Faithful readers and followers know that I am a huge YA fan. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't also enjoy novels geared more toward adult readers. On the rare occasion that I feel like a full-fledged grownup, or when I'm simply in need of a respite from the angst and turmoil that is coming-of-age while attempting to thwart an enemy even greater than Calculus--like say an entire dystopian government--I often turn to paranormal mystery.
Parts fiction, fantasy, and horror, the basic structure of a paranormal mystery is that of a mystery story...more often than not, a detective mystery. Someone has been murdered or some other serious crime has been committed. Who (or what) did it? Because it's paranormal, that answer could range from vampires, ghosts, or werewolves to a myriad of other dark fantastical beings. Awesome, huh? And what better escape from reliving over and over again (the sometimes funk of) maturing into a young adult?
Susan Abel Sullivan's Cleo Tidwell series has been a recent favorite, so when I began to feel particularly grownup this week, I was delighted to discover another of World Weaver Press's latest paranormal mystery releases: Blood Chimera by Jenn Lyons.
Here's what you need to know:
But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters.
When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought to Los Angeles to be a negotiator.
His new boss wants to turn him into an assassin.
With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a war, his only hope of escape may lie with a secret FBI monster-hunting task-force led by a very dangerous, eccentric wizard.
Which could be a problem, since Jackson’s a monster himself.
Blood Chimera is a gritty, noir-style mystery of paranormal proportions where nothing is as it seems, not even the term vampire.
“How are you feeling, Mr. Pastor?”
I looked down at myself. I seemed to be hale and hearty enough, with all the right number of limbs in all the right places. My ribs didn’t ache when I breathed and my arm wasn’t swollen. I felt great, but I looked ready to play one of the walking dead. “Like I need a bath,” I told him. “And clothes would be nice.” There’s nothing quite like being naked and filthy in front of a lot of people who aren’t, to make you all self-conscious about it.
He nodded. “You’ve looked better.”
“Why do you have me in a cage?” I shook my head. “What happened?”
“I would think the reasons for the cage would be obvious. You don’t remember?”
“No, of course I don’t remember. I was Tez’s prisoner and then--” I looked over at the carcass in the corner. I swallowed. “Who did that?”
“You did.” Darius said as he took a swig of his beer. “You also wrecked one of my vans.” He pointed to an unmarked black van over in the garage area. The back doors were hanging awkwardly and the metal was twisted. Great gouges had been raked into the door and sides as if something had tried to smash its way out with some kind of very sharp ram.
I blinked at that. “That--that couldn’t have been me. I didn’t--”
“Oh, you very much did. We had a hell of a time getting you back here. We were lucky you were stunned by the explosions, and even luckier that we had tranq darts. That--” he pointed to the rotting, fly-infested pile of flesh using the long black feather. “--used to be a pair of goats. Juan thought you might revert if we fed you something. As it happens, he was right.”
I felt sick to my stomach, and, although I certainly wasn’t going to mention it to Darius, a bit peckish.
Goat wasn’t as filling as human.
Read it now, direct from World Weaver Press in ebook or trade paperback, or from any of these retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble
Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats and a lot of opinions on anything from Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she can be found debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre at various local coffee shops.
· Website: JennLyons.com