Mistress of the Dark Path | 2/10/2014
" Imagine waking up one morning to be told you were going to an alternate earth, in a different dimension. Your earth being much like the one we know, but the other having some glaring differences. Oh, the countries and cities of this other earth appear much like our own, but other things are very different. The most obvious being the fact humans only make up one percent of the population. The other ninety-nine percent are vampires, werewolves, or golems. In other words, humans are a protected species that may not last much longer. Yet you come from an earth that doesn't have any of these mythological beings, which makes you feel rather out of place. Well, that is how Jace Valcheck feels when this happens to her, and she did not get a choice in the matter. Those who brought her over made a deal so as to gain her cooperation. All she had to do is use her FBI profiler skills to catch a human serial killer (virtually unheard of on this version of earth) and after he is safely dealt with, she could go back home.
If you haven't noticed, this is book four of the series and that agreement began in book one. Nothing has gone quite right for Jace, as other problems keep getting in the way. She came close a couple times, but hasn't had much luck lately. In the intervening months since her arrival, she has adapted and even made friends, but this adventure may ruin her plans to ever get home. Dr. Pete, a werewolf friend whose identity was altered earlier in the series from some nasty magic, could be saved and brought back to how he once was. Unfortunately, before the solution can fully work, he bites her. This exposes Jace to the lyncanthrope virus which will change her on the next full moon. If a method to counteract the virus isn't found in time, she will turn into a species she has no desire to become. There is a possible way to stop it, but it could result in deathly consequences. Jace has a lot of choices to make, on top of her usual job to do, which includes hunting down a mafia werewolf who has become a dangerous threat to society (well, more so than a usual mafia guy). Nothing will be easy until all her latest problems are resolved.
I must admit, this series seemed to be diverting off its course a bit since book one (which had been my favorite). Yet "Better off Undead" brought back all the original characters and excitement I remembered from before. I really enjoyed the humor, brief emotional moments, and action that ensued. It was what I had been hoping for and more. Jace didn't get much progress made on the hunt for the serial killer, but that might have ended the series, so that was okay for me. In this one she focused on trying regain her old friend Dr. Pete, who had become Tair- an evil, alternate version of the man she knew. As for whether she was successful, I can't say since you'll have to read the novel to find out. She also had to deal with the idea of becoming something other than human. This brought her down a bit, but she bounced back quickly, ready to fight for her life. Just like the Jace that has shown a remarkable determination to overcome the odds of all the other adversity she has faced since arriving in the alternate dimension.
For those who have read all the previous novels, you will find "Better Off Undead" to be the best yet. It has the tough heroine that we have seen throughout the series, all the main characters we have grown to love, and the action stays in the Seattle area where it all began. It is not a novel you want to miss. For those who are new to the series, you may want to start off at book one, if you really want to understand the dynamics at work for later books. The author does take time to explain some of the past events, which could make it possible to read this one alone, but it would still be better to go to the beginning.
I highly recommend The Bloodhound Files for those who enjoy a mix of paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi adventure. The world building and character development are excellent, as well as unique. The next book, "Back from the Undead," is set to be released in April of 2012. I will certainly be picking it up! "