Deadly Shades Of Gold (2013)
Deadly Shades of Gold (2013)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 5
Hot Corner Press
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Deadly Shades of GoldBy LE Harner and TA WebbFour starsThis second book in the Altered States series picks right up on the cliff-hanger from Deep Blues Goodbye. Sam Garrett, New Orleans detective on the Paranormal Investigation team, known as the Odd Squad, wakes up to find that his world has changed forever. As a newly-minted werewolf under the protection of Russ Evans and his pack, Sam has no choice but to see the world through new eyes, as he and his former police partner Travis Boudreau have to discover the identity and the motivations behind a series of preternatural killings in the Crescent City. With echoes of the film “The Big Easy” and “True Blood” flickering in my head, not to mention Anne Rice’s many books set in New Orleans, I kept trying to wrap my mind around the complications inherent in unraveling Louisiana mob crimes with a not entirely trustworthy police force, all mixed in with corrupt vampires and werewolves who have decided to take advantage of their superior powers to cash in on human weaknesses. Sort of makes one’s head spin.I was a little disappointed that detective Danny Burkette doesn’t get much to do in this book, which focuses more on Sam and Travis and their readjustments, both to their altered states and to being friends again. A black gay cop prejudiced against preternaturals has a lot of baggage to unpack, and we get a front-row seat for Sam’s struggles with his new identity. Travis, turned into a vampire and abandoned by Henri du Champ, oldest vampire in Louisiana, has never quite come to terms with who he is and what that really means. All of this makes for interesting reading and is, for me, the best part of this book.The personal aspects of Sam and Travis’ story is set against a truly sinister background: Henri du Champ’s machinations against the Fontaine crime family, and their retaliation against him as they struggle for financial and political gold. We learn about this from multiple viewpoints, most vividly through that of Henri, who, with all the arrogance of an ancient vampire, is sure of his superiority and immortality and has no qualms about destroying innocents, human or otherwise, to ensure his success. There are some scenes that are truly upsetting involved with this dark side of Harner and Webb’s narrative. But I guess when you’ve got organized crime and supernatural creatures mixed up, it’s gonna get ugly. I won’t pretend that this is profound or literary gold; Harner and Webb write well and move the plot forward at a good pace. There is enough romantic interplay for us to care increasingly about the main characters and to ponder what their futures might hold. The setting, in my beloved New Orleans (I’m only a tourist, mind you, but I’ve had family there for decades), is authentic and creates the right tone of faded elegance and vital grubbiness. There’s no cliff-hanger on this one, but the ending is just right to hook us into a keen anticipation of the next book. In a world where vampires and werewolves ally with the cops and the federal government to protect the innocent, anything can happen. Oh, goody. This series has gone off the rails with this one, or did the other books take place in their pants too and I just didn't notice? Good lord. I know supers are supposed to have a heightened sex drive but these guys really do think with their dicks. When they're not actually having sex, they're imagining it in their heads, or "bantering" with sexual innuendo. Lots of hardening and twitching and readjusting themselves. Ugh! It really got ridiculous. And there was virtually no story progression at all. I enjoyed the first two books even though I had to overlook some silliness - like everyone in this world seems to be a gay male - but I'm done now.
keeps getting better and better hope the next book is longer though
I can't wait for the next one.
4.25 stars
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