“Dead Spots” by Melissa F. Olsen

Publisher: 47 North

Copyright: 2012

I found Dead Spots through a search on my Kindle. I had been reading a lot of science fiction lately and I wanted a change. I was attracted by the idea of a null and the scenario. I like stories of witchcraft, vampires, and werewolves but the recent deluge of fantasy stories with cliché witches, vampires, and werewolves has me pretty hesitant. The idea that there was a new layer to the magical world was interesting enough to convince me to take a chance.  This is Melissa F Olsen’s first book.

Overall, Dead Spots is an entertaining read that will keep you guessing till the end. I’m an avid reader of mysteries, so I am familiar with how mysteries develop and noticing when the villain enters the scene but not this time. Olsen created good characters that are likeable and you will want to come back to. Scarlett is our heroine. She has guilt from her parent’s death and as a result built a wall around herself that keeps her isolated and safe from pain. Jesse is the cop but unlike most heroes he isn’t weighted by trauma or guilt. Eli is Jesse’s opposite and another hero. He has a complicated past but doesn’t use it as a crutch. The Old World characters aren’t typical but a nice combination of expected and unexpected.

In new writers, I find that fight scenes lack intensity, duration, and action but not in Olsen’s first novel Dead Spots. I love action scenes whether in a movie or in a book. Action scenes provide a back drop for exploring a character’s possibilities, will they fight or fly? During Scarlett’s numerous fight scenes she demonstrates strong character, bravery, humanity, and skills at combat. These characteristics come across because Olsen’s fight scenes develop over several paragraphs. This development allows her to create vivid and detailed interactions between characters.

Olsen did a good job creating a love triangle between Jesse, Eli, and Scarlett. Despite the fact that Jesse is the other main voice, it isn’t clear that he will be Scarlett’s choice. The story begins with Scarlett making an early morning dash from Eli’s. Though her character says continually that she doesn’t want to have a relationship with him physical desires and subconscious actions say differently. Her relationship with Jesse is very straight forward boy meets girl over dead body parts. Their relationship allows Scarlett to envision a normal life, like she had before Olivia without vampires, werewolves, and dead bodies. It’s anyone’s guess, well, anyone not Melissa F Olsen.


Don’t take just my word for it!

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