Reviewed: May 5, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Jane True, Book 1
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Length: 359 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Jane True has always known she's not quite like everyone else in her hometown of Rockabill, Maine. That whole penchant for nighttime ocean swims in the dead of winter sort of clued her off on that. She never imagined, however, that her heritage was truly the stuff of legend.
When Jane is out for one of her nightly dips, she discovers a body in the water near her personal private cove. The grisly find blows Jane's world off its axis, and the investigation into the man's death will not only reveal what Jane really is, but it will thrust her into a world of myth and supernatural phenomena. It's a world as deadly as it is beautiful, and it's more a home for Jane than any Maine backwater could ever be.
Or it will be, if she can survive it.
This is one of those books in one of those series that I'd heard about again and again but never picked up for myself. It was oft recommended to me by friends and search engines alike based on my reading preferences and history, but I delayed reading for one reason or another. Now I feel a little late to the party, but I'm glad I finally showed up.
Peeler has created a rich, vibrant world with this series debut. I loved Jane's voice, and appreciated the depth and texture of the town and its inhabitants, human and extraordinary alike. Everything was crisp and sharp and brilliantly original.
I wasn't quite as big a fan of the plot of the story. As a mostly character-driven tale, the external plot conflict got a little lost in the minutia of Jane's life and burgeoning knowledge of the world around her. As a reader, I appreciate superlative storytelling, but my preference is for a more plot-driven story. For me, the pacing got bogged down by details of everything Jane feels, thinks, wears, sees, and smells, and it made parts of the book very tedious to plod through.
The last fifteen percent, though, was spectacular, and I loved Jane and Ryu together. Though, to be completely honest, I'm sort of yearning for more Anyan. I'm not even remotely a fan of the ubiquitous love triangle in urban fantasy, and I definitely felt one was stirring here, if only by implication, but I'm already rooting for Anyan and Jane.
Or maybe I should say, I'll be rooting for them in absentia. As much as I appreciated this book and am heartily glad I finally read it, I don't know that I'll continue with the series. That's nothing at all against this book or the series, it's strictly a personal preference in my reading. For fans of character-driven urban fantasy with a quirky and adorable heroine, this is absolutely a must-read book. I just need a little more focus on plot-driven conflict.
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