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Phoenix (The Complete Action Series)
David Alexander
Progress: 60 %
Evil Dark - Justin Gustainis (Note: original review 10/19/2012, edited 8/13/2013)

The cover caught my eye at the local library. It reminded me of those old mystery paperbacks from the fifties and I hoped that the story inside was just as cool as the cover. Happy surprise, it was. Timely, too, since Dragnet reruns have been on the TV lately. This is a supernatural Dragnet, but with more violence and swearing.. This thing's been done before, sure, but it's done very well here.

All in all, a neat bit of UF without all the romance stuff, which isn't really my thing. Actually, the plot was a little all over the place and I would have given this three stars, but the fact that the story and Markowski's easy-going narrative kept my nose stuck in this book and wanting more bumps it up to four stars, (despite the ending) I mean, I'm glad Markowski's got to hook up with someone--the poor guy deserves a little lovin'-- but a threesome? Highly bloody unlikely. Plus he barely remembered it because of too much champagne. What a waste of a threesome..

There are some pop culture references that are slightly altered to fit this world where the supernatural is out in the open, like a reference to a James Bond movie called "Goldfanger." These cracked me up. Melding this supernatural world with our own didn't always mesh smoothly, though. The anti-supernatural movement in the book was supposed to be analogous to racist and anti-gay movements in real life. I found this a little awkward even though I get what the author was trying to express. I'm just not sure the thing worked very believably in the book since real-life prejudice is a pretty big issue. Not a real complaint, just me being an analytical social scientist.

Overall, much better than I expected. Three stars from me means I liked it. Four means I liked it a lot and I liked this one a lot. And yeah, this is the second in the series. I haven't read the first, but it wasn't a problem in this case.

Edit, 8/13/2013--
I saw this in the library again the other day and it made me think of it and reconsider my initial enthusiasm. So, I'm reducing the rating to three stars. Not a big deal. It's still an enjoyable read, it just doesn't meet my own personal four-star standards, which are continually being honed. And I realized, after these months, that the spoiler I mentioned above is just too dumb to forgive.