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Book pick: DD Barant’s ‘Dying Bites’ is thriller literally out of this world! January 13, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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So my little sis from Philly (San) will send me books to read and blurbs on books she likes. Here’s one we both love. DYING BITES by DD Barant. San says “I love tough chicks.  You know the girl, with or without supernatural powers … your choice … who is tough enough to do battle with the bad guys and also smart enough to verbally spar with her nemesis, too.” That’s what the heroine of this book has got. Jace Valchek can physically fight and mentally beat her enemies to a pulp. We both think DYING BITES is the start of a promising new series!

So here’s the premise of the story. Jace Valchek is an FBI profiler who tracks mentally fractured killers.  David Cassius, head vampire of the NSA, rips her from her world and hires her to solve a series of bizarre murder of vampires and werewolves. Yup — we’re talking a parallel universe here. A place where only 1 percent of the population is human. Who or what else is there? Lycanthropes (43%), vampires (37%)(, golem (19%).  Jace is stranded in a world that doesn’t understand  mental illness  and has loads of weird paranormal creatures . She can only return to her world when she’s captured or eliminated the serial killer. But there’s a twist. The killer might be human. Oh, did we mention that some of these other paranormal creatures want to wipe out what’s left of the human race? In this book Barant creates an interesting “other” world.  This new world and our reality at one time had a shared history.  At some time in the past, however, the paranormal creatures broke away from our world.  As the differences that define the two worlds are revealed, there are interesting differences and tweaks.

Jace is a tough chick but not annoyingly so.  She gets kicked around a bit but keeps on fighting. She’s not a damsel in distress. As a human in a paranormal universe, she is at the bottom of the food chain but she is gutsy and funny.  Jace begins to develop friendships with her partner, a golem, a nerdy werewolf and a vampire. She even kind of likes her doc, who looks in on her from time to time to see how she’s adjusting to her new world.

It’s not a surprise, but not all is revealed in this first book.  For example, there are serious questions about who Jace can trust in this new universe.  There are questions about the shadowy past of the NSA. There is also clearly the beginning of love interests in this book as well but there are several potential problems with these candidates, too.

Barant writes her book in first person. But it’s great. You always know what the other characters are feeling since they all kind of feel a little bit of empathy for her. You won’t find any hot and heavy sex scenes or profanity. But there is a lot of wit, sarcasm and dry humor since Jace finds that our worlds have take some quirky turns in history. And if you like crime stories — this one is an interesting one. It’s kind of gory in parts when a body’s been ripped apart in some obscene way. But there’s nothing offensive or gross. This is a fast-paced fun read that had us laughing in a lot of spots and wondering what would happen next!

And remember, the next book in her series — DEATH BLOWS — comes out in March!


1. Diana McCabe - January 13, 2010

Can’t wait for her next book. Not a ton of info out there about the author … other than she writes under many names and DD Barant is one of them …. she lives in Vancouver. She’s 46. Here’s more from her myspace page:

“I enjoy pseudo-science, the musical stylings of Phil Collins, and Sudoku. Okay, that last one isn’t true. Things I love: chocolate cherry ice cream, cats, dogs, our local nude beach, hot tubs, comics, science fiction, thrillers, mysteries, Spaghetti Westerns, monster movies, good conversation with interesting people, sex, making people laugh, and playing in other people’s sandboxes. I mean, my own sandbox is very cool and customized, but hey, those guys over there have the coolest toys! Can we share?”


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