Three Days to Dead: Great audio production kept me reading

Kelly Meding Evangeline Stone 1. Three Days to Dead audiobookurban fantasy book review Kelly Meding Evangeline Stone 1. Three Days to DeadThree Days to Dead by Kelly Meding

When Dreg hunter Evangeline Stone wakes up in the morgue, in someone else’s body, she knows that something went wrong. Things get worse when she discovers that she’s been falsely accused of treason against her fellow Dreg hunters and is wanted for their murders. She has only three days to clear her name before the resurrection spell wears off and she’s dead for keeps. During her investigation, Evy becomes entangled in the politics of the same creatures who, as a Dreg hunter, she’s supposed to kill.

I was immediately intrigued by Evy’s story. Waking up in someone else’s body? That’s fun. The woman whose body Evy now inhabits has a love interest, and so does Evy, so that’s fun, too. Evy lives in a city that is teeming with paranormal creatures which most of its citizens are oblivious to. Fun, fun, fun.

So, I should have enjoyed Three Days to Dead, but I didn’t. The writing is well done, the audio production (Tantor Audio) I listened to was excellent, and there is plenty of tension and suspense, but the plot is not as exciting as its premise, and there is nothing unique or particularly fascinating about the world building.

What I disliked most about Three Days to Dead, though — and this is the clincher — is that I just didn’t like Evy. She’s the typical nobody-ever-loved-me-so-now-I’m-a-snarky-bitch-who-kicks-ass heroine. I don’t like these types of characters, or the sarcastic banter they think is funny, which is why I read very little paranormal urban fantasy with female leads. Furthermore, the romance is such a big part of the plot of these novels, but I never believe in the romance because I can’t figure out what kind of dolt falls in love with a woman like that. In this case, Evy’s love interest does something really stupid to give her the three days to live and I had a hard time believing it. He says he loves her because he admires her spirit. Sorry — that’s not enough. Evy isn’t worth it, which means he’s an idiot.

I’ve admitted that I don’t usually like this genre, so you may be wondering why I read Three Days to Dead. Well, sometimes I do like these books. I love Karen Moning’s FEVER series which features an awesome protagonist (I guess she’s awesome because her parents love her). But the real reason I picked up Three Days to Dead was that I wanted to read something narrated by Xe Sands. Indeed, her narration was superb and she’s the only reason I stuck with Three Days to Dead until the end. Both her male and female voices were perfect and I felt that her spot-on narration actually made the story more exciting than it truly was. But not enough to make me want to read the next book.


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KAT HOOPER earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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2 comments

  1. Yeah, I have a way higher tolerance for that type of snarky heroine, and I think that’s the #1 reason I generally like these UFs more than you do. There are some that are too bitchy even for me, though, so I know what you mean even if Evy in particular didn’t hit that threshold for me! :)

  2. You’re right. That’s the difference between our preferences. I think I get enough snark from listening to my kids, so I don’t have much tolerance for it when I’m reading for relaxation.

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