Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson
Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused—vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can’t get out so much as a “hocus pocus.” This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles’s three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.
But one night Scarlett’s late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD’s Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he’ll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn’t sit well with Dash, the city’s chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it’ll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.
My Review: I am not a werewolf fan. Everyone knows this. That said, I didn’t hate this book but I’m not in love with it either. I liked Scarlett but I didn’t connect with her. I didn’t agree on many of her choices. Really I only agreed with one and you’ll know it when you see it.
This book has some interesting mythology. I liked the idea that all the supernatural beings had the same origin. I liked that they evolved into what they are now. It paved the way nicely for what a null was and why they existed. It was explained well so I at least had a good understanding of what Scarlett was. It sort of came back to bite me where the plot concerned though.
What I didn’t understand was why or how Scarlett was in the predicament she was in. If null’s are so valuable why was the most powerful vampire in the city ready to use her as a scape goat? Even the end of the book didn’t work that out for me.
I didn’t think that the love triangle was believable. I liked Cruz but as Scarlett says on many occasions, he has the gun. Not the stuff that dreams are made of. I assume that he was supposed to represent the normal life that Scarlett could have. Eli, the werewolf, made me think more of werewolves. I didn’t think anything of them before so this was an achievement. I even felt bad about his situation with Scarlett. Does he really like her or does he really like that he’s human when he’s with her? Remember that she’s a null and makes supernatural creatures human when she’s around them. Poor messed up Eli.
My only actual problem with this book is that Scarlett doesn’t take any actual action. She’s saved by Eli and Kirsten when she’s Scarlett-napped. Even during the big ending she only contributes by mistake. The saving that she does is completely by accident.
Everything is completely by accident. When Stephanie Plum does it using her gut instinct it’s fun. When Scarlett does it because she stumbled and face-planted in the middle of the big finish it isn’t as much fun.
There is one more big thing that bothers me about Scarlett. Her only contribution to keeping herself safe is running several miles a day to keep in shape. If there were an infinite number of things that could kill me even if they were human I would be taking more precautions. She doesn’t carry a gun. She doesn’t know any self defense. She doesn’t even keep the Taser with her at all times. Just when she thinks she may be in danger. This doesn’t make any sense to me. She’s rare and everyone knows who she is. Why wouldn’t someone be after her all the time? I hate it when female characters need protection.
I would love to read a story about Kirsten. She’s like a supercharged Samantha from Bewitched. She lives in the burbs. She has a husband, a white picket fence and a fancy kitchen. She sounds fun. She sounds like someone who can take car of herself.
All in all I like this book. I may even read the next one.
Questionable Content: Eli is a one night stand. Scarlett cleans up bloody and sometimes burned crime scenes.
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