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Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding

8/10 If you like your chicks believably badass...

She’s young, deadly and hunted – with only three days to solve her own murder… When Evangaline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab in the morgue – in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there – their troubles are only just beginning. Before that night and the two other 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 their lives but also convinced the city’s other Hunter’s that Evy was a traitor – and she can’t even remember what it was. Now she’s piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice – and discovering she has only three days to solve her murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days, Evy will die again, and this time there’s no second chance…

Well, what can I say. This book starts off with a rocket and barely slows down for breath. Evy is one tough chick – but, like an armadillo, while she’s all tough shell on the outside, she’s soft and squidgy in the middle.

The worldbuilding here is top notch – it just is, and we discover it as we go along, never confusing or dumping, giving us what we need to know, when we need to know it. These are not just your standard Urban Fantasy creatures, and no, vampires definitely don’t sparkle!
Characters are well defined, engagingly written and increasingly enjoyable to know. Evy starts off a little cold-hearted / over practical to my mind, but you can forgive a girl that when she wakes up dead….As the book goes on, Evy reveals more of herself, and just why she has that tough outer shell – and who’s gotten under it.

The pace is relentless, for Evy as much as for the reader. Every second counts, and it shows. That brings me to my one and only nit. The ending seemed just that little too rushed, just a little too pat. For me, I’d have preferred something a little more considered for the climax, let up on the pace just a tad. But hey. That’s me.

But, in short, this is the best Urban Fantasy I’ve read all year (2009). I even locked myself in the bathroom for the last fifty pages so I could find out what happened in peace. If you like your chicks believably badass and your fantasy with a kick in the teeth, you could do a heck of a lot worse than this book.

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