Brenda has been ignoring her powers as a medium, living a dull life ever since she found her husband cheating with her best friend, but her world becomes much more interesting when she comes into contact with Brian, a demon spirit who avenges the ghosts of the murdered. Brian enlists Brenda to help track down the criminals and use his power to punish them for their wrongdoing. Chris Dolley's novel is bizarre, funny, and poignant, and Noelle Romano handles the shifts in tone beautifully, giving Brenda a sardonic wit that persists throughout this tale of paranormal justice.
Medium Dead is a fun urban fantasy chronicling the crime fighting adventures of Brenda - a reluctant medium - and Brian - a vigilante demon with an impish sense of humour. Think Stephanie Plum with magic and a dash of Carl Hiaasen.
Brenda Steele is smart, funny and out of her depth. A Vigilante Demon called Brian wants her to find murdered spirits and help him track down their killers. But Brian doesn't just catch criminals, he likes to play with them first, and make the punishment fit the crime. As he tells Brenda, "if all you did was turn up, capture the bad guy then leave - century after century - you'd die of boredom."
He's also reckless - his last partner died during one of his takedowns. Along the way, Brenda discovers that Brian isn't as old, or as powerful, as he led her to believe. He might even be human. Whereas the murderer they're hunting, and the child he's holding prisoner, might not.
As another reviewer said, this is a matter of taste, but I find the subject matter at odds with the cheerful banter. Really good fiction draws the reader into the story, so that there is no thought as to how the work could be better. There are stories where the "bad guys" do terrible things and the "good guys" refuse to quit and remain confident, and still manage to be enraged by the terrible things that they are fighting against. Here the cheerful banter overwhelms the idea that children are being kidnapped, and old ladies kicked. We get a nod to isn't this awful, and onto the next joke. The best comedy never winks at the audience, and the characters in this book are constantly winking and noting how cute they are. To repeat, this is a matter of taste. For example I like the way Jim Butcher's Dresden never takes himself seriously, but takes keeping the world safe very seriously. I almost didn't finish this, because I felt insulted by the lame jokes, I just thought it would get past the silly phase and get better. All of which isn't to say that others might find this book funny, but Medium Dead does not fit my sense of humor.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I tried to read this twice. Got as far as the second half and just couldn't stick with it. I just found the characters silly in a cartoonish kind of way and I couldn't get into the story. I think a youngster would probably like it. Not much else to say about it since I didn't (couldn't) finish the book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. It's funny, fast paced and a slightly different premise than any other paranormal fiction I've read.
What did you like best about this story?
The FBI hostage negotiation call line with phone tree options including a canary yellow SUV with bank robber on board bumper sticker and almost empty tank for faster get away.
What does Noelle Romano bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Her delivery is perfect for the female character..
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Yes. I laughed all the way through.
Any additional comments?
This is an unexpected treasure. I'm going to look for more books by this author and this narrator.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Medium Dead?
Sometimes I am just in the mood for something light and fun and this book was exactly what I was looking for.
What other book might you compare Medium Dead to and why?
Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen, Dead Medium by Peter John, Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (anything by Christopher Moore actually). All of these are light, fun and entertaining.
I read a lot of Sy Fy books. If I am honest a lot of the time I get into books and they remind me of another one I have already read. I thought that would be the case with this book, but was happy to find it was different. I liked Brain the demon. He was quite funny. Which is always important to me. Brian is very inventive with the way he tries to investigate things. He could be very irresponsible at times, but you can tell that he really cares about trying to protect his partner. Brenda kind of reminds me of a lot of people I know. Someone who is kind of bored with their life and has this crazy person come into it and offer her something meaningful to do with her life.
The one flaw I really found (which I didn't notice until thinking about it later) was that she was way to excepting of all the magic right from the beginning.
It was also nice that a Brian/Brenda romance was not shoved down our throats. Sometimes when reading books like this the authors seem to think all we want is romance. Instead she has planted seeds that maybe in future books there could maybe possibly be romance or a love hate relationship.
The book made me laugh. Lately that has been one of the big draws for me on books. At the end of the day it is probably chic-lit (I think that is the term I have heard lately), but it was a fun read. I will definitely check the next book out.
If you are looking for something similar to Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books, you will be delighted with this. If you are hoping for something more like Christopher Moore, you will be disappointed.
And the narrator doesn't seem to to be able to keep her English accent out of Australia.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I really don't know who would like it. The story is boring and couldn't finish it. It's a waste of time and a credit.
Would you ever listen to anything by Chris Dolley again?
How could the performance have been better?
The writing is bad performance was fine.
What character would you cut from Medium Dead?
All the characters.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful