Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay

Dead on the Delta  
(Annabelle Lee #1)
Stacey Jay

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.

But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a sixyear- old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .

This was a really great book and an excellent start to a series! Annabelle Lee is an extremely likable character despite, or maybe because of, her flaws. She's a med school drop out and possible alcoholic who scoops fairy poop for a living and is constantly down on herself. She seems to try and try again to screw herself over. In fact, when we meet her she is definitely having a really bad day.

Annabelle is one of few people in the world who are immune to the bites of mutated fairies that went undiscovered until drinking toxic water made them grow to a big enough size to not only be seen by humans, but to also be able to bite humans and larger animals. Fairy bites are bad for those not immune. Which is why Annabelle is called upon to examine the dead body of a little girl found outside the iron gates of the city, which is fairy infested. That is how the story, and our introduction to Annabelle and her world, begins.

Although this is an urban fantasy, the fantasy elements are not what drive the story. It is very similar to the Downside Ghosts series (although a little less gritty and magic heavy) in that there are weird things in the world but its still the people you have to watch out for. Annabelle is also very similar to Downside's Chess in that she has been dealt a crappy hand in life and just can't seem to turn things around no matter what.

Of course there is a bit of a love triangle happening in this book as well. Annabelle is caught between her gorgeous cop kind-of boyfriend who takes care of her and wants a bigger commitment and her sexy ex boyfriend who has wondered back into the picture as one of the FBI agents in charge of the murder case. With that said, don't get yourself hung up on the possible romantic aspects of this book. There are some little teases here and there, but this book is definitely leaning more towards UF/murder mystery than romance novel.

One of my favorite elements of this story was the surprise kink thrown in involving Annabelle. I won't spoil that though, however I'm sure we will find out much more in the stories to come.

So, all in all, I loved Annabelle and her crassness. I also love her growth as a character. The author shows us that Annabelle wants to change her life, but we can also see that its going to be a slow process. Hopefully, the process will take place across, oh, six or seven books? :)

"I have to keep fighting. I have to 'reach deep down and shit myself', or whatever it is the crazy man told me to do."

***Just as a side note, I would like to mention that this is the author's first attempt at an adult novel! She had previously written many young adult novels prior to Dead on the Delta. This book has been getting great reviews, but apparently its not quite for sure yet that she will get to write us more Annabelle stories so read it, love it, and review it! :)


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