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Black Dog Blues

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Black Dog Blues (2014) Rhys Ford

Black Dog BluesKai Gracen makes his way in the human world as a Stalker–someone who kills the inhuman monsters that crossed over when the world merged with Underhill.

Being elfin in a world of humans, following the war between the elfin and humans isn’t easy, but it’s his life, and one he can succeed at.

Unfortunately, a Dawn Court is being set up in San Diego, and the elfin lord setting it up wants Kai to join.

This story reminder me very strongly of two different supernatural fantasy series. One is Ilona Andrews Kate Daniel’s world, because of change and destruction of the world as we would know it, caused by magic (in this case, the appearance of Underhill).

But even more strongly it reminded me of Rob Thurman‘s Cal & Nico series, only without Nico to soften Cal and help him remain human. Like Cal, Kai is a monster. Like Cal, Kai was tortured by the monsters that created him. Like Cal, Kai was part of an experiment, although for Cal it was the impregnation of human women in an attempt to continue the magical race, rather than here where the creation was… to create a being to torture.

And that brings me to part of the problem I had with the story. The monsters are monstrous but the reasons seem to be solely for a joy of being awful, which is NOT something I enjoy at all. This discovery came much later in the series, or else I might have stopped reading, because I really dislike torture seemingly for the sake of torture. The monsters have no cause other than to torture and destroy. (In the Cal and Nico book, they wanted a permanent gate into our world, which Cal would help provide. The monsters and their actions there are alien and incomprehensible. In this book, it seemed evil overlord human rather than alien. That might seem like a small difference, but it’s significant.)

Also, Kai seemed to run hot and cold with Ryder, and I never quite understood why. Or rather, I understood why he wouldn’t want to have anything to do with either court. I didn’t get why he wanted to work with Ryder at all.

I also have a hard time believe that he was as good of a person as he kept being, considering how he was raised. He really should have been far more of a monster and a sociopath without having a decent being step in to show him care and kindness. Do I think he could function in society as he was raised? Yes. Do I think he could have learned to care about other beings beside himself? Honestly, no.

What I particularly liked about the story was the thought that went into why the elfin had such a low birth rate–and how that would shape elfin society.

I’m making a serious accusation; infanticide is one of the most heinous crimes a sidhe can be charged with. The justices haven’t yet decided if the twins are even elfin.

I also thought the world-building was very well done, considering this was just on the edge of being a dystopia (and I do not like dystopias at all). I did want to know more about the world and how it came to be. But I’m not certain I believed why many of the creatures within that world behaved the way they did.

I borrowed this from the library, and unfortunately for me, they didn’t have a kindle edition, so I had to read it on my phone, which is NOT my favorite way to read ebooks, so that didn’t help me become fully immersed in the story the way I usual can, which may be why I had a harder time suspending disbelief.

Will I read the next book in the series? I’m undecided. I’m not interested buying it for the price its currently available, but I’m also not interested in reading on my phone.

So, we’ll see.

Publisher: DSP Publications
Rating: 6/10

Categories: Fantasy, LGBT, Supernatural     Comments (0)    



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