As a null, Scarlett Bernard possesses a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces. For years she has used her gift to scrub crime scenes of any magical traces, helping the powerful paranormal communities of Los Angeles stay hidden. But after LAPD detective Jesse Cruz discovered Scarlett's secret, he made a bargain with her: solve a particularly grisly murder case, and he would stay silent about the city's unearthly underworld. So when two witches are found dead a few days before Christmas, Scarlett is once again strong-armed into assisting the investigation. She soon finds a connection between the murders and her former mentor, Olivia, a null who mysteriously turned into a vampire, who harbors her own sinister agenda. Now Scarlett must revisit her painful past to find Olivia - unless the blood-drenched present claims her life first.
©2013 Melissa F. Olson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Mother of 8, grandmother of 7, RN and book nerd
I downloaded book one in this series yesterday and before I was half way through it, I was downloading book two. Great story, strong likable characters narration perfect. These two are a great start to what I hope will lead to many more by this author. Well worth the credits, but at under $10 each, I saved my credits. I'm very glad to have found this author.
I enjoy Scarlett's character. She's a strong female lead, but fun too. I've never listened to Amy McFadden's narration until these books and she does an excellent job portraying Scarlett and all the other characters as well! This was a great continuation to the series.
Near the top. I have been a member of audible for several years and have quite a collection going. I usually read a book and if I like it then will get it on cd to listen to in the car. When I love a story and then the narrator of the audio version stinks it can ruin it for me. I am happy to say that this narrator is well suited to this series and didn't detract from the story. Although it was strange that she used a different voice for Jesse the cop - I really liked the Hispanic voice she gave him in story one. I decided I didn't care though, just different. She did a good job, hope she reads for the next one as well.
I really liked the first book, but I loved-loved-loved the second, although the cliff-hangers at the end are not really my thing.
I really enjoyed the love-triangle situation and I can't wait to see how it plays out.
All in all, very high expectations for Hunter's Trail - book 3.
I walk 7 miles a day and listen to about 3 audiobooks a week.
Yes I like the audio books 10 times better than the printed books.
The way Scar, grows up.
Yes, this is better than the first book.
I could see this is a first book of a series--a few rough points but I must say I like the characters, the action and intrigue. Couldn't wait to read Book 2---I was very surprised at the book--REALLY WELL DONE. Again all of the above but those rough spots are now gone.
I had to get Book 3---SO HAPPY I DID--great flow of story line and new action to spice up the story. Great imagination---time well spend and I really have enjoyed the reading/ listening.
Now for your narrator--Amy McFadden--excellent choice--you are doing a great job!
One problem--WE NEED BOOK 4!
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
"Trail of Dead" is (apart from the title which I think is rather dull) is an improvement on "Dead Spots", book 1 in the series. Melissa Olson's writing is more confident and assured, the plotting is tighter and more complex and the world building is a little bit more subtle.
In "Trail of Dead" I actually started to like Scarlett Bernard and understand the impact that she has on those around her. She's come out of her "I'm doing this because it's the only thing I'm good for" trance and started to think through her life. It turns out that she's brave and, in her own way, driven by a sense of honour and a desire to help those she cares for.
Her bête noir and former mentor, now a scary bat-shit-crazy vampire is an excellent villain to his and boo at. She makes the other monsters that Scarlett works for: vampires, witches and werewolves, seem positively civilized.
The "shall I choose the gorgeous and righteous cop or the totally devoted werewolf surfer-boy" trope could have become a little tired - too Stephanie Plumb for my taste - but Olsen pulled an original plot twist that saved the day and kept everything a bit more plausible. I do wish she'd stop telling me that Jesse smells of oranges and Armani, it doesn't sound an attractive combination and it became a sort of leitmotiv that was played every time he and Scarlet were in a scene together.
The concept of a "null", the original idea around which the series is based, continues to develop at satisfying pace that shows progress but hints at more to come.
I'm confident that this will turn into a fun series. I know the third book is out but I'm waiting for the audiobook to be available.
In my opinion, a good story evokes emotion. It'll make me laugh, angry, or cry. But it can't just be words on a page. It has to do something
I loved this one. The characters have more depth. The story is more focused. And, I really like that this story is different from a many of the fantasy fiction stories these days. Kudos! I'll be waiting for a part 3.
Solid urban fantasy with a female lead with an unusual power (she's a null, meaning when magical creatures like vampires, werewolves, and witches are within a physical radius of her, they are reduced to being merely human. I enjoy the ways that the different characters react to her power (or anti-power?). There are neat explanations of the magic system, the wolf pack politics, vampire politics, and how the witches work as a sort of union. The book is set in Los Angeles, but there is not a lot "Californian" about the setting other than constantly dealing with traffic delays and the mention that Jesse's dad work on movie sets. There's very little Hollywood superficiality, privledged party crowds, or drug/street violence. The villain of this piece was a bit of a flatly predictable disappointment, but the mystery up to the final confrontation was good. The ensemble of secondary characters is good and varied (though there was not enough Molly in this book). The action ramped up, and I appreciated that bad things happened in the book - even to favorite characters. I prefer my urban fantasy with a minimum of sex/sexual magic and this book keeps the romance at a believable and fairly chaste level, despite the hints of the dreaded love triangle. Scarlett didn't seem to mature much between the first and second book in the series, but the ending made me hopeful that her recent experiences will have taught her some good lessons before the plot of the next book. The book is well crafted and the audiobook is enjoyably read by Amy McFadden (though her Jesse lost his Mexican accent in book two, which is a real shame!).
I loved the characters in this book. I was able to make some attachments to several of the characters.
The story had elements that I was not expecting in the characters. Especially the main characters ability. I have not read a paranormal book with this type of character.
You were able to feel the emotions that the main character was going through. I think that I would have not been able to really feel the way the character felt when she was trying to distance herself from certain situations without the emotion in the narrator's emotions.
I did not laugh or cry during this book but I did have to hold my death and gasp a few times.
I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this book. It was bought on a whim and really had no expectations on loving the book. It was well written and kept me interested in the story with no lagging sections. This author has quickly become an author that I will actively seek out her future books.
"Very pleasantly surprised"
I would recommend this book without a seconds hesitation
I am a real sucker for a strong leading lady, I cannot be doing with that oh help me and then throw me over your shoulder to bed rubbish. This leading lady did not disappoint. I like the way the Null is the main character for a change but also loved the relationship between the heads of the vamps, witches and wwolves. I love a book where I cannot wait to hear more but at the same time don't want to finish
I am not sure if it was the narrative or the great timing of the narrator but found myself smiling to myself several times.
I leave loved this genre of stories for the last 7 years plus and am very particular about authors I will add to my favourites list but Ms Olson has accomplished this. I cannot wait for her next book
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