March 25, 2014

Review: Dying is My Business

****Review copy received through Netgalley for an honest review.**** 

Dying is My Business (?, book 1) by Nicholas Kaufmann

dying is my business

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: Kindle
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Dying is my Business

Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. What’s worse, each time he cheats death someone else dies in his place.

Sent to steal an antique box from some squatters in an abandoned warehouse near the West Side Highway, Trent soon finds himself stumbling into an age-old struggle between the forces of good and evil, revealing a secret world where dangerous magic turns people into inhuman monstrosities, where impossible creatures hide in plain sight, and where the line between the living and the dead is never quite clear. And when the mysterious box is opened, he discovers he has only twenty-four hours to save New York City from certain destruction.


Wow, it feels so strange to say this about a male lead. But he's Too Stupid To Live! Kaufmann was clearly trying to make his main lead, Trent, a take action asks questions later kind of man. But fail. Every time Trent made a move it felt like I was continually yelling at him for making yet another stupid move. Magic and fantasy type things are real, let's keep shooting at things with a gun that doesn't phase them. Suddenly you have mad swordsmanship skills that you can actually hurt things and defend yourself with! Now forget taking a sword along, you’re useless gun is all you need. You're faced with a dragon, let's piss it off. That didn't kill it, let's keep trying with the same method. Finally you've got some people who can give you answers, let's get pissed off and yell at them pointlessly. Time up. No more questions. Every action Trent took . . . just ticked me off.

Trent is a man who woke up one year ago with no memories and as the cruel world would have it fell into the arms of some shady people. Who shot him. For no apparent reason. When he comes back to life—by draining one of their people mind you—the head boss gives him a place to live and money for the simple task of doing some really shady work. Trent accidentally kills a child and said boss just says better him then you. No matter what kind of memory loss you've got to know that something is WRONG. Also, just one week with these kinds of people should tell you all you need to know. The information that they've promised to find for Trent about who he really is, is never coming. Ever. Idiot.

His “redemption”, or at least what I think the author was trying to go for, didn't even feel real. The emotional connections were lacking too much. This book takes place in 3 days I think. Yet we're expected to believe that Trent magically goes through this transformation. Sure it's for a girl, love makes everything work faster. Going from cynic to silly-crush-man in the blink of an eye. The mentioned lack of emotions doesn't help solidified that story arc. None of the characters were very memorable, or ones I'd like to get to know. The love interest is very cool and I love her sensibleness and forgiveness. However, her love for Trent makes her a little sketchy in my mind. Their personalities would lead them to kill each other. Fast. Philip the Vampire was pretty cool and I'd love more background on him. One thing I will say is that my favorite character died, readers go in knowing this with the setup. Yet Kaufmann does a wonderful job at building the hope and belief that he'll live on. Which leads me to believe that Kaufmann can do more on that field.

The plot is pretty fun and this book brings a lot of action to the table. If you're bad at predicting plots this book will blow you away. If you can usually guess in advance, eh, no biggy. There is one little turn that I didn't see until about 80% through that I couldn't help but go, “Freaking awesome!” at. Kaufman can really make a great world. His version of fantasy filled New York is pretty cool, and I love how he played out that people don't want to see the unbelievable so they just feel in the blanks themselves. The mystery behind who and what Trent really is probably the most appealing aspect of this book. (Though I'm 99.9% positive I know what he is. Kudos to Kaufmann if he surprises me.)

To be honest I went in loving this book. Trent poisoned it for me. There was nothing that I remotely liked about him, except maybe his wit which kicked in a little too late for me. It's nice to see another male lead in the genre, truly. That is enough for me to continue with the next book. There's promise here. Kaufmann has talent, and I'm hoping the next book will really show it. If Trent's personality gets a tune up all the better. Oh, and if the romance and characters all get some TLC. (For some reasons male others rarely can write romances I care for. Sexist, I know.)

Sexual Content: Clean. There’s some kissing. Trent does indeed want to get a little something, something. Sexual humor.

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out.

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Dying is My Business (1)
Die and Stay Dead (2)
Dying is My Business (1)
Die and Stay Dead (2)
Dying is My Business (1)
Die and Stay Dead (2)

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