Dani is a resurrectionist. After suffering a horrific betrayal, she was returned from the dead with extraordinary powers and a tremendous responsibility. She now has the power to restore the dead to life, to bring back those who were lost to violence — in exchange for the lives of those who killed them. A life for a life, and balance is restored. But there are Powers in the universe — human and other — who thrive on death and chaos, and they are determined to stop Dani by any means necessary. Good thing for her that she has Sam Lopez to watch her back ….
I admit it: I read a lot of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. A lot. It can be something of a struggle, then, to find a new take on the genre. After a while, the same old trope of kick-ass-heroine-defeats-uber-evil-and-saves-the-world can get a bit boring. I was intrigued, then, when Woods offered to send me a copy of her book for review. The synopsis sounded very different from anything else I had read.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Resurrectionist. Dani is a great heroine: tough, but not invulnerable; determined, but still afraid for the lives of her loved ones. She was also so emotionally damaged by betrayal that she has difficulty trusting anyone; that circle of loved ones is very, very small, which makes Dani even more protective of them.
Sam, too, has suffered loss in his past, which makes him just as determined to protect Dani. He admires her strength, but finds her stubbornness a tad aggravating. Plus, he’s totally in love with her, but is afraid to say as much in case he drives her away.
The world-building is fairly detailed, as well, with some scenes that are terribly sad, while others are truly creepy. Seriously, zombie monkeys. Freaky!
My only real complaint concerns the narrative structure of the story. The reader is dropped in media res: Dani has already been a resurrectionist for several years, and her origin is not revealed for several chapters (and then it comes across as an info dump, rather than as organic piece of the narrative). That opening scene is set right before a resurrection — but than the reader doesn’t get to see the resurrection! That would have been an awesome hook for the reader: show Dani in her element, exactly cosmic justice. The story also ends (mild spoiler) on a bit of a cliffhanger: I assume that there will be more stories about Dani and Sam, or more stories set in this same fictional universe, but that is not made clear.
The Resurrectionist is a new and unusual take on paranormal romance; it is not set in the usual pseudo-Christian cosmology, which (for this Pagan) is a nice change of pace. There are great characters, and some terrific action sequences. The narrative flow feels unpolished, but The Resurrectionist is still a good lunch break read. Recommended to fans of Meghan Ciana Doidge, Kate Danley, Annie Bellet, and Kim Harrison.
[Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of EHS.]