*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
I was excited as soon as I read the blurb for this book because 1) I love uncommon supernatural creatures, 2) I love vampires, and 3) I love Miami as a setting. And I gotta say, the book did not disappoint in those regards. It also lived up to the description of gritty that’s in the blurb in the sense that the creatures, the characters, the city, the police work—none of it was romanticized. It was all just kinda was what it was, even when it was ugly.
I have to admit though, I thought I could get down with the whole police procedural thing, but it was confusing to me at times. There was a lot going on, what with all the different groups (the police units, the supernatural groups, the anti-supernatural groups, the government agencies, etc.) and lots of human and vampire politics, and I’m also just not familiar with how all the cop stuff works. But I think I eventually got all the important stuff down, and I got more into everything as the story went on.
The only other issue I had (just to get the negatives out of the way) was the POVs. There were multiple, and sometimes we would be in one character’s POV for a bit and then all the sudden jump to another POV with no indication. (Or maybe it was just omniscient? It didn’t quite feel omniscient though.) But there were also whole chapters with only one POV, so it was only an occasional issue. And this seemed like more of a plot-focused book anyway.
But, even though this may have been pretty plot-focused, I still thought both Alex and Marcus were interesting, and I liked the parts with their POVs the most. Both have been alive, and around each other, for a long time. My favorite thing was the banter between them, especially when they joked about each others’ pasts or supernatural status, like when Marcus told Alex not to get his bandages in a bunch. And it’s because of these two characters that I want to continue the series.
As for the whole mummy thing, I loved the author’s take on it. I love books about uncommon supernatural beings, and this was the first one I found with a mummy as the protagonist. He had the ability of astral projection, he got his energy from the Egyptian Sun God, he had a cat (because of course he would have a cat), and gosh, his solarium sounded GORGEOUS. I don’t even get my energy from the sun, but I want a solarium just like that for myself anyway. Oh, and let’s not forget his ringtone ;-)
The vampires, and the world-building that came with them having been revealed, was interesting too. There were fake blood products being sold, blood clubs, the “S&B lifestyle” (sangers & bleeders), illegal blood trade, etc.
So overall, this book was a really enjoyable read with a neat take on an uncommon type of supernatural, interesting main characters, and fun interaction between them, all wrapped up in a gritty package!
Anyone who likes uncommon supernatural creatures (a mummy), vampires, gritty urban fantasy, and police procedural.
Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut
Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.
Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.
When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.
If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodierthan any the world has ever seen.
Gritty urban fantasy and hard-boiled noir packed into a hand grenade of awesome! Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown