Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Afterlife tour hosted by AToMR Promotions. Today, I have my review of this truly awesome read for you. Thanks so very much for stopping by RoloPoloBookBlog and have a fantastic day 🙂
The fine thread between reality and the fantastical has snapped. The mortal and supernatural must learn to co-exist in post-reality Minneapolis/St. Paul where video games leak monsters into the night, demons roam, thirsting for more than just blood, people are not who or what they seem and a diabolical evil plots and plans to devour the world.
Lily Starbuck’s day doesn’t start well with blood on the horizon and a grumpy werewolf who refuses to pay his catering bill. Her day only gets worse when she finds out that her business partner in their catering company has embezzled all their available cash.
Lily can get no answers from her partner when she finds her dead. That’s the least of her worries—her landlord is evicting her, she’s being hounded by the Fairy Dust Administration (FDA) who suspects that her partner was dealing in illegal dust, and Lily’s pissed off their werewolf supplier.
With Lily’s very livelihood in jeopardy, she has no choice but to discover who killed her partner and try to track down the cash. She has only Spocko, a small, wizened gnome with just a bit of gremlin blood in him that makes him cantankerous at best to depend on, but he often goes invisible on her. Clues lead her to an open case being investigated by Otherworld Security (O.S.) and the tough O.S. Warden, shapeshifter, Tam Darkwood. And, at the outset of the investigation, a tiny, mythical fire-breathing, red dragon joins her as her trusty (and opinionated) sidekick, Kindle.
It seems a rogue mage has created a video game that is unwarded and game monsters are being released to terrorize the citizens of the Twin Cities. Trouble is Lily has reason to believe that this mage killed her partner.
The investigation takes an unexpected turn when they are led to influential and powerful Archmage Tarquin Wilding and somehow Lily finds herself embroiled in a sinister shadow Fae plot. With her friends at her side, she tackles dangerous and unpredictable supernaturals and monsters with an “all in a day’s work” attitude.
Zoe Dawson fans, listen the hell up!! If you have been looking at the cover of this book, reading the synopsis and, wondering what in the world Zoe Dawson, Queen of Contemporary Romance is doing writing an urban fantasy/paranormal book, stop wondering and READ IT!! Afterlife is fantastic read with sarcastic, kick ass, sexy and, delightfully weird characters. And then there is the plot 🙂
Lily Starbuck remembers absolutely nothing about her life prior to three years ago. She simply woke up to a very different world with nothing and no one to help her. When Olivia found Lily, she took her under her wing, gave her home, an identity, helped her open an awesome catering business and, helped Lily, a talented Earth witch relearn all the skills she had lost. For three years, Lily has felt safe, welcome and most importantly, as if she is discovering herself and making a real life for herself. All of the safety and security Lily has grown so very accustomed to is ripped away the moment Olivia is brutally murdered in their apartment and Lily is under investigation and flat broke thanks to Olivia and some very inappropriate behavior that got her dead.
Lily is completely blindsided by Olivia’s betrayal, losing the business they built together and, on the verge of eviction. To say Lily is one pissed off witch wouldn’t even come close. Though she feels the betrayal deeply Olivia also knows there must have been a damn fine reason for Olivia to make the choices she did. Determined to solve the mystery of her dear friend’s murder Lily enlists the help of her gnome friend (and roommate) Nock and begins to work some serious magic. Turns out, Lily isn’t the only one interested in Olivia’s murder and the situations she finds herself in as she investigates are sometimes totally bewildering, often dangerous, from time to time a little naughty (mmmm, Talon Sunstrike!) and, always entertaining. The twists and turns the Dawson throws into this read are always crazy, always appropriate and always, always, always damn entertaining!! From the second this book takes off it just doesn’t stop and with every page I found myself deeper and deeper in Lily Starbuck’s world and glad to be there. There’s fighting, there’s some really awesome magic, there’s a frickin’ dragon, there’s a Dirt Elevator, there’s some fantastic characters, there’s some excellent cuisine and, there’s lust and sex. What else could you possibly want in a book? Seriously?
The Bottom Line: In truth, I was really nervous about this read. I am a slutty big fan of Zoe Dawson’s contemporary romance reads and this read is just so very different. I had no idea what to expect when I cracked the virtual cover on this one but at the end of the day, I’m in love with Lily Starbuck and her crazy, crazy world. Dawson has created a world that is at once very like her contemporary romances and very different. For myself, Afterlife is a brilliant combination of all the things I like in a read: strong characters, excellent dialogue, a paranormal plot and, everything woven together into a fast-paced and exciting read. I am more than ready for round two of the Starbuck Chronicles!
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.