As part of my weekend of cuddling and reading books, I got to Anton Strout's Deader Still. This was a book I was looking forward too and I wasn't disappointed at all. It is a good solid follow-up of Dead to Me.
I like books that only take two hours to read. Yeah, it takes months and months to write, but if I can lose my sense of reality, I simply read faster. And reading Strout's work is a pleasure.
There is very little about this book I didn't like. The main character and those around him are getting a lovely depth to them, both villains and good guys. It is nice to see how the bad guys from the last book ended up, and how differently they could go. I'm hoping that one of them ends up a proper mastermind by the time this series comes to end with flairs of Pendergast's family insanity.
The descriptions are lovely, just shallow enough not to mire you in the details but also rich enough to get you through the story. I like the descriptions of the various personalities, and the conflict between Simon's various "lives". I have to appreciate the growth of the main character's powers and, because of various things, I just love the idea of someone based out of Downer's Grove in Illinois. Not only because one of my novels is based out there, but because it just fit perfectly with the characters involved.
There were only a few things that kind of annoyed me. One was the jealousy subplot. It felt like a hammer when it came up and, like most other times, I think polyamory would have solved that just fine. But, it wasn't obnoxious or anything, just obvious. Thankfully, it moved past quickly enough and didn't drag out for the entire length of the novel.
The other is related too much with the plot of the book, so I'm not going to go into details. Just say I felt that things recovered too fast and rather abruptly.
There was only really one character who pushed things too far, but Anton already marks them as a deus ex machina. I am seriously hoping they end up broken in the next book, but I think Anton might be heading that direction simply with everything around it. And that, I'm really looking forward to in the next book.
Would I get the next one? Oh yeah. This is a nice, occasionally snarky, entertaining series that has a good depth and keeps moving forward. I'd also recommend it to Fluffy, if she liked urban fiction.