Dead Man Rising by Lilith Saintcrow
Dead Man Rising is the second book in Lilith Saintcrow’s DANTE VALENTINE series. Dante, a freelance necromance, has lived through her first assignment for the devil. (She didn’t want to work for him, but the devil can be very persuasive.) Now Dante’s brooding because her demon lover is dead and she’s just had a nasty surprise about her own heritage. When her friend Gabe, the police investigator, calls to tell her that her old school friends are being brutally murdered, Dante, with the help of her ex-boyfriend Jace, sets out to solve the crimes. Thus not only does Dante have to deal with her current grief, but she has to face her horrible past, too.
I didn’t like the first DANTE VALENTINE book, Working for the Devil (reviewed here), but I decided to give Dante another chance since Brilliance Audio sent me the whole series to review and it wasn’t costing me any money. The narration by Tanya Eby is excellent.
Unfortunately, I liked Dead Man Rising even less than I liked Working for the Devil. It takes a long time to get going and Dante spends most of her time in this book brooding about her childhood and whining about the dead (maybe) demon and her injury. She’s wallowing in self-pity and it goes on and on both inside her head and out her mouth until she’s nearly incapacitated. (You’d think that someone as tough as Dante Valentine could manage to cope a little better). Meanwhile, Jace is pining for her (I have no idea why) and she lets him be her sidekick, move into her house and sleep in her bed all the while telling him they’ll never be together. What a bitch.
The reason I didn’t like the first DANTE VALENTINE book was because I didn’t like Dante. She’s rude, mean, and bitchy. She’s even less likeable now that we add cold-hearted drama queen to the mix. Since Dead Man Rising spends more time listening to Dante whine than kill demons, it’s just unpleasant in every way.
Dante Valentine — (2006-2008) Publisher: When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call? The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody’s business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell. The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It’s an offer she can’t refuse. The Catch: How do you kill something that can’t die?
You made it twice as far into this series as I did. I disliked the first book so much that I’ve made it a policy to avoid Saintcrow’s work ever since.
Terry, did you dislike it for the same reasons I did?