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Monday, February 26, 2018

Book Review: Dead Girls Don’t Sing (The Undead Space Initiative Book Two) by Casey Wyatt

Dead Girls Don’t Sing (The Undead Space Initiative Book Two)
by Casey Wyatt 12/18/17
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Time Travel
ISBN: 978-1979982078
Number of pages: 338
Word Count: 93,000
Cover Artist: Kim Killion Designs
Time will have its way

When former vampire stripper Cherry Cordial settled on Mars with her undead family, she thought she’d left her chaotic past behind her. After finding her mate and becoming the first vampire to give birth, she’s hoping to lead a drama-free life.

Naturally, the universe has a different plan. When mysterious undead space travelers arrive, an ancient Martian plague is released, infecting the undead. To find the cure she must return to Earth. All she needs to do is travel into the past, confront her own tangled history, and not break the space-time continuum. But if Cherry’s learned anything, it’s that her life is never that easy.

Dead Girls Don’t Sing is the long-awaited follow up to Dead Girls Don’t Cry and the second installment in Wyatt’s Undead Space Initiative Series. Caught in the fatal crossfire of undead politics on earth, Cherry Cordial and her vampire family re-locate to Mars with a mission to colonize an environment suitable for the undead. Together with zombie and revenant contingents, our undead settlers must navigate an enigmatic new world. Dead Girls Don’t Sing is a fun, campy romp through time and space and I just can’t get enough.

I know the premise of the story seems beyond strange. I took a gamble on this read two years ago and it has definitely been one of my most memorable reads in recent history. In this second installment, former burlesque star Cherry must not only navigate space but time travel as well. She’s on a mission to right wrongs and preserve the present and future fate of Mars, the place she’s come to regard as home. The characterization is fabulous. Cherry is an unapologetic, feisty female main with personality to spare. Cherry declares to her readers, “I wasn’t put on this earth to make the men around me comfortable.” Wry humour abounds in this story, giving the reader many laugh-out-loud moments. There’s romance, intrigue, and action. This series really has it all. But a series with a frenzied plot that unabashedly blends and bends genre can also be problematic.

The plot of Dead Girls Don’t Sing is crazy frenetic and peppered with inconsistencies. The narration, however, is self-reflexive; actively acknowledging that which is irreconcilable. Though this adds a refreshing level of honesty and humour to the story, it doesn’t ultimately negate what is amiss. Moreover, I had to wait nearly two years for this second installment. This poses a massive challenge for reader momentum, especially when dealing with such an intricate plot. I’m desperately hoping book three is ready to blast off sooner rather than later. Criticism notwithstanding, this paranormal romance meets urban fantasy meets sci-fi tale is just too damn fun to miss.
Four ½ Out of this World Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

Tiny pokers stabbed my eyes.

Another body, warm and hard, spooned against my backside.

Ian always felt so good, comforting and real.

His hand wrapped around my waist, cupping the underside of my breast. A cool sheet slid off my bare shoulder.

I was naked and in bed. A snippet of memory interrupted my appreciation of my husband’s hand.

Wasn’t I running from something . . .?

Fingers trailed along my spine, heading south. The touch was wrong, unfamiliar and rough.

Hold on. That wasn’t Ian. I shouldn’t feel the warmth of sun against my skin either. We lived on Mars, where it was colder than a witch’s tit.

If not Ian, then who was touching my inner thigh?

My eyelids snapped open like a shade on a spring. Bolting upright, I bared my fangs and grabbed the man’s wrist.

Oh, holy hell. I was in bed with another man. I rolled away and slammed into a different body. Shit, make that two other men. Two eye-poppingly gorgeous men.

Hey, I might be dead, but I’m not dead dead.

“Mistress? Have I displeased you?” said the man whose wrist I was about to shatter. Stunning blue-gray eyes. Dark stubble lined his chiseled jawline. His dark hair was mussed and complimented his swarthy skin tone. Dried blood smeared his neck. A red trail led to puncture marks.

The other man’s brown muscled chest rose and fell in rhythmic sleep. His body was fully exposed on the white sheet. Puncture marks lined his neck, his groin and his very erect penis.

My cheeks heated like a furnace. Clearly, we’d had a good time.

