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Monday, May 26, 2008
Book: Dead to Me by Anton Strout
Dead to Me is Anton Strout's debut novel, the first in what I believe to be a series featuring character Simon Canderous. I've seen it described as a cross between Ghost Busters and Men in Black, and I think that's pretty accurate.
Simon is a former petty criminal, who has turned his powers of psychometry (the ability to divine information from touching an object, very hard on the love life) to the good by joining the Department of Extra Ordinary Affairs, Other Division. The Other Division, basically gets to do anything that no other department wants to, or is capable of doing, so they get all the most bizarre and difficult tasks. It's no suprise that Simon gets mixed up in all kinds of trouble, and in way over his head as he tries to help a newly made ghost, get a handle on his powers, and ends up uncovering a much bigger nightmare in the process.
This was a very fun read, lots of humor mixed into paranormal/urban fantasy. Fans of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series would probably like this one, although Simon certainly isn't quite as much of a tragic hero. He's a teensy bit of a schmuck (but that's part of what makes him who he is), and tends to avoid things that he just doesn't want to deal with, which usually allows them to turn into much bigger problems than they would have been, in at least one case fatally, which is something his conscience will have to deal with. For the first of a series, it was a lot of fun! One of my favorite parts, and this is silly, but I loved the names on all the bureau flyers and seminars, those cracked me up! I recommend it, and can't wait to see what kind of trouble Simon gets into next!
Check out Anton Strout's website here