The first novel in Kelly Meding’s new Dreg City series, Three Days to Dead, is a fabulous read and a great addition to the urban fantasy genre.
She’s young, deadly, and hunted—with only three days to solve her own murder…
When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue – in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there – her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night, she and the other two members of her Triad were star bounty hunters — mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives, but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor . . . and she can’t even remember what it was.
Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice – and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days, Evy will die again – but this time, there’s no second chance…
Initially, I was drawn to this novel by it’s cover, but I’m going to return to Dreg City because of the story. We have a society that doesn’t know about the paranormals and yet they lead lives just like everyone else. However, as with any culture, there are those who need to be kept in check and that’s where Evangeline (Evy) Stone and the other triads come into play. We have a fabulous heroine in the guise of Evy, who not only understands her limitations, but has no problem pushing them to their breaking point. When she wakes up in the morgue, she knows something is wrong and instead of worrying about how she ended up there, she instead goes about trying to find the answers she needs. Evy has a very practical nature that doesn’t come from over-confidence or the knowledge that she can kick ass (even though she can), but from the ability of knowing shit happens and then moving forward.
The characters of Three Days to Dead are great in the fact that they don’t really bow to any convention. Yes, we have a kick ass heroine, but she is because of necessity, not because she’s ruthless or stronger than everyone else. Plus, I love the romance element in the story. I don’t want to give it away because it’s explained, or at least strongly hinted at, early on, but it’s not one I’ve seen a lot of places. Let’s just say my first impression when I read it was that of a role-reversal. It was really refreshing to see the hero in that position instead of the female. (I didn’t give it away did I?)
As for the plot, I liked it. We’re given an idea of what we can look forward to and yet, I will be honest, it’s not completely memorable. That’s not how I want to say it, but I’m lacking the correct words. It’s like this, I can remember various scenes from the novel, but the ending is throwing me for a loop. Do we know what’s going to happen in the second novel, In Ashes Lie, or was the villain sufficiently taken care of? That’s where I’m getting mixed up in. Granted, I’ve been reading a lot lately, so I may just be kicking myself in the butt by not writing this sooner.
Anyway, the general idea of an ongoing plot is there, but I can see where areas need to be fleshed out as well. The city itself sounds like it could be really intriguing, but we really don’t see too much of it right away. It’s kind of like glances out of a moving car window. You get a hint of what it could be like, but you really don’t know yet. However, this is the first novel in a new series, so there’s plenty of time to explore the city and that’s just going to make each subsequent novel that much more enjoyable.
Overall, I’m really excited about Three Days to Dead and the rest of this series. The chemistry between Evy and her man is interesting, there is a great subculture of paranormals to explore and I haven’t seen the entire city. That to me is the best part – the chance to explore an area without being told what there is. You should definitely be on the lookout for Three Days to Dead when it comes out November 24th, but it may pop up sooner, so keep your eyes open.
Three Days to Dead
As Lie the Dead (summer 2010)