“No. Leave me. Both of you go to your rooms.” I dropped his wrist. The man woke his drowsing companion, and they left as I’d commanded.

Damn. I wished I could get the other men in my life to be so compliant.

Other men? There were other people important to me. Why couldn’t I remember them?

I’d kill Jonathan if he was messing with my mind again.

But yet... that idea didn’t feel right.

Somewhere in a dead corner of my memory, this moment seemed familiar. Jonathan, sensing my unhappiness with our “arrangement,” had spent the early years of our relationship attempting to please me.

This must have been my slut phase, where we’d bring home gorgeous men and I would feast and fuck while he watched. I enjoyed knowing it bothered him that I wouldn’t sleep with him. Only the mortals that we found in gaming dens, brothels, even at society events. The only other thing I would take from Jonathan besides his money was his blood, and only out of necessity.

Fucking hell. Ian’s go-to phrase—I remembered him now—helped resurface the reason why I was reliving this not-so-proud moment in my past.

The plague. The Lost Ship. The time stream. My daughter.

Oh, dear God. I hoped she was safe.

“Good morning, my pet.” Jonathan read a page of the morning newspaper while sipping tea from a dainty cup. He sat on the balcony situated outside my bedroom. From his vantage point, he could view the bed and my doings in Technicolor glory.

My heart lurched at the sight of his arrogant beauty. I had forgotten how full of life he’d been, especially in this time period. And, oh, how handsome he was. His raven hair glossy with blue highlights sparkled in the early morning sunshine. The strong line of his jaw and perfect Roman nose coupled with full lips made it hard not to stare at him. He hadn’t yet acquired the weariness that having a Family would place on him.

In later years, after much bitterness between us, I no longer saw him anymore. The beauty was tarnished, and we became as passionate as two coworkers passing the time until their shift ended. He had become someone I had to endure rather than enjoy. Not that I ever really “enjoyed” him because of the circumstances surrounding our sham marriage.

The horrid image of his death, when he’d knelt, offering Thalia his head, shattered the peaceful moment. With a plaintive look, he commanded that I accept his fate and mine. We both knew that Thalia, the dead queen’s heir apparent, was a vindictive bitch. She blamed me for her mother’s death and Jonathan refused to bow down to her. So, he did what he always did. He protected his Family by sacrificing himself so we could escape. In his last moments, regret had filled his eyes. The wish that we could have been different together had been silenced forever.

Seeing Jonathan again and remembering was worse than reopening a wound and rubbing salt in it with a lemon juice chaser. If only I could apologize to him for how awful I’d been. I hadn’t been blameless in wrecking our relationship. I could have tried harder to accept my fate instead of punishing him at every turn.

The temptation to blurt out the truth bubbled inside, until I had to force myself to look away from him. Would this Jonathan be willing to help me? Or would he use my current predicament to his advantage?

No. I couldn’t, wouldn’t chance it. Not with the entire colony’s lives hanging in the balance.

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. Sew it on a patch and you’d have my life’s motto.

Yup. Regrets sucked.

Jonathan placed the teacup down and smiled. “Did you enjoy yourself? You seemed a bit surprised when you awoke.”

Surprise didn’t cover how I felt. That word was too puny, too inadequate. After a few seconds, I found my voice again.

“Yes, we had a good time. Thank you.” It sure looked that way.

He acted like finding his wife in bed with other men was no big deal. It wasn’t like I would keep them. To him they were more like pets or meals with legs.

But now, with a century of wisdom tucked under my belt, instead of relishing in his annoyance, I realized something. He was sad. With himself or me, I wasn’t sure. And it didn’t matter. I had a mission to accomplish. A future to save.

Casey Wyatt grew up in a mid-size Connecticut town where nothing exciting ever happened. To stem the boredom, she read fantasy and sci-fi stories, imagining her own adventures in her head. Not much has changed since she’s grown up, only now she's a multi-published author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. In her spare time, she loves all things geeky, hangs out in museums, and collects stray cats.

Visit Casey on the web: You can also find Casey on Facebook and Twitter (@CaseyWyatt1).

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  1. This is a new author for me so thank you for your honest review!

  2. This is new to me and just going off the title and cover I think it looks great!

  3. It really is so much fun! It’s different, and I really liked the change of pace.