Select one of the keywords
Dead Man Rising: A Dante Valentine Novel    by Lilith Saintcrow order for
Dead Man Rising
by Lilith Saintcrow
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Few sequels of phenomenal novels turn out to be even better than the first, but Saintcrow has accomplished the impossible in the follow-up to the first Dante Valentine book. Dead Man Rising is even more adventurous, suspenseful and emotionally satisfying than Working for the Devil.

Having had to watch her demon lover perish at the end of the previous book, Dante (Danny) Valentine is grieving in her own way. For her, that means taking a series of bounty hunting jobs, each more dangerous than the last. At least while she's out there putting her life on the line, she can stop thinking about how much she misses Japhrimel. His loss has affected her much more than she ever thought possible. Before he died, he turned her into a hedaira. Half human, half demon, and just about indestructible, Danny has no one to teach her about her new abilities. She's one of a kind, struggling to get by in a world that already fears her talents as a Necromance.

Things take a turn for the worse when Danny's friend Gabe asks for her help with a police investigation. Another Necromance has been brutally murdered, and all signs point to a part of Danny's past she'd rather leave buried - literally. As a child, Danny attended Rigger Hall, a school for orphan children with psionic abilities. There, she suffered a great deal at the hands of an abusing headmaster, and the nightmares of that time still haunt her. Now, the murders continue, and every clue Danny finds leads her closer and closer to Rigger Hall. To solve the brutal killings, Danny must face her own nightmares. But getting to the bottom of this mystery may cost Danny her life, and the lives of those around her.

Reading Dead Man Rising makes it easy to see why Saintcrow is quickly carving a niche for herself among such wonderful authors as Laurell K. Hamilton, Jacqueline Carey, Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong. The story itself is stunning in its complexity, yet written with such finesse that it's easy to get lost in Danny's world. Vampires, demons, Shamans and Necromances walking the streets seem normal in this well-developed futuristic world, with its multi-faceted layers of cultural and social development.

But it's Danny herself who really makes an impact. Her emotional torment over the loss of her demon lover Japhrimel is heartbreaking. Just as poignant is her struggle to deal with her feelings regarding her ex-lover Jace, who has made a tremendous sacrifice to come live with her knowing that her heart belonged to someone else. Throughout this novel, Danny is walking a tightrope of grief and fury, one that is heightened by the atrocious murders being committed around Saint City.

Keep a box of tissues nearby and get ready to stay up late into the night. Dead Man Rising is an unforgettable, breathtaking reading experience, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next novel in this magnificent series.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews