Early Review: Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway

August 4, 2012 Review 5

*This title will be released on August 7, 2012*

Cover by: Blake Morrow

Precinct 13

by Tate Hallaway

Genre: Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: No
Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425247791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425247792


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.

Sexual Content

Kissing. References to sex


Recent college grad Alex Conner is thrilled to have landed a job as the Hughes County coroner/medical examiner in Pierre, South Dakota. But when her first day on the job ends with a missing corpse, Alex starts to wonder if she would have been better off collecting unemployment…

When the cops made some cryptic comments about being careful with the body they brought in, Alex just thought the boys in blue were messing with her. That is, until something freaky happens that no amount of med school could have prepared her for. By the time Alex gets herself together, the body has disappeared and the other residents of the morgue start talking her ear off.

After working up the courage to report the missing body, Alex is transferred to the mysterious Precinct 13 where she discovers that her new co-workers—including a cute technomage named Jack—are paranormals just like her. Now, Alex is being encouraged to use her ability to speak to the dead to solve crimes. And despite being in the middle of nowhere, Hughes County sure does have a lot of paranormal activity…


PRECINCT 13 is a funny medical examiner meets police procedural mash-up all wrapped up in an urban fantasy bow.  Right from the start, Alex’s engaging voice draws readers into her world.  She’s a little crazy in a Sookie Stackhouse sort of way due to the fact that she thought she was crazy her whole life.  She’s always seen things that shouldn’t–couldn’t be real.  Now in a new town, with a new job, away from a boyfriend who was ‘enabling’ her delusions, Alex is ready for a fresh non-magical start.  Instead, after a series of bizarre events, she ends up as the medical liaison for Precinct 13, the magical branch of the local law enforcement. Suddenly, Alex finds out that magic is more real than she ever imagined.

Precinct 13 is a strange, fascinating bureaucratic department populated with a variety of supernatural creatures (faeries, technomages, werewolves etc).  And for the first time in her life, nobody thinks she’s crazy.  For Alex, it’s exciting but a little overwhelming.  That’s kind of my impression as well.

For the first half of the book, it felt like I was reading the second book in a series.  There are so many cryptic references to Alex’s old life, all her therapy, a scary incident with her boyfriend and stepmother that earned him serious prison time.  Then there’s the boyfriend himself.  He’s a deliberately mysterious character, but he just sort of shows up with little to no introduction.  It really added to the feeling that I had missed something.  As the story progressed, some of the details and plotlines got a little convoluted and lost some of the momentum Alex’s voice and the precinct created.

There is no info about whether or not this is a series or a standalone, but while the storyline is resolved in PRECINCT 13, the groundwork is laid for a series.  Considering how well thought out and distinctive this world is, Hallaway has more planned for this precinct.  I still think the story should have started earlier to avoid that sense that something was missing and maybe simplified a few of the sideplots, but the premise for this book is great and Alex is a quirky yet completely likable protagonist who definitely deserves a sequel or two.

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5 Responses to “Early Review: Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway”

    • Abigail

      I think the cover is very interesting, but it’s very gritty and the story is on the lighter side.

  1. Wrighty

    This sounds like my kind of book! I like humor combined with paranormal. I’ll have to look for it now. Thanks for a great review!

    • Abigail

      The humor was solid throughout. I’ve never read a Tate Hallaway book before, but I’ll be keeping an eye out after this one 🙂

  2. Mardel

    I still haven’t read anything by Tate Halloway. This sounds good – especially if the humor is natural and not forced. I don’t mind gritty, but it’s always nice to have humor in whatever you’re reading. 🙂