As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding

As Lie the Dead (Dreg City, Book 2)

Paranormal fantasy runs the gamut from silly and fluffy to dark and dangerous.  Each kind has its own appeal at different times, but it’s best to know what you’re getting into before diving in.  The Dreg City novels lean towards the harsher end of the spectrum with tense action and a heroine who has already survived death.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Evangeline Stone, a rogue bounty hunter, never asked for a world divided between darkness and light…

… or the power to die and live again in someone else’s borrowed body. After a murder plot meant to take her out leaves an entire race of shapeshifters nearly extinct, Evy is gnawed by guilt. So when one of the few survivors of the slaughter enlists her aid, she feels duty-bound to help—even though protecting a frail, pregnant shifter is the last thing Evy needs, especially with the world going to hell around her.

Amid weres, Halfies, gremlins, vamps—and increasingly outgunned humans—a war for supremacy is brewing. With shifters demanding justice, her superiors desperate to control her, and an assassin on her trail, Evy discovers a horrifying conspiracy. And she may be the only person in the world who can stop it—unless, of course, her own side gets her first.”

As you know, I read a goodly amount of paranormal fantasy.  The gamut that I mentioned earlier is one that I’ve run into many a time, and sometimes I have to realize that I’m not in the mood for a certain book at a certain time.  I have to wonder if I ran into that issue while reading As Lie the Dead, because I had mixed feelings about this novel.

On the positive side of the equation, this book delves heavily into the politics that govern the supernatural community.  Meding has created a set of complex relationships that play into just about every interaction between humans and non-humans, or among the non-human races.  As the book progresses, readers will find that these rules and customs are more tied up in the novel’s events than previously revealed.

This makes for an interesting story, but it’s one that takes a while to get going.  And that’s the negative side of this novel—there is a lot of talking and puzzling things out, but the action comes in fits and starts.  That’s not to say that I want a novel that barrels along and never takes a breath, but there needs to be a balance between action and reaction, and this novel didn’t quite find it.

Still, I remained interested in what Evy was going through and the discoveries that she made.  Once all the various pieces of what’s going on were connected, I was hooked into finding out what happened next.  And ultimately, that’s what makes a novel successful: the ability to draw readers in and make them care about the characters and what happens to them.

As Lie the Dead starts a bit slowly, but it builds to a smashing conclusion that will have readers eager for the next volume of the Dreg City series.  Meding is a strong voice in the paranormal fantasy genre, and I look forward to watching her talent progress.

Also by this author: Another Kind of Dead

This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on September 26, 2011.

Series: Dreg City
ISBN: 978055359287
Publisher: Dell
Page Count: 423
Publication Date: July 27, 2011
Acquired: Personal purchase
Author Website
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As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding — 2 Comments

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