secondary characters really stole the show for me.  I enjoyed the factoids and information that they delivered and the details they added to the story and the snappy dialogue that was maintained throughout the story.  I think a little more lead in, establishing the main characters and the setting and what's going on in the wider world and how all these people know each other would have taken care of a lot of pacing issues for me.

I think this story could have done with just a few more pages to add some details and flesh everything out (and anyone who makes a zombie reference is getting the Teacher Face, I'm warning you) but beyond that, this was an interesting, off the path offering from a new author whom I'm looking forward to reading more from in the future.

Overall Grade: B-
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