Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon's Law, #1)

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between - J.A. Saare 3.5 stars.Urban fantasy is difficult for me to read right now and I guess, I can be difficult on urban fantasy books. But despite that, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The last half of this book is amazing. Everything clicked. Interesting characters and new plot developments that were surprising. The ending is a cliff hanger, but it is one of the coolest cliff hangers I have read and good news – the sequel is out already. So it is easy to dive in to the next one. For us who are just reading this series now we can get immediate satisfaction. I should say that I did struggle with the first half of this book. Choppy scene endings and few, sometimes no, transitions to the next scene made it difficult to follow the action. Some of the sentences are oddly worded, so I did do some re-reading. I like kick-ass heroines, I do think Saare went over the top with Rhiannon’s character, for example at one point she makes a subtle weight joke about a secretary, which was just over the top in my opinion. And there are a quite a few repeated urban fantasy storylines from other series. So this book actually had a number of things going against it, but despite all of these things I was interested to keep reading. J.A. Saare, tells the story in a captivating way. It is good fun, in a new setting. What Saare does really well, is that she gets what makes a decent urban fantasy story – struggle. Nothing comes easy in this story. The main character is highly damaged from an abusive upbringing. Because of this, Rhiannon isolates herself emotionally. The characters each have to overcome barriers to get what they want; the hurdling of those barriers makes for good reading. And it isn’t a happy feel good book, although there is humor and a fun romance, good people die in painful and gruesome ways; not everything ends well. For me, all of this works together to put together a fun urban fantasy read. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy urban fantasy books and particularly, like watching the evolution and struggle of damaged characters. Now, this is sort of off topic, but I have been avoiding urban fantasy books lately; after gorging myself for about 18 months on the genre, I started to get bored with newer series and all of the repeated themes. Vampire with abilities to read minds? Kick ass heroine who is also a necromancer? Virgin heroine, despite her being in her early to mid-twenties? Heroine who is scarred in one way or another and unable to exist in the world (strong empathy, strong psychic, sexually abused, orphaned, etc.)? Instant love/lust connection between heroine and the hero? Vampires mysteriously disappearing? The healing power of vampire blood? Freaky vampire children? Uber beautiful characters? Rudeness and snarkiness for humor? Frequent readers or even infrequent readers of the urban fantasy genre have seen all of these themes and more. And rarely, rarely are they presented in a new and interesting way .. which resulted in me avoiding the genre for awhile. So, aside from new releases in my favorite series, this is the first book in the genre I have read for awhile. What is it with this genre that there is a lack of new and innovative writing? Is the genre glutted? Have all ideas been explored? Just some thoughts not really related to this book.