You ever find one of those perfect books that hook you in from the first sentence?? Well, Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay was one of those books for me.
Anyone who has read my blog knows I don't like first person present tense. 99.9999999% of the time, it ruins the story for me. It's so easy to get it wrong.
Stacey Jay gets it right.
And I'm so glad she chose to write it in this format because the story is so much better for it. In fact, there really is no other way to tell this story, not without losing everything that it is.
The world in this book is interesting and unique. Fairies (which no one even knew existed) have mutated and they're vicious poisonous creatures with a bite that kills most humans. They've wiped out a good portion of humans. To protect themselves, humans have created iron walls around their towns and a gridwork of iron lines over them to keep the fairies out. There are some humans who are immune to fairy bites, though, and these people can work outside the safe zones - making them extremely valuable for certain jobs.
The main character, Annabelle Lee (my favorite name ever - because of Edgar Allen Poe's poem of that same name), is one of the immune. She works gathering samples from the swamp for scientific study. In addition, she works for the police at crime scenes outside the safe zone.
Annabelle is a seriously damaged character. She's a functioning alcoholic, and prescription drug addict, with a past that makes her shy away from any attachment. She's snarky and hostile and messed up -- and I loved her. Reading the story from her POV in the moment was amazing. I understood her motivations, I despaired/cheered over her choices, I cringed as she dealt with everything that came her way. And some of what came her way was awful. As you get to know her, it's totally understandable why she's so broken.
Despite it all, Annabelle loves. She doesn't feel loveable because she hates herself. But her boyfriend (a cop) Cane loves her and he wants more from her than she can commit to in her messed up state. His family? Not so much. Mix in a murdered girl, violent fairies, drug dealers, a nasty cat, the possibility of losing her job, and the ex-boyfriend who crushed her (who is the FBI agent assigned to the murder), and you're barely scratching the surface of this story.
Let's just say, Annabelle has a lot to work out.
So, I think this book is brilliant. I read it in less than a day because I could NOT put it down. I had to know what happened. I had to see where it would go. I absolutely LOVED it. And I immediately went on the internet to make sure there's going to be a sequel (there IS!!!!!!). I know some people might be turned off by Annabelle's character - if you don't like Stacia Kane's Unholy Magic series (**cough**you're crazy**cough**), because of Chessie's addiction, you probably won't enjoy this. But if you like a book where nothing is cut and dried, heroes have issues, love is possible if you're willing to work for it - a book packed with action and angst, twists and tangles, love and longing - this is one you're going to want to own.
So what are you waiting for? Go! Buy it!