This book has been on my radar for some time, because it seems really fun. So, gleeful sounds were made when I was offered a copy for review (because this means I *have* to have time to read it, you see! These are the rules of review requests. I do not make the rules, I only follow them! XD)
And so I happily listened!
So, as is obvious, I received a free copy of this audiobook, and this is my honest review of it.
Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her eighteenth birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.
Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend’s sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.
Thankfully, she’s game.
“Seriously? You’re using the same line that Darth Vader used on Luke?”
“Destiny is a bit older a concept than Star Wars,” Judy said, sighing.
This book was fun!
This is the story of Jane Doe (yeah, really), who is a deer shapeshifter living in the town of Bright Falls, Michigan. Vampires came out to the world in a different book in this world, and as a sort of consequence to that happening, all the shifters sort of inadvertently came along for the ride, so, they live… publicly, but not exactly freely, in the various states wherein they can live without being legally shot as vermin. Uh, there’s 2 of those. Michigan and Vermont. Yeaaaah. Humans don’t so much leave the shifters alone out of fear like in most other books I’ve read where shifters are ‘out’… Here, it’s more of a try and exterminate them because they’re different situation. To be honest with you, I feel like this is probably how it would actually play out. Which is sad, but alas. Moving on.
The main two clans that live in Bright Falls are the deer and the wolves. Werewolves are basically the royalty of the shifter world, and as such, they pretty much rule the town. They own all the banks, all the insurance companies, and they’re the sheriff and lawyers, etc. Jane’s family, on the other hand, runs a diner, called Deerlightful Diner. That’s not the only deer pun. Jane’s dad, John Doe (yeeep) just loves ’em. Weredeer seem to have an aptitude for puns. Anyway, the deer and the wolves get along better than you’d think. Jane’s best friend is Emma O’Henry, who is a werewolf. Jane’s sister is dating Emma’s brother, and so on and so forth. But, Emma’s sister Victoria has turned up dead, and most fingers are pointed directly at Jane’s brother as the perpetrator.
Jane, having some psychic powers (being a deer, who are the Shamans of the shifter world and have magical powerrrrs), agrees to do some investigating for Emma, to see what she can find out. And thus… a murder mystery shall be solved!
Jane finds herself helping a… rather odd but powerful FBI agent investigate the case, sneaking into the lair of a known criminal, accidentally making tons of deer puns, running in and out of reality, facing down angry demons, and is just generally at the center of a host of other shenanigans. I really liked the characters here, especially Alex, Maria, and Lucian. The magic was pretty cool as well. Jane’s slightly psychic powers were a rather interesting way to try and collect evidence in a murder investigation. It made Jane’s whole involvement despite being so young and unqualified in any other way for this seem more plausible.
The only thing that I didn’t really like about this book was…. well, for a character who professes to be not very attractive, or voluptuous, or particularly special at all compared to pretty much all other shapeshifters ever, Jane attracts the attention of the two main dudes in this story like… immediately. The sexy bad boy who can (and does) have any girl he pleases and the sexy noble wizard-cop who is powerful enough to do impossible things, are within the day interested in dating this random, super-nerdy, kind of awkward 18-year-old girl. My point here is… I like Jane. She really reminds me of me at her age, which is part of why I liked this book so much, but at the same time, 18-year-old me, who, again, is very, very like Jane in many ways… is laughing her fucking ass off at these 2 hot dudes who’ve known her for a day asking Jane to go to dinner and shit. Even for a fantasy book, that’s… lol. Don’t get me wrong, me and 18-year-old-me are both rooting for Jane to get beaucoup de laid or whatever, but give me a fucking break, looool.
Anyhoo, more of the stuff I liked! This book has all sorts of pop culture references in it, and anyone who reads my reviews regularly (hi, mom!) will know that I fucking love when books I’m enjoying do this. Jane drives a 20 year old Hummer that she calls the Millennium Falcon. There are Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Supernatural, LotR, Harry Potter, and etc, etc references all over the place. It’s kind of amazing. Even obscure references that a lot of people would probably miss caught my attention. I’m not entirely convinced that Jane would be such a diehard fan of the Silmarillion that she could make references to Morgoth in the middle of a fight… but I’ll take this one in stride, because I totally was at 18… why oh why weren’t all the hottest dudes ever asking me out for coffee and pie? >.>
So, this one doesn’t spare the nerd references. There are a lot. They are plentiful and sometimes extra nerdtacular. Some people like that (me) others don’t (and that’s also fine, I guess.) 😀
The narrator, Arielle DeLisle, did a fantastic job bringing Jane, Emma, and all the side characters to life. Jane and her friend Emma are 18 year old girls, and she sounded thusly, but all the gruffer males, growly werewolves and whatnot and all still sounded thusly as well. Maria was a great character to hear narrated as well, as she’s given an accent that made her sort of snarky nature even better.
Welp, looks like I’ve found another series to add to my must-listen UF pile (there’s a lot. I love Urban Fantasy). 4/5 stars!