Monday, May 4, 2009

Hex Breaker, by Devon Ellington ~ A Review

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I really hate to say how long it has taken me to get this read and reviewed! And I apologize to Devon for having taken this long. But~ I want to get this out before Old-Fashioned Detective Work releases.
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I won the ebook version of Hex Breaker [first in a series] from the Interviewing Authors contest, and one of Devon Ellington’s many online interviews. She signed the CD, “Welcome to the adventure!” Adventure indeed! The novella length action is concise and fast paced. Were it not for my health concerns and needing to force myself to take a break from my PC after 2-3 chapters, had I read from a paperback I could easily say I could not put this down!
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I did a little community theater many years ago [in my youth] so I enjoyed learning about the workings and goings on of a location movie set. And while it wasn’t necessary for me to meet pretty much everyone in chapter one, Devon sets the stage for her protagonist’s practiced ability to size up everyone.
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The production of a paranormal film is in jeopardy. The cast and crew believe it’s cursed. And Jain Lazarus arrives—incognito—to help solve the mystery. Jain was invited to join the wardrobe crew, but it’s not her skill with kits or a needle that makes her invaluable. When she finally reads the script [where the main character unwittingly awakens a demon] it's her specialized education that helps in uncovering the dialog and incantation that's key to the source of trouble.
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Jain Lazarus is a young take charge urban-chic woman, and a quick study. Where Jain may be a little too quick to defend her actions, much of her tough fa├žade comes not from a need to appear self-assured, but to protect herself from those who would wish her harm—which she seems to have in spades. There is also a childhood fraught with bad memories, and the more recent pain of love foolishly lost.
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Wyatt East is the detective who ends up shadowing Jain on the set after the unfortunate beheading of a member of the crew who is found to be nothing more than a walking corpse. OK! A Zombie. And where Wyatt comes off as the more confident of the two, it’s a truism when he’s on his own turf. He’s a little less sure of things when forced into Jain’s world. But he’s also at somewhat of a disadvantage from the start. Where he’s put in the position of verifying who Jain Lazarus is, she’s known about him from the dreams that plagued her prior to arriving in his neck of the woods.
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Though I’ll watch a good [Oh! Who am I trying to kid, I'll give a fair or bad one the benefit of doubt!] vampire or werewolf flick [and I grew up on the original black and white classics], I never really got into the whole zombie scene. But this is much, much more than a story about the brain-eating walking dead. Devon’s story is rich in history, with a mystical hall of records to equal The Library of Congress. It’s about arcane knowledge and magic. It’s also about scorn and exacting revenge, and the never ending presence of greed.
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Throw in an unlikely admirer, a car chase [in Jain’s “customized” car], another dimension, a god to truly fear, and a dragon whose name—in this lifetime and possibly the next—I shall never know, and you’re on one hell of an adventure.
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What I liked about Jain is her use of communication skills. She reasons first and wields her blade last. But when Jain’s cover is blown and her words are too late, she has no choice but to separate a head from its body. And at first, I wondered if Wyatt may have accepted Jain and all of the querks of this case juuust a little too soon and/or easily. But then I wrote it off as being part of his growing attraction to this dark and fiery woman. Afterall, isn’t that what one does for the sake of Love?
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Though I was confused a couple of times by the longer drawn out sections of dialog, having lost who was speaking, I loved the puns “… she’d have to dig a little deeper into Billy Root,” and the way Devon mingles a tense moment with sharp wit. She lays out the rules of Jain’s world quite well, and I love, luv, LOVE the Chaos Dragon! Having been a long-time fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series of books, I admit to having a tremendous soft spot for dragons. This sole character of the tale stole my heart.
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I highly recommend Hex Breaker as a very good read, for one simple reason. It is an innocent wish, in the end, that saves the day.






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ISBN: 9781935141082
Firedrakes Weyr Publisher
Jain Lazarus Website – look for the free downloads of two more Jain Lazarus Adventures:
The Possession of Nattie Filmore & First Feet.
INK IN MY COFFEE Devon Ellington’s webblog

4 comments:

devonellington said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Thanks for the review!

L.L. said...

You are most welcome! This is my first review. Did I reveal too much?

Colin Galbraith said...

Here here! I, too, thoroughly enjoyed Hex Breaker and cannot wait for the next instalment.

devonellington said...

No, you didn't reveal too much. And I appreciate your insights!