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[Review] The Stubborn Dead by Natasha Hoar

The Stubborn Dead
Natasha Hoar

Cover Copy: Rachel Miller thought her next job was a run-of-the-mill haunting. As a member of the Order of Rescue Mediums it’s her duty to release trapped spirits from the earthly realm. But when called to client Sylvia Elkeles’s house, she finds a wraith who doesn’t act like he should.

The Order considers the wraith an extreme threat and Rachel may be forced to use a barbaric ritual to free him—a ritual that comes with a heavy personal price. If she fails to humanely release the wraith, she’ll have her supernatural abilities bound.

When Janus Ostara—local supernatural mob boss—shows up demanding her attention, and Sylvia keeps secrets that may place Rachel in mortal danger, she doesn’t need her abilities to know something darkly sinister is at play.

Between uncovering Sylvia’s disturbing motives, and avoiding Janus, Rachel has enough on her hands without dealing with a wraith who may not realize he’s supposed to be dead…

20,000 words

My Thoughts: I bought this book after reading The Ravenous Dead. Natasha Hoar somehow sucked me into this world of wraiths and reapers where her heroine, Rachel Miller, must kick ass to save everyone from the monsters.

Rachel Miller is a Rescue Medium. That means she can see ghosts, talk to them, fight them, and send them to the other side. She has a handy-dandy weapon for dealing with ghostly monsters– her tattoo. It charges with energy, and once fully charged, snaps the ghost’s connection to earth and sends it home. In doing so, the tattoo activates four beings that can hear Rachel, but don’t speak to her. Once they are released from the tattoo, they do the heavy work and then disappear. It’s kinda cool. The action and worldbuilding are what made me pick up the book.

Rachel finds herself fighting a kind of wraith she’s never encountered before, an ancient species called the rodach, long thought to be extinct. There’s something odd about the woman who called her into the case, and for some reason, the fae leader of a mob-like organization wants Rachel to join their ranks. Everthing goes to crap when Rachel is ordered to free the human from the rodach or kill him trying. She has forty-eight hours or she’ll be stripped of her powers. Rachel can’t bring herself to kill him, so it’s a fight for his life.

I read the first two books of the series out of order, but I was pleased to find the first wasn’t as info dumpy as the second. I like The Stubborn Dead much better.

The dialogue can at times be almost of the “As you know, Bob” variety with its dispensing of information. I would still like to be shown a lot of this information or have kept to a bare minimum. We don’t really need to know the history of every creature. We just need to know enough for this story. The rest can be tucked away for another story.

I kind of like the short length. I feel like I’m getting a whole story in something I can read in an afternoon.  Plus, they’re short books (20,000-27,000 words) at a good price ($2-$3).

Love the cover art. Well done, Carina Press!

Rating: B
Series: Lost Souls #1
Publisher: Carina Press, 2012
Acquired: Purchased

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At this time, The Stubborn Dead is not available at Amazon or Chapters/Indigo.

About Sara Walker

Sara Walker is the founder of Urban Fantasy Land, a website established in 2008 that specializes in promoting urban fantasy and speculative fiction through book reviews, author interviews and more. An author and a librarian by day, Sara loves to read and promote authors. Sara's articles and fiction have been published in print and online. She is also the founder of Kawartha Lakes Authors & Writers Network, a resource for writers & authors in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Find out more about Sara at SaraWalker.net.