Review: Frost Moon (Skindancer Series # 1) by Anthony Francis
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! So read on with confidence and let your curiosity get the best of you!***
As a magical tattoo artist and skin dancer, Dakota Frost is not only powerful, she’s smart, resourceful, and a little too big for her britches. When some real life MIB’s come to her for help solving a case involving a serial killer who cuts magical tattoos from the bodies of living victims, she finds herself skirting the line between regular folks and those who are not so regular — the Edgeworlders, made up of vampires, were-creatures, and anything and everything in between. It’s a dangerous place to walk full of unexpected pitfalls and treachery. GraveTells thinks its Worth A Look!
- Title: Frost Moon
- Series: Skindancer — Book #1
- Author: Anthony Francis
- Prominent Characters: Dakota, Jinx, Phillip, Cinnamon, Wulf
- Recommended reader age: 17+
- Sexual content level: Little to none, although there are some descriptions of people in bondage gear and talk of BDSM play
Dakota took me a while to warm up to. She seems brash, arrogant, and just sort of, well, weird in the beginning of this book. She’s super tall, has a “death hawk” hair do, is covered in tattoos, carries herself with no small amount of swagger and bravado. . . . . It’s not that I disliked her outright, I just had a hard time relating to her. I haven’t ever met a model tall bisexual woman with crazy hair and tattoos that has men drooling over her. Plus her attitude is just off putting. She’s obviously smart and very respected in her field. But she seems to delight in making others uncomfortable as a defense mechanism. I spent about the first quarter of the book struggling because I couldn’t see where I had any common ground with her other than sharing the same sex organs.
And then Some Very Bad Things Happened to her. Suddenly Dakota realized she wasn’t as bad ass as she had thought. She started to have some healthy fear of the supernaturals around her, and a side of her emerged that was more human, more woman, less chick written by a dude so the chick almost seems like a dude. (Seriously folks, she really seemed not much like a girl until she got her little world shaken up a bit.) Now, don’t take that to mean I wanted the Very Bad Things to happen. But suddenly she was less scary biker chick with stupid hair, and more scared human being who is really grateful for her friends and stops being an ass as often.
Once the plot started rolling, it gained momentum right up to the end. There’s a serial killer on the loose and that problem interconnects with what seem like a bunch of secondary plot arcs that end up being woven together really well. I often don’t like mystery novels because I figure out the bad guy and have the mystery decoded so early into the plot. Not this time. I was surprised with what happened in the end and well satisfied with how it all tied together.
The characters in this novel are very well drawn, and the alternate version of Atlanta is brilliant. It uses just enough made up and imaginary world mixed with Atlanta as we know it to create a really cool setting that begs further exploration. Urban Fantasy works well when it manages to blend places we are familiar with into circumstances and situations we are not and then sprinkles in a healthy dose of humans trying to co-exist with supernaturals. Mr. Francis manages this beautifully.
Boobs. Paving the way to good interpersonal relations since the Garden of Eden:
Finally I collared a pimply-faced teen manning the Customer Service kiosk, whose end-of-day funk brightened considerably as soon as he saw my breasts.
Look out for MIB in your neighborhood. They may just be hawt and have their own flying machines:
I’d just met one of the fabled “black-helicopter men” of conspiracy theories and New World Order fame, and he was darned cute. Talk about having men falling out of the sky…
These cops will take a pint of O-positive. Hold the donuts.
I still couldn’t wrap my head around the vampires being Atlanta’s force of supernatural law and order.
If you liked Frost Moon of the Dakota Frost series…
You might also like the Mercy Thompson Series for its blend of natural and supernatural, well drawn mysteries and a smart, capable heroine. (I know, I know, I go on and on about Mercy. But she’s sooo awesome! )
You may also like the early Anita Blake novels for their blend of police work, violence, and an often out matched heroine who manages to triumph in the face of Evil and Very Bad Things.
In the end I liked this book a lot more than I had thought I would. But it wasn’t one that I felt compelled to read and couldn’t put it down even if I was on fire and someone had stolen all my mint hot cocoa. Dakota Frost definitely redeemed herself to me by the end of the book, but I still find it hard to relate to her simply because of her life style choices and my constant state of distraction every time there was mention of her hair. I kept wondering why anyone would want to do that to their head, how does it stay up, why are all these men and women so hot to get in her pants even though she’s rather surly in the beginning, etc.
There is a good twist to the mystery and the author doesn’t pull punches when it comes to consequences for actions and the pacing is well done. Overall a pretty good read.
Rating: Frost Moon
- Buy Frost Moon (Skindancer series #1): Amazon
- Buy Blood Rock (Skindancer series #2): Amazon
- Buy Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake series #1): Amazon
- Buy Moon Called (Mercy Thompson series #1): Amazon
http://www.dresan.com/ – Anthony Francis’ website
http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/ – Laurell K. Hamilton’s website
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/ – Patricia Briggs’ website
*Thanks to NetGalley for allowing GraveTells to review this book. No payment or compensation was received for this review and the opinions herein are honest and unaffected by any outside factors.