Review: Better Off Undead (The Bloodhound Files #4) by DD Barant

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (October 4th 2011)
How I got this book: Bought
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

Dark magic, unknown enemies, monsters of every stripe—FBI profiler Jace Valchek has seen it all. In this bizarre parallel universe, shape-shifting werewolves and blood-thirsty vampires don’t even warrant a raised eyebrow. That is, until Jace has to face what life might look like as one of them . . .

It starts off as just another run-of-the-mill assignment: to track down the rogue don of a mafia werewolf family before he upsets the delicate balance of the underworld. But Jace wasn’t counting on being bitten . . . and soon she’s fighting the growing wolf inside her with a startling antidote—vampirism. Stopping a bloody gangland war won’t be easy when Jace is feeling some new, and very inhuman, desires . . .

My rating: 4.5/5 Stars – Almost perfect. I highly recommend it.

Review:

I love this series!  I always wonder why more people haven’t read The Bloodhound Files because it has to be one of the best urban fantasies I’ve read.  Not only are these books hilarious and action packed, but with Better Off Undead we also get a little romance.  As always, the characters are awesome.  Charlie is just as cool and deadpan as usual, and, although Azura wasn’t in this one, we get to spend more time with Tair, getting into his head and trying to figure out what has happened to Dr. Pete.

The plot’s focus on Tair instead of Asher and Stoker (the really big players) makes Better Off Undead feel like it’s somewhat tangential to the main storyline.  However, that doesn’t make it any less interesting or important for the future of the series.  In fact, there’s much more character development in this book than in previous installments.  Tair, Gretchen, and Cassius all get more layers, and Jace has to handle some serious issues that force her to come to terms with her identity, her relationships, and her place the world.

The one thing that bothered me was that the characters engage in a lot of unlawful activities, more so than is believable or characteristic of Jace and her companions.  I’ve always loved that Jace tries to do the right thing even if it means throwing the rule book out the window.  But this story has a couple of moments where the characters take the law into their own hands, and I’m not totally sure if it’s justifiable or not.

Overall, Better Off Undead is a highly enjoyable and entertaining read.  Even though there’s one plot point at the end that isn’t fully explained, several factors contributed to the strong sense of satisfaction I got from this book – the acknowledgement of romantic feelings (finally!), answers to nagging questions about Tair and Dr. Pete, and the character development.  All of the books in this series are great, but, in many ways, Better Off Undead felt like the one I’ve been waiting for.  I couldn’t recommend this series more highly, and I’m really looking forward to book five, Back from the Undead, coming out in March 2012.

Reading Order:

  1. Dying Bites – read my review
  2. Death Blows – read my review
  3. Killing Rocks – read my review
  4. Better Off Undead
  5. Back from the Undead, to be released March 27th 2012
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About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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