Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Review: Don't Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl


Title: Don't Kill The Messenger

Author: Eileen Rendahl

Series: Messenger #1

Publisher: Ace

Publication date: 28 Feb 2012

Format: Paperback | 336 pages

Genre: Adult | Urban Fantasy


Melina Markowitz is a Messenger, a go-between for the paranormal forces and supernatural creatures that move unseen among 'normal' human beings. Problem is, when a girl's an intermediary, it's hard not to get caught in the middle…

If Melina doesn't deliver, the stakes are life and death. So when ninjas steal an envelope from her, she must find it at all costs. It contains talismans created by Taoist priests to control the kiang shi - Chinese vampires unearthed from tombs beneath the Bok Kai Temple - who are attacking rival gang members in an attempt to spark a street war.

He may look more like a surfer than a cop but Ted Goodnight is dead serious about investigating the surge in gang violence, only he doesn't believe in the supernatural. It's up to Melina to change his mind - without blowing her cover…

My thoughts:

I'm a big fan of urban fantasy so I was very excited when I came round to reading this. In the more enjoyable reads, there's a whole lot of world building involved where I can get lost on the best of days. Then there's a ton of great characters that make me wish they were real and we could have big hangouts where we share the latest gossip. Who needs real friends right?

Unfortunately though, Don't Kill The Messenger fell short on quite a few things. It became a little bit of a chore to sit and read it after a while. I didn't find it a bad read necessarily, it was still an okay read, but it fell short of the mark to make it one of those books I can keep coming back to.

What it came down to, for me, was the characters. I couldn't take Melina seriously half the time. I really liked her at first - she had the whole hard done by attitude but she still did what she had to in order to get by. She seemed really mature, working three jobs, avoiding things that go bump in the night and giving an all round great impression. But when it came down to her making decisions that would essentially affect every character in the story, she had the common sense of a teenager. Even a teenager is pushing it to be honest.

I also don't understand what point in the story vampires and werewolves became her best friends. It was yet another case of me getting the wrong impression. I was excited by the prospect of reading a book where the vampires and other creatures typical to this type of read were not of the friendly and 'I'm a normal person I just happen to feed on arteries or turn into a big cuddly dog' variety. That all changed though when they turned into the 'I'm a normal person I just happen to feed on arteries or turn into a big cuddly dog' variety. I had none of the feel of spine tingly goosebumps I usually associate with urban fantasy reads.

The plot wasn't anything special. There were no twists that pulled me further into the story, nor were there characters in mortal peril to make me anxious for their wellbeing. It was okay - the gangs and the police aspect of the plot was a little cliched for my liking but there was plenty of action to keep me going.

What I did like about this book was the general idea of it. I really loved the idea of a Messenger going between vampires and werewolves e.t.c. It made a lot of sense and I thought it had so much potential. It wasn't really developed until the plot got underway, so that was a little disappointing, but I enjoyed that aspect of the story. Especially the imp with the flute - that was really funny.

Overall, I thought this book was okay. If you're new to the urban fantasy genre, I definitely wouldn't recommend starting off with this book but as usual, this is just my opinion, you may really enjoy this read.


My rating: 5/10


Eileen Rendahl:




  1. Don't Kill The Messenger
  2. Dead on Delivery
  3. Dead Letter Day

Friday, 2 September 2016

Review: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting


Title: The Last Echo

Author: Kimberly Derting

Series: The Body Finder #3

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 29 Mar 2012

Format: Paperback | 368 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal




Violet's morbid ability to sense echoes from the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets. The only people she told were her supportive parents and boyfriend Jay.


Violet hopes that working with a special investigative team will give her the chance to actually save lives - or at least catch more killers. But the instant connection she feels with mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling and their unique bond creates tension with Jay.


When she discovers the body of a student murdered by 'the collector', Violet is determined to solve the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn't realise that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection, and that she may have caught his eye.

Will the next life Violet has to save be her own?

My thoughts:

I've said this so much, but sometimes, I really hate the fact that I love reading series. I seriously need to read more stand-alones. I haven't picked up this book because I loved the first two books of the Body Finder series - it doesn't even make sense to my own ears! I was so worried it wouldn't live up to the expectations I'd built up for it in my own mind. The sad thing is, it didn't. 

I wasn't disappointed per se, but I thought it didn't live up to its potential. I wanted to see something different in the story, a big addition. There was for sure, there was Sara's team complete with Rafe and the rest of the gang which I can tell has a lot more to give. I'm sure the next book will focus on them entirely. But, this big addition to the Body Finder series took away from the main story I think. I hated not seeing more of Violet's friends, especially Jay. What happened to Jay? It wasn't the same.

I also didn't find Rafe to be a believable character. I understand what was supposed to happen - he was obviously the bad boy, mysterious type as opposed to Jay's outgoing, heart on his sleeve nature. It didn't work for me. If what I think is going to happen actually happens in the next book I'll be one unhappy reader.

The only other gripe I had was the ending. Towards the end is where the suspense kicks in and things take a very dramatic turn. It was great in that sense. The problem I had was that it was so similar to what had happened in the last two books. It got predictable and that took most of the suspense out of the ending.

Aside from all that, it had all the great attributes the past two reads have had. Violet is a great character and top off that with the addition of new characters that I grew to really like, I found the read really enjoyable. It still had all the creepy suspense I now associate with this series and the added crime solving part brought a lot of crazy action into the story. I liked it.

All in all I enjoyed this read but I thought the past two books were a lot better. I still like this series and I'll definitely be picking up the next book soon.

My rating: 6/10

Kimberly Derting:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Body Finder:

  1. The Body Finder
  2. Desires of the Dead
  3. The Last Echo
  4. Dead Silence