Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Keith Melton - Dark Ride Dogs

Zero Dog mercenary Andrea Walker used to love fortune cookies—until the day she received a death prophecy inside one. Of course, believing a mass produced fortune from a baked good would be insane—until a berserker shows up on her doorstep claiming he’s been sent by an infamous oracle to save her life. She must hire him or die.
Hell really breaks loose when the Zero Dogs are contracted to stop a ghost-summoning goblin’s plan to bring his Eternal Malevolence Carnival and Incredible Show of Evil to Portland, starring a company of ghost performers—clowns, acrobats, and nefarious balloon-twisting mimes. Meanwhile, Andrea’s normally shy succubus friend seems to be falling for the mysterious berserker. Too bad a malfunctioning charm spell has the redcap goblin yearning for her as well.
Now Andrea must elude a death prophecy, discover if her new-hire berserker can be trusted, and avert the looming ghost clown apocalypse. Just another mad mission for the Zero Dogs.

Comment: It's been a long time since I've read and loved the first book in this Zero Dogs series. What I remembered the more was how funny the story was and how original the characters were too. I really think it's one of those books that talking about it can never be as funny or amazing as actually read it.
I had high hopes this second book would be as great and, in terms of weird plot and characters, it was.

In this new adventure, the team must fight against evil goblins while Andrea tries to uncover a mystery and a sense of doom because of some fortune cookies...and at some point maybe the two things look to be connected. Or not? Of course, everything has to be solved while still maintaining some sort of control on her team's members, who can all do unexpected things.But everything is even harder because Jake, the man she's in love with and who gets her, is away on a mission. But surely, with a good mood and friends all can be solved...right?

Once again, I had fun reading this story. The author surely can add a certain tone to this that is impossible not to smile or even laugh here and there. By comparing this book to the other and remembering my behavior, I think the other one was funnier, this has a certain serious tone too, that makes it different, more mature. But Andrea's thoughts are still so funny and some of the characters are as crazy as ever!
My favorite character is Hanzo...just the thought of him quoting weirdly invented ninja sentences makes me want to laugh!

On this book, the team has to make a decision at some point where we can see how close they are or how much they respect the friendship and loyalty in the group. I liked that, to see despite all the craziness, they are, deep down, all friends and try to help each other. Because of the battle against the goblins, we get a glimpse of the things they want the most, or the situation where they would feel happy or alive...again, Hanzo's scene was my favorite. I can't believe in such a weird story I still could feel sentimental and even shed a tear over his deepest wishes...wonderful Hanzo.

Andrea, again, is the key character, mostly because everything we see is from her POV. I like her, despite everything, she has a good heart and only wants to do her work and pay her team, people she respects and wants to take care of. I really liked reading about Andres again and seeing her more vulnerable side...which is quite interesting, considering her tough person attitude most of the time.

The evil goblin wants some stupid goal like using ghost clowns to punish those who are in the way of his world conquering, but he's really such a comic villain...but of course, I still cheered when he was defeated at the end. 
There's an important character that sort of joins the team too, because of this book's plot, and it's mainly because of his interaction with the villain. Quill is a cute character and I' curious to see if his actions here will shape his behavior in future books as well.

I don't have much to say, this is a UF story with a lot of humor and some clues about behavior, attitudes, expectations which I think the author tried to casually insert in here, but all things considered, this is a funny, cute story to entertain you when you're bored or sad. It takes a certain kind of mood to really appreciate this, but if the first book - which I recommend should be read first - wins you over, then this will more fun to add up.
I think the writing can be confusing, the plot even more, but overall, a great time spent for sure!
Grade: 8/10

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