Most helpful critical review
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2007
Wren is a Retriever, someone who specialises in finding missing items, no questions asked. In a world where magic (Talent) is a not so well kept secret.
For the first 107 pages of Staying Dead I was going to give it 2 stars. I just couldn't connect with the story. Maybe it's because Wren seemed isolated which made it difficult for me to warm to her. Exceptions are when she's interacting with other characters - her meetings with PB, and the Wizzart, let us see she's not just a two-dimensional cut-out character.
On page 108 Wren calls on Perry Mason and Lord Peter Wimsey for inspiration and suddenly the story is off and running. It's after this point that Wren and Sergei (her business partner) start to interact more as a team and it's in exploring their relationship that the story really works. When they are together there is a depth and pace that's missing when they are apart.
In the last sixty pages the story really picks up (if only it had been like this all the way through I would have given it 4 stars). The ending is poignant and leaves this story nicely tied up with enough plot threads left dangling to entice the reader to pick up the sequel.
On the plus side - it's a well thought out Universe populated by interesting characters - the fatae (supernatural beings) have a small role here but there is the feeling they will play a bigger part in future books.
On the minus side - I feel the story is let down by poor editing, especially in the first half of the book. Overuse of certain words distracts from the flow of the writing and 100 pages is a long time to wait for a story to get going.