Sunday, April 2, 2017

Declan Finn's Live and Let Bite

(You can check both myself and Declan Finn out at the webcast he hosts and I appeared on. I promised him a blog at the time that the webcast was originally supposed to happen but my net has been down all day, so I'm a little late. Sorry Declan!)

First off the warning: Yes Live and Let Bite is book three. Yep, that means  there are two books before it. You should check them out too. I've reviewed them here and here. They're worth checking out. I mention this simply because you're going to want to read the first two books before reading this one. I really enjoyed this book and I'll talk about why below, but I'm not at all certain that this book would work as well as a stand-alone. There are a lot of references to what has come previously and it may be a bit confusing if you're not familiar. This is not a bad thing. It just means that you need to start at the beginning.

 Live and Let Bite is the story of our hero, Marco Catalano and our heroine Amanda Colt, the world's finest female vampire and their battle against existential evil. This time our evil takes the form of an ancient vampire assassin. She is a little off mentally and very impressive physically. In a universe where the bane of vampires is fire she takes a daisy cutter to the face and keeps running. She shrugs off things that should kill her and just keeps fighting.

Let's take a second to talk about our villain: Nualla is dark and mysterious. She  comes straight at Marco and he doesn't know why. She may work for a Council which may or may not exist. What we do know is that she is definitely an evil vampire (and one of the things I really like about these books is that vampires exist on a scale similar to the Dungeons and Dragons alignment system) who is extremely powerful and has a vendetta against Marco. The reason she gives (nope, not gonna spoil it) is nebulous at best and helps set up the next book (which will get here soon, I hope).

I don't generally do spoilers. They're not my thing. But I'm going to break the rule here: MARCO AND AMANDA ACTUALLY GET TOGETHER!!! And FINN DID IT RIGHT. When an author hints long term at a relationship it always makes me nervous when they finally let it happen. It often turns into a total cheesefest. The last episode of JAG comes to mind here. But Finn makes it believable. He makes it fun. He makes it awesome. This is a payoff worth waiting for. How things are going to work between a twenty-five year old mortal and a century old vampire is yet to be seen but at least they've admitted that they're both interested. Things are still in the early stages but I can't wait to see where this goes.

Finn once again delivers with the fight scenes. They're well planned out and vicious. I would not want to meet these guys in a dark alley. Well, meeting Marco in a back alley might not be all that bad. He tends to save the innocent, but the villains in this book are bad news. I do have a kind of complaint here though.

Marco and company have a tendency to prepare a battle space to a "T". This makes sense but it seems that once they've prepped a space the fight always goes the way they thought they would or at least close enough. The enemy gets a say in what happens and sometimes I think Finn forgets that. That doesn't mean it's not exciting. It doesn't mean that the good guys have won just because they think they've won. It's just really tightly plotted.

Finn has a healthy disrespect for government and it comes through. One of our main characters reveals that they were a government agent hunting the supernatural in the nineties and got downsized. Now another of our favorites has become the new guy with a much smaller department and budget.  So even with the lives of its citizen on the line, the US government found an excuse to cut the budget.  I'm  sure they managed to give a few phones away with the savings though. I got a good chuckle out of that.

A huge part of what I enjoyed about this book was that it always looks forward. Finn is building something here. The storyline is racing ahead and things are hinted at. There is a constant interest building. Finn is building a world one step at a time here. Things are opening up slowly and I'm following along amazed. He has very obviously planned out an extended plot going on here.

I did a post awhile back about Hollywood and some books that need to be turned into movies. In this case though, I'm going to suggest that maybe this series gets the Game of Thrones treatment. There's a television series here. I mean that. We may need to give Finn a bit of time to get a little further ahead before it gets started but this makes sense as a series. It's written that way and it works that way. I have zero pull in Hollywood but if I ever get some (about as likely as my getting hit by lightning twice on the same day as I hit the lottery) I'm going to make Finn an offer for this one.

So anyways, I'm totally waiting for the next one. Hopefully it will be here soon. I want to find out what the bigger threat is. I'm wondering if I'm right in predicting that we're going to see Marco go through a Luke Skywalker type storyline in the near future. His attitudes, his love for a vampire lass and Finn's alignment system have me wondering if we're not going to see a redemption story soon. We'll see how that goes. I'm anxious to see if I'm right.

Bottom Line: 4.5 out of 5 Vials of Holy Water

The books in the Love at First Bite series are available at the link below:

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