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Sunday, October 12, 2014

No Deadly Thing by Tiger Gray-3.75/5 stars.

Today, I am reviewing the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal story No Deadly Thing by Tiger Gray. This is an action-packed, fast-moving novel that tells a compelling tale, but maybe tries to do too much in too little space. Ashrinn must fight against an evil, corrupting cult using the magic in his world that he isn’t, at first, aware of, but which he learns permeates every aspect of his life—including his wife, a fire mage with a terrible secret; and his neighbor and squadmate who is married to a Fae and blessed/cursed with halfbreed children.

I give this book a 3.75/5. Here is my breakdown.

Characters: 4/5. I loved the development of the Storm, a magical team put together to combat the Cult, and the struggles Ashrinn had to work through to put it together and make it into a cohesive unit. I thought that most of the development was great, and I thought I got a good sense of who each character was. There is m/m bisexuality/homosexuality described in detail in this novel, but, as a heterosexual male reader, I had no problem with any of the ways it was described. My only criticism here is that there could have been so much more time devoted to each person—Gray does a good job making the characters feel important, but readers want to understand important characters in and out.

Plot/Storyline: 4.5/5. A compelling storyline, rich in depth and scope. World-altering danger and a real, personal sense of peril all in one. Kiriana’s revelation was also well-done. I didn’t feel like there were any wasted scenes or red herrings. Again, I wish that this story had been better described in a few places—not because Gray’s rendition was bad, but because it was rushed; too much happening too quickly to get to the final battle.

Flow: 2.5/5. Here is the major weakness in No Deadly Thing. The first portion of the book is marred by massive time-jumps, most often unexplained. Ashrinn starts out as a soldier who knows nothing about magic until he performs an unexplained miracle, but within the space of a few pages already understands why people are afraid of werewolves and the different kinds of mages. There are also several POV changes, which can throw some people off, although I thought Gray executed them reasonably well. I was concerned about the time-jumps as I went through the novel, but it lessens somewhat as one approaches the second half of the book.

Spelling/Grammar: 4/5. Better than most novels. There were a few minor misspellings, especially toward the end of the book, but I would happily put No Deadly Thing up against several traditionally published works I’ve seen recently.

Overall: 3.75/5. This is a good book as it stands…but with a little bit of division, a little bit more time taken on some of the characters and story ideas, it could have been a great book. I’ve seen reviews that recommend that Gray divide No Deadly Thing into several other novels, each focusing on a specific portion of the original. That might have worked, but I also would have enjoyed the work being longer, with more detail. I will be checking out the sequel.

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