Author: J.B. Dane
Series: The Raven Tales #1
Otherworld evil is loose in the real world. Bram Farrell, Private Investigator, must track it down and destroy it before it destroys him.
Bram Farrell has starred in twenty bestselling novels by writer—and witch—Calista Amberson. Her fans love the tall, dark, and handsome PI who vanquishes supernatural bad guys using his magical powers. So, when Calista uses her magic to pull Bram from his fictional world into real-world, modern-day Detroit, she rocks both worlds.
Every supernatural being on Earth felt his arrival in this dimension. They don’t trust Calie’s intentions and Bram doesn’t either. When the supernatural community hands him the job of discovering who killed the beings in the real world that match those he killed in each volume of The Raven Tales, he takes on the task. It’s a job he’s done in twenty books—he’s up to the familiar challenge.
Bram’s investigation turns up a lot of suspicious characters grouchy bar-owning trolls, a thirsty vampire godfather, a couple of murderous x-cage fighters, a suspicious minister¬¬—and the Devil himself. Things are getting dicey: Bram could use some help with this job—but whom can he trust?
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Urban Fantasy is one of my favourite genres. Well, I even dare to say it is even the genre I enjoy the most; but, for reasons I don’t even know, I barely read any book that falls into that category. Maybe I could make the more often reading of Urban Fantasy one oy my New Year Resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves that we tend to ignore way too easily. Sorry, I’m digressing… again. Let’s review the book!!
In this book we travel to Detroit to meet Bram, the main character of a successful Urban Fantasy saga who has been brought to life thanks to his creator, an elderly witch called Calie. The intentions of that summon are not clear, but being Bram a fictional detective he is very focused on discovering them. But that is not going to be his only mission. The supernatural community of Detroit contacts him to investigate several murders that are eerily similar to the ones described in the twenty books written by Calie. Will The Raven solve the mystery or will the mystery kill The Raven? That’s a question I’m not answering for you…
I have an aquired taste for crazy stories without filters where you can find the wildest interpretations of myths and supernatural creatures. There is not such thing as too much imagination in my opinion. This book is a clear example of it, but it is also its main issue (more on that later). Do you want magic, witches, vampires, zombies, trolls… all in the same story? Go no further. Raven’s Moon have all of that and even more. It’s a very enjoyable supernatural fest, where the readers don’t know what they are going to find in the next page. This first volume of the saga is a total declaration of intentions about its future. If you don’t enjoy a world brimming with supernatural creatures tyrying to live a normal life, then you should skip it. I happen to love that, so I will stick to it as long as the publishers let me. It’s not only superb in craziness. It also has a very fast pace with a lot of action scenes and revelations that will keep you engaged during the whole story.
There is so much going on, that sometimes I felt overwhelmed with all the data being fed to me; which provoked me getting lost several times during the story. Our good detective Bram not only has to reveal Calie’s intention while following her orders, he also needs to investigate twenty murders of supernatural creatures, deal with the attempts against his life and discover himself in that new world beyond paper and ink. Twenty murders are too many. He jumped from one to the other without much notice, throwing at the reader facts, dates, names… I knew all had to be related, so I tried to keep track of all the information given; but it soon became too much to handle and I just hoped for a good ending where everything is orderly resumed. We get than ending. It is a good ending with a huge twist I wasn’t expecting, but the emotional impact should have been bigger. As a reader, I was more focused matching the final punch with the rest of the story to really enjoy what I was being told.
This could have been a really bad experience if the main character were annoying to read. Thankfully, Bram is far from a bad character in my humble opinion. The whole book is narrated from his point of view, so the fact that he is an enjoyable guy to read has made the reading a smooth pleasure. Since the first moment, we get to see how the poor guy struggles between the person that he was in the books and the new person he has become. He needs to relearn almost everything, because he has never really experienced life: flavours, touch, sleep, sexual attraction… He has knowledge of it, but no real practice. That is an interesting point of the story that is sadly barely used or mentioned in passing (the author needed more space for the investigation of so much murder…), but it is one of the reason why it is so easy to fall in love with the guy. The other is his sense of humor. Bram is comedy gold if you happen to enjoy sarcasm, dark humor and caustic comebacks. He uses all of that as a self-defense mechanism and a way to cope with all the crazy expectations thrown into his shoulders.
In the characters deparment, Bram hoards all the slices of the cake. There are dozens of other characters, but not a single one of them has a presence or personality worth of mentioning. They are just required pawns to put the story in the proper track. In future books I would like to get to know much better the cook, P. T. Her weird relationship with Bram could be a lot of fun and develop great chemistry between the two of them. Sam has also been a great guy to meet, but maybe he could be too much for a story. He could bring too much imbalance to the power distribution. I would be sad if he were transformed into a real bad guy, but that would be smarter storywise.
As I said, this is a really fun book with a great character and a crazy story. Yes, sometimes we get much more than we can chew and there are several holes in the plot, but nothing that could lessen the enjoyment of Bram’s adventures.
Let’s release a new mini-section about English words. As you may have noticed, I’m a non-English speaker reviewing in English because it seems I have zero shame about butchering this language. But I try to learn with every book I read, so in this section I will bring to you a word that I have learned thanks to the story being reviewed. Here we go!!
haberdashery: A shop in which men’s clothing and accessories are sold.
This is the North American definition of that word and the one that fits the conext in the book. I’m not sure I’m going to use this one very often, though. According to some dictionaries it is an old-fashioned word, so it makes sense that a guy like Bram uses it.