Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another Kind of Dead (Dreg City #3) by Kelly Meding

Once again, must everyone thinks that Evy Stone is dead but as with the first two books in this series, it doesn't last long.  It all begins with a eathquake caused by two battling fae.  Wyatt calls for information about what is happening but he is stymied by the triads and he and Evy are ordered to sit by the phone. When a fae shows up at their door after being wounded by some kind of biological experiment both Evy and Wyatt are drawn into the struggle.

You would think that with everything that happened in As Lie the Dead and Three Days to Dead, that the triads would just stop assuming that Evy is dead.  I guess the whole fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me thing doesn't apply here.  At any rate, this time Evy is desired for her ability to heal.  Walter Thackery, a scientist who lost his wife to vampirism is determined to find a cure for it and then sell it to the highest bidder.  This should have placed Thackery on the same side as the triads, but the violent methods that he is willing to undertake puts them firmly at war. The problem is that I found it hard to care about Another Kind of Dead.

From the very first novel in this series, Evy is filled with Kellie Independence and Spunky Agency. I can to some degree forgive the Kellie Independence as the triads have tried to kill her on several occasions and there is clearly corruption in the system; however, her constant impulse to quickly slug someone is irritating. Even though it has only been a few weeks in the books, by book three, as a reader I expect to see some sort of growth in a character, but Evy remains exactly the same. I will however say that I am glad that Meding continues to portray Evy having PTSD from the horrible torture that she has suffered.

Instead of growing Evy as a character, Meding choose to try and further develop the relationship between Wyatt and Evy. Wyatt showed great patience and realised that he had to take it slow because of all of things that Evy has been through.  This was actually quite sweet but the fact that they had time to work on their relationship as the world around them was falling apart, made absolutely no sense to me. Of course Meding wraps this up as a fear by both Wyatt and Evy that Evy will die, but it still feels forced.  

My largest problem with Another Kind of Dead, is that it felt like a repeat of the other two books. The human world is in danger and of course, something special about Evy puts her on someone's hit list.  Then Evy, Wyatt a few dregs and a members of triads manage to kick ass, with Evy sustaining some injury but they manage to save the world.  The series for me is really becoming formulaic and it is hard to sustain interest.

I have never been a fan of protracted fight scenes, so for me, this greatly detracted from the story.  It really seemed as though all Evy et al did was move from fight scene to fight scene, with a little relationship angst thrown in.  There hardly seemed to be any investigation going on - it was more of a continual leapfrog between fights. While some of the scenes, particularly from when Evy is getting tortured are difficult to read it did not make up for the fact that Meding is repeating the same pattern and not adding to her world building at all.

Meding's story continues to be erased though there are hints about a possible same sex relationship.  We will have to see if this is developed in book 4.  It is worth mentioning that waiting that long to add more diversity to a series is far too commonplace today and speaks of an authors fears rather than a desire for good representation. 

I am going to continue to give this series a chance, with the hope that Meding will not only add greater diversity, but move away from her formulaic book. She has created a large world with a multitude of supernatural creatures and I can only hope that the characters will at the very least begin to grow.  There is only so many times anyone will be willing to read the same story.