Book Reviews of Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1)

Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1)
Staying Dead - Retrievers, Bk 1
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
ISBN-13: 9780373802098
ISBN-10: 0373802099
Publication Date: 8/2004
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 136 ratings
Publisher: Luna
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

19 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 310 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
The book starts with Wren beginning a job. The client is missing the cornerstone of their building and Wren has been tasked to find it. The book goes straight into the story as if the reader has had some background from some prequel story. While I liked being considered smart enough to figure it out, and I did figure it out, I still wish that I knew their backstory earlier on in the book. I'm afraid that not knowing for as long as I was made the book boring at first. I thought the first couple of pages started off promising but then not really being filled in after that started to grate on me. It was after I picked the book up again and kept reading and got about 150 pages in that the book finally picked up. By then I understood who I was reading about. To me to me the most interesting part of the book was Wren and Sergei. It reminds me of Moonlighting, Remington Steele and The X-Files. Two people partnered together who you know are both secretly in love with the other but who deny it to themselves the whole time. I don't think I've read a book with a partnership so in tune and comfortable with each other (yet blind) in a really long time.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I agree that this is a good take on the magical idea. The characters are great Wren and Sergei. There is just enough romance between them to keep that alive but it's not overheated. I did think there was a few too many secret societies. I felt like I needed a score card to keep up with who was involved with what. Yikes. Hope that smooths out in later books. I will be reading them. This is a great read over all.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I enjoyed this book a lot, especially the interplay between the two main characters. A nice mix of mystery, fantasy and romance!
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I enjoy urban fantasy, and this series looks likes a good one. The magic system is a sophisticated technology, the romance is just beginning, and enough baddies still lurk to fuel future adventures. I look forward to them.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really liked the premise of this book, but I wasn't too crazy about the author's writing style, she kinda had a lot of run-on sentences so I found myself rereading some things. And at another point, when she started off a chapter with one of Wren's dream sequences, which went on for like 3 pages, you didn't know the whole time whose dream it was. So I flipped to the end of the dream sequence to find out... I mean, if it's a character who hasn't been introduced yet, or someone we're not supposed to know, I can see that strategy, but for the main character, it was just unnecessary and kind of a pain in the ass because I like to be able to envision the story in my head while I'm reading.

However, since this was Gilman's first novel, I'm expecting better things in this regard in later books. As a matter of fact, I recall reading a short story from her as part of the Powers of Detection anthology and the writing didn't bug me then, so my point stands.

I liked the characters, Wren and Sergi, and imagined P.B. as a little Gizmo... you know from that Gremlins movie. :D And I'm looking forward to reading more about them in Curse the Dark.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 765 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Excellent book! Starts a little slow but if you wait for it, it will grab you and you won't want to put it down.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The first novel in the Retrievers series. Fascinating!
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I thought this book was pretty good, although it did seem to drag a bit. The magic was different, I liked LAG's take on it.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have mixed feelings about this book. I was interested enough by the characters to finish it, but I don't plan to read anymore in the series. The story line was hard to get into, as other reviewers have mentioned.

The relationship between Wren and Sergei was awkward. He behaves more like a father or uncle towards her, and I had a hard time believing he was a love interest. Wren is more believable as a woman awakening to the fact that she loves someone she has been friends with for 10 years.

The story line has a nice balance between action and character development. The presence of magic in our world is mostly secret and Gilman's explanations of how it works are intersting. However, I wish Gilman had spent more time explaining things in the beginning. Just my preference.

I hope you will be entertained by the story, as I'm sure it will appeal more to others than it did to me.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Pretty good, wish it had a little more background history on the characters but it was a decent paranormal romancy book :)
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good! I really liked this! The characters were fun, and the story line was pretty unique which was one of the things that attracted me in the first place. And you can always tell how much I like something when I want to fix the little problems as if I were the editor or something!

It just seems that with a little tweaking this could have been even better (either that, or I just have no real love of subtlety!). The history behind Wren and Sergei's relationship was a nice twist -- it's always a nice change to find characters in a fantasy novel that aren't ingenues -- but the romantic tension could have been kicked up a few notches. There also seemed to be so much more potential for action than what actually happened. Magic, bad guys, vigilantes, thieves, and demons abound, so you'd think the characters would spend more time involved with some of them. This is the first book in a series, so of course there's a lot to set up and room left for more action later, but I still just want to tell the author not to be afraid of her story! Mayhem is so much more fun when it runs wild instead of happening just outside the main context of the story! Why was there a sense of restraint?

This can be read as a stand-alone novel if you're thinking of sampling this series (trilogy?). The main storyline does come to a conclusion -- it's just the characters who go on to new adventures in the following books.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 219 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
sadly, I didn't enjoy this book as others did-too slow, too formulaic, just not good. Not recommended.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
very enjoyable. Can't wait to read the next book.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 227 more book reviews
excellent series, love sergei and wren
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 724 more book reviews
Loved this book and have put the next on hold at my library.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 82 more book reviews
Wren Valere can finding missing things & bring them back. This time she's asked to find a cornerstone missing from a bulding - a magical cornerstone. Her life, and that of her friends, changed with her search & recovery of the cornerstone.
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 159 more book reviews
Really interesting book, fun and exciting
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 71 more book reviews
Very nice for a first in series. Interesting premise, well plotted, nicely staged. Very enjoyable read. The authors style is a bit wordy for me; I'm definetly a "less is more girl" But will overlook wordiness when the author has an interesting "voice". Gilman has the gift of expression, and as this was an early work hopefully she will hone her skills. Regardless, I will be finishing the series ASAP
reviewed Staying Dead (Retrievers, Bk 1) on + 264 more book reviews
Great read