From the best-selling author of The Rules of Supervillainy:
Life is not easy for the world's first weredeer detective. A simple hike turns into a media circus when Jane Doe, her best friend Emma, and a pair of monster hunters find a mass grave. Determined to find the parties responsible, Jane soon discovers a sinister cult leader has decided to make Bright Falls, Michigan the home of his corrupt religion.
As if this wasn't complicating her life enough, Jane also has to decide whether or not she wants to begin a relationship with FBI Special Agent Alex Timmons or local crime lord Lucien Lyons. Both men are determined to get to the bottom of the crime she's investigating but may be distracted by their own agendas--as well as their love for Jane.
"Surpasses the first book in all ways." (The Bookwyrm Speaks)
"Phipps is the best thing to happen to urban fantasy." (Booknest.EU)
See what I did there? If you don't like that, then this book isn't for you. Though An American Weredeer in Michigan has a lot fewer puns than the original book in the series - they were still there and made me laugh just as hard. I can imagine Phipps and Suttkus chatting with each other trying to come up with the ultimate deer-related pun. I'm also curious which one they each liked the most.
An American Weredeer in Michigan (man, that's a mouthful - that's what she said... sorry) is one of those stories that you just enjoy. It was pure enjoyment from beginning to end - Phipps and Suttkus really know how to write characters that you want to follow. Jane is endearing (yes, I spelled it right this time) and a little doe-eyed at times, but she's also funny and relentless. I just love everything about her. If she were a real person I could definitely see being friends with her.
American Weredeer and the entire Bright Falls Mysteries series was one that I jumped into not fully sure what to expect, but I came out a completely changed man. Phipps and Suttkus have this way of writing that drew me in and won't let me go. They're all so enjoyable and fun from beginning to end.
There was more teenage drama in this one, but what do you expect when you have a 19-year-old main character. There's going to be drama - it's inevitable. And I thought that it was well thought out and appropriate for the amount of drama and stress that Jane and co have had to go through.
One of my particularly favorite scenes (there shouldn't be any spoilers here) was when Jane pets and nuzzles the Werewolf version of her best friend - to which she replies "you know you're the only one I let do this?" I don't know why I just found that perfect and hilarious. I think partially because of the character building and dynamic between the two of them, but it was great.
I thought that Arielle DeLisle was perfect once again for the role of Jane and the overall narrator of the book. She has a young-sounding voice that lends itself well to the character that was written. She has an easy to listen to voice that made the story fly by.
Overall, I think this might have been even better than the first book - and it intrigues me to see what else can happen in Bright Falls. Phipps and Suttkus - you have me hooked!
I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was very excited to hear that this book was being written. I gave the first book in the series, I Was A Teenage Weredeer, a glowing review. It was easily the best book I had read this year. That is, until this book, which actually surpasses the first book in all ways. I know the authors have more planned out in the series, which is in the same universe as CT Phipps's Straight Outta Fangton series, so there are is a lot of potential stories in this series and universe.
The story starts a year after the last book. Jane is 19 now, and is basically the shaman of Bright Falls with her parents being hidden in Witness Protection. She is kind of muddling along in her job and in her love life, with FBI agent Alex Timmons out of town, and her attraction to Bright Falls bad boy Lucien Lyons put to the side, no matter how good looking he is, or what may have happened one drunken night! This is Jane's life as the story gets going.
While on a picnic with her best friend, the werewolf Emma O'Hara, two monster hunters sent by Alex come upon them, since they need some help on a case. Jane and Emma go with them, and discover a true horror: A mass collection of dead infant skeletons. This discovery sends Jane and crew on a quest to determine who left them for dead, and they are determined to stop it from happening again. Enter a charismatic immortal preacher, who is looking to kill Jane's mentor, Kim Su. Well, Jane's not down for that, either.
So starts a wild ride of a story, in which we discover Bright Falls has an actual god living in the woods, we meet a new character, Robyn, who's mysterious past is linked to the entire mystery. We also discover that there really was a King Arthur, although not quite like the stories say, as well as who Merlin really was. Jane's potential as a mage is explored, and her growth in power and skill are noticeable. The crew has to deal with a variety of challenges to find the truth about who is responsible for the deaths, and they find out the problem is a lot bigger than they could have ever imagined. Alex being accused of murdering the preacher? That's the least of the problems.
We also discover just what Alex went through in his abusive household, and his story is fleshed out more, and his relationship with Jane is more firmly defined. This all leads to the final showdown with the villain(s) and the results will effect the characters and the broader world. The final chapter has Jane meeting with the villain from the previous book, and settling that issue, but discovering that the world is a lot scarier than they expected. New opportunities are open to Jane and Alex, and we'll see where they go in book three.
Like book one, the characters are a great strength of this story. Jane is a fantastic character: Strong, with attitude to match, but still with moments of vulnerability and self discovery. She is a pop culture quote a minute machine and makes you like it, finding a quote for every situation. Alex is more fully fleshed out; his back story is truly tragic, and that gives insight into his motivations. The new additions, Robyn, and the hunters David and Yolanda, all add a new depth to the story, with Robyn really shining and sure to be a fan favorite, being a good foil to Jane. Learning more about Kim Su really fleshed her out as well, giving a view into her motivations. The villains are well drawn out as well, with realistic motivations (or lack of motivation) within the story line, which added to the level of threat to the heroes.
The setting of Bright Falls is probably one of my favorites in urban fantasy. The small lumber town that was the secret home to the Shifter leadership is a stroke of genius. The same town and leadership having to deal with the rest of the world after the Reveal of the supernatural is interesting, in the way that they now have to deal with tourists looking to take selfies with werewolves! Also, those same tourists are wanting to go into the surrounding woods on the look out for magic, of which Bright Falls has more than its fair share. The description of the town is so vivid, you can imagine it vividly in your mind. The new settings, including the Grove in the woods, are just perfect for the story. You'll see what I mean when you read it.
In her second go around narrating The Bright Falls books, Arielle DeLisle has become very comfortable with the various characters, the dialogue flowing so smoothly it feels like you're listening in on a conversation. She really nails the various voices, from Jane's sass and still somewhat innocence, to Emma's protective earnestness, to the creepy preacher's shtick. Her Alex and Kim Su voices are some of my favorites. She really catches his kind of spacy competence, and Kim's inscrutable attitude mixed with a Texas twang is really fun too. Her pacing is fantastic, and she really brings the story to life. Definitely someone who's work I will keep listening to.
All in all, this book improves in every way on an already fantastic book one. The characters are more fleshed out, as is the setting. It has some interesting twists on mythology and really expands upon the themes of book one. Jane also shows just how far she's willing to go for justice, and that is pretty damn far. This may be my favorite effort by these authors, and that's saying a lot, since I am such a fan of their previous work. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I am seriously loving this series. I usually do not enjoy shifter books, but this series is great! I was a little skeptical about book one but tried it because I love the author. I was excited about listening to book 2. Now I'm hoping for a book 3! A fun shifter/paranormal book with a very enjoyable narration by Arielle DeLisle!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful