Sunday, August 1, 2010

Book Review: The Immortals by J.T. Ellison

Title: The Immortals (A Taylor Jackson Novel)
Author: J.T. Ellison
Publishing House: Mira
ISBN: 0778327639
Release Date: 10/1/2010

July seems to be a month of discovery for me. Not only have I discovered the wonderful murder mystery styles of Kyra Davis (another Mira author), but now I've discovered the wonderful J.T. Ellison. My book buying budget will never be the same. I'll warn people- this book is #5 in the Taylor Jackson series so there will be some things that you might not catch or entirely understand if you are a newbie to the series like myself. No worries though- this book was very capable of standing alone.

Taylor Jackson wasn't even reinstated long enough to celebrate before she's called to a horrific murder scene. Once there she discovers that the victim was a teenage boy... and that he's not the only victim. Before the night is over seven more victims are found, each with a pentacle carved onto their bodies by someone who is taking the magic of Samhain (Halloween) all too seriously. With the knowledge that one or more killers are running around her city, Taylor knows that she has to solve this one & fast. Meanwhile her fiancee Baldwin is facing troubles of his own when he's called to D.C. for a hearing concerning not only a serial killer from years ago but also a co-worker he'd gotten far too close to...

With a storyline that is new reader friendly & a wonderfully macabre murder investigation, this book kept me reading at such a fast pace that I finished it within a day. Ellison does a wonderful job of not only making Taylor tough, but feminine at the same time. There are far too many "I'm too gritty to be feminine" characters out there, so it is refreshing to see someone create a character that isn't a "gritty female cop" cliche.

The occult based plot was also interesting, with Ellison obviously having done some research not only into the goth & witchcraft scenes, but also into those who misinterpret & abuse them. While at times the Samhain murders seemed to drag a little, Baldwin's 2004 serial murder crime investigations did a fine job of keeping the momentum going. I'm honestly curious to see where this series goes next.

It really is a joy to discover an author that is capable of making her series books into mostly standalone novels. With the current series trends running to multiple ongoing plot arc stretching over multiple books, there are far too many series out there where the reader will more than likely feel hopelessly lost picking up a book too far into the series. Never fear- the Taylor Jackson series is more akin to an episode of Law & Order (in its standalone capabilities) than the stretched out plot arcs of some of the other series out there.

Overall this should make for a great read when it releases in October- the perfect month for a series of occult themed murders. Old & new fans should be able to pick up this read & revel in the intriguing investigations into a spooky crime, although some might get a wee bit frustrated that the book isn't as action laden as others out there.

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

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