by Terrance Mc Arthur
Melina is a Messenger: an envoy for vampires, the Western Union of the werewolves and a go-between for ghosts, all because of those few minutes she was dead when she was three years old. She senses paranormal creatures and she asks questions, which puts her in the middle of some pricklish mysteries.
Case in point: Dead Letter Day, the third Messenger book by Eileen Rendahl.
Melina’s wolf-friend/protector Paul is missing and nobody in the Pack seems to care. When she starts to nose around, depression-bombs are dropped on her, crows follow her– and demon cows do more than moo and eat hay! The Messenger ignores these omens and finds herself up against some opposition that is fierce: god-and-goddess-level fierce.
On top of that, there are some changes in Melina: power-bolts from her fingers and she is glowing–not “Oh-I-feel-good glowing,” but “read-the-newspaper-by-her glowing”!
Rendahl has produced two previous books to develop this world and there are times when a road map would be helpful, but it doesn’t take long to get up to speed on most of the relationships. Melina is dating a cop, Ted, her roommate, Norah, is totally non-paranormal and seeing Alex, who is Melina’s vampire friend. Melina is training a teen Messenger named Sophie, just as she was trained by the late Mae, who bequeathed Melina her martial arts studio, where she employs her former nemesis–T.J– to teach the Little Dragons classes for youngsters.
The mysteries are interesting. One of the reveals is telegraphed in many ways for those who know human bodies (and that twist seems to be showing up a lot in urban fantasy books, lately), and the action sequences are of a choreography level not seen since Bob Fosse died. You’ll learn a lot about werewolves and Pack dynamics–I can’t believe I wrote that with a straight face–and get some brush-ups on Norse mythology. It’s a lot of fun and makes me want to pick up the first two installments (Don’t Kill the Messenger, Dead on Delivery).
Dead Letter Day has a good delivery, the message gets through, the series is a package deal and if you want any more jokes…you’ll have to sign for them yourself.
Check out more fantasy & horror book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.
To enter to win a copy of Dead Letter Day, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Dead,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 24, 2013. U.S. residents only.