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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 in a good series.
I bought both books by this author, Melissa Olsen , and have been very impressed. Good strong female lead, good storylines and urban fantasy premise. Fairly easy to read, so good for holidays or long trips, but I think they are more suited to the older teen age group. I enjoyed them, but the writing is a bit '90210', if you get my drift. Very Californian, and if the...
Published 9 months ago by Calum

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas but average execution
I struggled a bit when reading this book because it is the second in a series where the events are very much a result of what happened in Book 1. I hadn't read the first book so I was a bit adrift in places but I did gather enough about what had happened beforehand to be able to understand this story.

I really liked the idea of Scarlett being a "null". She...
Published 5 months ago by Anne


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 in a good series., 4 July 2013
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I bought both books by this author, Melissa Olsen , and have been very impressed. Good strong female lead, good storylines and urban fantasy premise. Fairly easy to read, so good for holidays or long trips, but I think they are more suited to the older teen age group. I enjoyed them, but the writing is a bit '90210', if you get my drift. Very Californian, and if the heorine 'rolled her eyes' once she must have done it on every page!! (Quite annoying, actually!)
Still, I'm nit-picking. A good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas but average execution, 20 Oct 2013
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Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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I struggled a bit when reading this book because it is the second in a series where the events are very much a result of what happened in Book 1. I hadn't read the first book so I was a bit adrift in places but I did gather enough about what had happened beforehand to be able to understand this story.

I really liked the idea of Scarlett being a "null". She effectively nullifies magic, is impervious to it and when supernatural creatures are near her they become human. It's a great idea. I also liked her job - a crime scenes cleaner for the supernatural community. I didn't like the fact that like virtually every other urban fantasy novel I have read recently Scarlett appears to be attracted to two men and not to be able to choose between them.

This story involves an evil vampire who has history with Scarlett trying to attract her attention and do her harm, and unusually has a glimpse of Jewish mythology as well. Scarlett narrates some chapters and others are written from the point of view of Jesse who is the police officer who is human but drawn into the supernatural world. This didn't completely work for me as I found the change in narrative style to be too big a jump and I am not sure that the book wouldn't have worked as well if the whole thing had been narrated by Scarlett - the chapters about Jesse didn't really add to the story.

The problem I found with the book is that the author kept introducing refinements of the supernatural powers and magical artifacts. We kept finding out that Scarlett could do more than we thought, that particular witches had helpful additional skills, that there were amulets to help with problems and that there were a raft of magical items with different powers. It did mean that the tension didn't really build up because there always seemed to be a solution to everything.

I didn't find the story very engaging, which was sad as the ideas were clever. I might have rated it higher if I had read the first book in the series but I didn't enjoy this book enough to seek it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 9 Sep 2013
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Good book, bit of a different approach to a vampire book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys vampire style books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Naivete and a Lack of Character Growth, 19 July 2013
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This is the second book in a new series, but don't worry as this can be read as a stand-alone. The author goes through great pains doing a lot of rehashing, especially with the main characters.

I did expect some character growth with this novel, unfortunately that did not happen. If anything, Scarlett has taken a bit of a trip backwards on the self-doubt train and is constantly bemoaning about her life and her friends and what her `gift' has done to both and what it will do in the future. There is a lot of Scarlett revisiting her past and a lot of her blaming herself for anything and everything that ever happened to her and her family. It gets to a point that she will purposely walk into sure death if she thinks it will save someone else. Of course, that is if you are looking at things through a very nave persons eyes and not with some logic!

The plot itself was somewhat interesting, but with a little too much back story and history to keep me sufficiently interested.

What is interesting is that the story is told from two of the main characters - both Scarlett and the human police officer Jesse.

The ending almost made the entire book worthwhile, but you must be a very patient reader to get to that point. There is enough left open to set up for the next book in this series, with both the `love-triangle' and with Scarlett's health and her abilities. Somehow, I have a funny feeling her abilities, beyond her null-ness will be called into question and will be growing to fit the next situation she manages to get herself into. And I think that is what bothers me most of all -Scarlett manages to get herself into these messes and then expects others to get her out of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still bucking the trends in Urban Fantasy, 3 May 2013
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Taliesin_ttlg (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Despite the fact that there were some vampire related revelations at the end of Dead Spots, the first book in this series, which I thought were hokey I was very impressed with Melissa F Olson's opening novel.

The stories are set on a stage in which our world and the Old World live side by side; the Old World filled with witches, vampires and werewolves and hidden from view. This secrecy is maintained by cleaners, persons employed by the Old World to clean up messes prior to discovery and investigation by the human world. If things go wrong the vampires can step in and press the minds of the humans, but so much the better if the situation can just be cleaned.

Scarlett, the central protagonist, is the Los Angeles cleaner and is a Null, a rare breed whose very presence switches the magic off within a field they project. Vampires are alive, werewolves are human and witches can't cast. Thrown into the mix is Jesse, a handsome LAPD detective who has stumbled onto the Old World and whose presence is tolerated by the leaders of the three breeds.

This volume continued the bucking of the trend that book 1 started in that the chapters flip between first and third person. So whilst we do walk with Scarlett, the annoying trend that suggests all urban fantasy has to be first person is buckled and this adds a welcome literary dimension to the process. The story itself continues on from threads developed in the last book with the crimes centred around Scarlett and this leads to some excellent character development.

Definitely an up and up series if this volume is anything to go by, I look forward to book 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Scarlett Bernard" series book 2, 28 April 2013
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Book Addict - See all my reviews
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The exciting life of Scarlett continues in the second instalment of this fast moving, paranormal adventure. As a Null, Scarlett occupies a unique place in the supernatural world. Any vampire, werewolf or witch who enters her magical radar loses their power, and as a result Scarlett is often called in to handle supernatural situations that poor mortals shouldn't know about. Yet her almost boyfriend from book 1 Jesse cannot accept what she does during her clean-ups and this ultimately pulls them apart. Jesse may remain aware, and even learn to be trusted by the magical community, yet he's trying to move on from Scarlett and in this book starts up a relationship with someone else.

There is again a growing trail of dead bodies as Scarlett's nemesis Olivia tries to get her back into her clutches. Witches are being murdered, a magical talisman is stolen and Olivia begins to target those Scarlett holds most dear. Of course Scarlett would rather face a bullet than have her friends endangered.

I liked that Scarlett explored her unusual and rare ability, and uncovered additional skills. I also thought that she remained a feisty heroine throughout, even when feeling at her most defeated. Unlike book 1 in which I thought she disappointedly crumbled after the finale, in ToD she remained a tough character throughout; doing things she would have seemed incapable of in the first book. There is constant action and a good level of mystery (even though we all know who the villain is) and the romance; although sedate, leaves you wondering who Scarlett will end up with; human detective Jesse or werewolf Eli. Any fans of a strong female character who holds a unique position in a magical world (such as "Kate Daniels" or "Anita Blake") will thoroughly enjoy this book. 4 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book two in the series, 25 April 2013
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DebB (Oxfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This starts 3 months from the first book, (Dead Spots) in which Scarlett discovered she has abilities other nulls don't apparently have - although with only 9 of them known in the world, it doesn't seem that strange no one knows much about them. A null is someone who nullifies supernaturals, or Old Worlders as they're called here, turning them temporarily human when when they are within her "radius" - typically the same room.

Scarlett isn't in a relationship with either of the two males that were around at the end of book 1 - Jesse a human policeman and Eli a werewolf. Jesse has problems with what Scarlett does - as in clean up crime sites to hide Old World involvement from the police and everyone else. He finds it immoral to clean away evidence that could lead to a prosecution. And as for Eli - who I had great hopes for (!), Scarlett can't cope with something that happened between them in the first book, so she pushes him away all the time. To his credit he maintains a steady gentle push back, but in true urban fantasy style, she fancies 'em both!

As the blurb says, something is killing witches, and Jesse thinks the killings are Old World connected. He wants Scarlett to help him find out who, which she's reluctant to do, only because she feels human police and the Old World can't work together. She tries to convince the witches to work with him instead, but they'll only have him if she comes along as well. After a little moral arm twisting, she agrees to help. When it quickly becomes clear the killings are related to someone scary from Scarlett's past, everyone - Jesse, the wolves, the vampires and the witches - agrees Scarlett needs a body guard, and Jesse gets the job.

The perspective switches from Scarlett's, in the first person, to Jesse's, in the third person. This is a slightly odd shift initially, but one that settles in fine and gives a depth to the story as you get to see things from his perspective, and you get scenes without Scarlett. The ratio is probably about (roughly) 70:30 Scarlett:Jesse, so this remains primarily Scarlett's story.

There's the usual witches, vampires and wolves, some ancient artefacts, some info on how the witches do what they do, some betrayals, some nasty murders and a tight finish. You learn something of Olivia's past, but nothing really to explain why she becomes the adult she does, nor why she does what she eventually does. The very end is surprising - events are not kind to Eli and, as Scarlett says "... I cried for Eli who was broken". Well, she sort of fixes him, but whether he'll thank her remains to be seen - that's for book 3 I expect!

I enjoyed this, although as I said in my review for book 1, Jesse doesn't connect for me. Things happen to him rather than him taking control. To be fair, he comes up trumps in the end, but I'm still an Eli gal!

This is well written, and eminently readable. It isn't maybe as tight as others in the genre (I'm thinking Ilona Andrews, Patty Briggs...), but it's a hell of a lot better than an awful lot of them. This is a good sequel that you could probably read without having read book 1, but then you'd miss a lot of the background and set up, so why not start at the beginning - it was well reviewed here on Amazon and is worth the read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read, 7 April 2014
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A bit different to my usual read but it is quite good and so will carry on with any more published in the series :-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars I, m hooked, 12 Jan 2014
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Melissa was a new author for me so I wasnt sure what I would think. However I loved the characters and am now hooked. I can't wait for the next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed reading, 5 Jan 2014
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Enjoyed reading the second book in the series as much as the first book. Hope you enjoy It as well
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