Dead Man Rising
Published 2006 370 pages
Necromance and bounty hunter Dante Valentine has been throwing herself into her work to avoid having to think about her problems and her past. Before he died her dead demon lover Japhrimel physically changed her into a hedaira, something that is not quite a demon but yet is no longer wholly human either. Japhrimel’s death and her mysterious demon powers are two things that Dante doesn’t want to think about, taking on one dangerous bounty after another means that she doesn’t have to.
When psions all over the city are brutally murdered and Dante is called to try and raise the spirit of the latest victim it seems like it will be yet another way to avoid having to deal with her grief. However the spirit’s chilling message, “Remember Rigger Hall” just opens old wounds. Rigger Hall is the institution that Dante lived and was educated in as an orphaned child. Investigating the murders means having to remember Rigger Hall, something that Dante has spent the last 10 years trying to forget.
The Headmaster of Rigger Hall was a Feeder, a psychic vampire, whose abuses of his students went unchecked for many years until he finally was killed. Rigger Hall was closed and abandoned after the enquiry into his abuses which was over 10 years ago, so what does it have to do with the psions who are being murdered now?
To stop the killer Dante must face the ghosts of her past but her nightmares are just beginning….
Lilith Saintcrow has successfully crafted a futuristic world where the gritty urban landscape meshes seamlessly with a reworking of established myth to create a whole new world that is uniquely her own.
There are two types of vampire in this world, Feeders, psychic vampires who feed off the stolen powers of other psions, and Nichtvren - who are a more traditional type of vampire. The Nichtvren feed off human blood and were once human until they were infected with vampirism through a blood exchange which magically altered them in to something non-human. The leader of the Nichtvren is portrayed like most modern vampires, night club owning, immensely wealthy and a politically powerful figure. The Nichtvren have a small role in Dead Man Rising but hopefully we will see more of them in future novels.
Like a lot of sci-fi fantasy novels Dead Man Rising has lots of jargon and there is a glossary in the back of the book to help you sort out your Nichtvren from your Werecain. It also explains some of the terms and history of Dante’s futuristic world.
While the author has filled in the back story to this book very well there is a lot to cover so I would recommend reading Working For The Devil, the first Dante Valentine novel, first (it is an excellent read even though it has no vampires in it!) In the first part of Dead Man Rising the back story can be a little repetitive but the second half of the novel more than makes up for this with its exciting action and the pages just fly by.
Summing up, Dead Man Rising has something in it for every reader. There is paranormal romance, horror, crime, fantasy and action melded together to make a fast paced and engaging read. Dante Valentine, bounty hunter and necromance, has something of early Anita Blake about her and I for one like it!
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