Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen, #1) by Rhys Ford

Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.
But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.
No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn't look like Kai will be the exception.

Jewel's rating:

Not sure what took me so long to read this! I loved it. I think I would be remiss, though, if I did not mention that this is not a romance. I knew that going in, so it was no surprise to me. There are hints of a possible setup for a romance between Kai and Ryder, though, and I do hope that this is explored in subsequent books. There is also no steam, at all, which, since there was no romance, I was ok with.

What there was, though, was some amazing world building and story telling! I really enjoyed it. The story takes place in San Diego some years after our world merges with that of the sidhe (pronounced "she"). I love that Rhys Ford used Celtic mythology and Gaelic in the story. My Gaelic is more than a bit rusty, but I loved loved loved seeing and hearing it in my head.

Kai is best described as a feral cat. He's very prickly and doesn't exactly trust easily. And Ryder is someone that Kai simply does. Not. Want. To. Be. Attracted. To. Ever. Heh. But there is just something that sings between them. Ryder is a sidhe lord that has conscripted Kai into a mission to bring a pregnant human back to San Diego. Yeah, that turns out to be quite the adventure and the gift that keeps on giving.

I can't wait to dig onto book 2 to see where this story goes!

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Happy reading!

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