It was one of those strange things: I saw this ad for Kelly Meding’s Three Days to Dead and I swear my spidey-sense started tingling. I just knew that this book was going to be great and that she was going to be an author who was really going to go places. Then I read the first chapter online and was really hooked. Waiting the three months until the book actually came out was agonizing!
But, boy, was I right! Three Days to Dead is one of those rare debut novels where the author’s tremendous talent shines through from the very beginning. In this novel, you find everything that a reader looks for in an urban fantasy. Great characters? Check. Excellent story telling? Check. Superior world-building? Check. Non-stop action? Check.
Triad Hunter Evangeline “Evy” Stone wakes up in someone else’s body. She has no idea how she got there. And she only has three days to find out before she dies. Again. So begins this riveting tale of conspiracy and betrayal where the balance of power depends on Evy’s ability to remember how she died and discover how she was resurrected.
Personally, I love the storytelling device of one character in another person’s body. Combined with the Evangeline’s memory loss, it allows for interesting reading. Things that might normally be viewed as insignificant take on a sense of urgency and importance as we try to understand Evy’s character, the people around her and the events that happened to her. And author Kelly Meding does a fantastic job of making us care about both Evangeline and Chalice.
The supporting cast of characters is first rate and includes every time of beastie you would want in an urban fantasy, including trolls, gremlins, fairies, vampires and goblins. Kelly’s writing style is a joy to read and if you like urban fantasy that is smart, funny, thrilling and fast-paced, I highly recommend this novel.
A big plus for me were the two short stories set in the Dreg City world that were posted on Suvudu’s website just before the release of the novel. The Hoarders offered a great opportunity to get to know Evy “in her own skin,” as it were, before we meet her in Chalice’s body. The second story, Pride Before Fall, really helped to establish the politics of the world Evy lives (and died) in. Reading these stories before I read Three Days to Dead was extremely helpful. Kelly Meding has also written a missing scene from 3D2D that you can find here on her website.
The sequel, As Lie the Dead, is due out in the summer of 2010. Three Days to Dead is also available in a Kindle edition.