Charlie is a stong minded, physically strong ITF officer. The problem with Charlie is she died. Then she came back alive and now she is dealing with powers she never knew she had from the beginning, and some that shouldn't be there at all. While the plot focuses on the mystery behind Charlie's "death", and a drug called "ash", it is also about Charlie's insecurities and stubborn will.
The supporting cast in this book is great especially her sister, daughter and partner. You'll also love Rex (think Dark-Hunter "Simi"). If you aren't used to Urban Fantasy you might want to make notes of who's who so you don't get confused because they are all in this book.
I loved the book right from the beginning. It was a fun, fast, heart-racing read. I'm still trying to figure out the connection between this book and Three Days to Dead by Meding. They both came out same day, have similar plots, same type of writing style but different authors? Weird. Oh well, I enjoyed them both!
The Better Part of Darkness, told from Charlie Madigan's point of view, was an exciting, fast-paced read for me. I finish this book in nearly one sitting. What kept me glued to the pages was how clues were dropped at just the right place, and the mystery just kept building. The pace of was perfect. The unique world and atmosphere of this book had the right combination of dark and gritty paranormal aspects.
The biggest attention grabber for me was the colorful personalities of the characters. From Hank, Charlie's gorgeous off-world partner to Byrn, her eclectic sister who runs a herb shop in the Underground. Charlie, a mother of a pre-teen, is a gusty heroine, who has heart. But she's tough as nails when the situation calls for it and it's called for many times. She presents everyone with a tough exterior and acts like she can handle whatever comes her way on her own, but on the inside she is always questioning herself. I could see Charlie as a real person.
The thing that can make a book really pop for me is when the bad guys are truly evil and vile. You get that kind of scary here. So when your reading a scene with the bad guys, your on the edge of your seat with worry and dread. More than once I was wondering how Charlie was going to save herself.
The ending left me feeling very satisfied but full of anticipation for the next book. This was a story that left me thinking about it long after I finished reading it. I will be picking up the next book in Charlie Madigan's universe. This one is going down in my top 10 reads of this year.
A bit of a unique set-up to this urban fantasy. Instead of the usual vampires, werewolves and ghosts, we've got angels and demons. Well, not quite. A bit over a decade ago scientists proved the existence of two other realms tied to ours. One matched a lot of descriptions of heaven, while the other similarly matched hell. Visitors from those realms have been coming to Earth for a while in secret. Now humans have to learn to openly live with them.
Charlie Madigan is an officer for the Integration Task force in Atlanta (police that deal with anything dealing with immigrants or visitors from the other realms). She and her partner start the book trying to track down the source of a new drug that's going around. Of course they stumble onto a deeper plot relating back to Charlie's death experience almost a year back.
The world is very well done, and quite original. The plot was so-so. Things seemed to happen a bit too conveniently sometimes. Things didn't quite wrap up neatly at the end of the book. The characters were interesting, though again seemed to occasionally do things because they were convenient for the plot and not because that's what the character would do. Overall a good book. I look forward to reading the next one.
In this urban fantasy series, the existence of races from other worlds became known when scientists discovered two parallel planes of existence called Elysia and Charbydon. Charlie Madigan works for Atlanta's Integration Task Force (the ITF) with her siren partner, Hank, to take down any off world offenders. Charlie and Hank begin to investigate an off-world drug called ash, and complications arise when the investigation unearths problems that personally involve Charlie and threaten those she loves.
This is one of those urban fantasies where the heroine has a dark side. Think Dante Valentine in the series by Lilith Saintcrow. The story is in the first person POV and her personality colors the story. There's a lot of angst in Charlie's life and although she has a support system to balance that, I never warmed to her character. She was too impulsive for me, and in her anger did things I found at odds with her job as law enforcement. And she often mouthed off too much for my taste.
It's too bad I couldn't warm to Charlie in the book because I did enjoy the writing and the secondary characters a lot. The side characters all had distinct personalities and depth. I think I was particularly fond of Rex and his sarcastic comments. The world building felt unique and interesting. And the plot and pacing felt like it had the right amount of action versus downtime.
A note on the romance: I saw reviews that suggest there is one, but although Charlie appreciates many men in this book, there really isn't a romantic interest for her so far. At least for this book, this is an urban fantasy without a romance for the main character, although there are complicated relationships and secondary romances to keep things interesting.
My full review: http://janicu.livejournal.com/98628.html
I thought this book might be a little different from the usual urban fantasy - hard-as-nails heroine wearing kick-ass leather something, with kick-ass weapon of some sort, and constantly lusting after some man. I was wrong. What I found particularly annoying was that Charlie wouldn't let anyone help her, yet she took on guilt for not being able to save everything and everybody. That happens in a lot of UF, but it was particularly irritating to me in this one.