Title: Shade Fright (A Valerie Stevens novel)
Author: Sean Cummings
Year Published: 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” the saying goes. I did the exact opposite. I took one look at the comic book design cover and went for it. Can you blame me?
So this story follows Valerie Stevens who was born with a unique gift to see the preternatural world. She works for the Canadian Government who sends her to locate things or people from the supernatural world.
In this first Valerie Stevens novel she gathers the help of her zombie best friend and the ghost of a former Prime Minister of Canada to... you guessed it, save the world.
There are many books based on characters that see the supernatural and happen to be a P.I. Even though Valerie works for the Government, she’s still an investigator of some sort.
So what makes this book appealing (besides from the cover) is the normal girl Valerie. She’s not your typical “I do not remember my past, all I know is I have powers” female character, or your “depressed vampire that wears black leather and heavy eye liner”. She is a civil servant that earns her money and pay taxes just like the next person. A person you can relate to if you minus the whole seeing the dead thing.
As the first of the Valerie Stevens Novel, it does a good job introducing the characters. It gives a solid understanding of each of them so they can move forward to the next novels.
However, I wasn’t a fan of the plot/problem Valerie had to solve. For example, Valerie had to go back to the farm (the first crime scene) 3 times before finding the truth. A lot of her information was given to her rather than her finding out. Because of this, I lost interest half way through the book. It did not make me believe Valarie was good at her job even though according to the book, she’s been doing it for awhile. She’s also not a physical fighter, more of a witch, or what she calls herself, an alchemist.
I did enjoy the little time travel and the perfect balance of romance in this book. The romance is just enough for the reader to understand the position the characters are in and enough not to overflow the actual story line. Also there is no cliff hanger at the end so readers can read this book separately rather than in a series form.
If you’re looking for a light urban fantasy book, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for something dark, you might want to give this a miss. But I expect the following novels will get darker and we will see Valerie’s power improve.
The next book to the Valerie Stevens novel is Funeral Pallor.
Terri's Rating: 2/5