Series: Wide Open #2
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Tor on March 5, 2013
Reviewed by: Julia
Kissing, references to sex.
Death stalks the haunted, windswept prairie in this chilling sequel to Wide Open
Now that she's solved her sister's murder, Hallie Michaels has left the army and isn't sure what to do next. Her relationship with deputy Boyd Davies is tentative, there's still distance between her and her father, and she needs a job. The good news is, she hasn't seen a ghost in weeks.
All that changes when she gets a call asking her to help an elderly neighbor who is being stalked by black dogs, creatures from the underworld that are harbingers of death. When a black dog appears, Hallie learns, a reaper is sure to follow. And if the dark visions she's suddenly receiving are any indication, it looks like the reaper is now following her.
Meanwhile, strange events herald the arrival of ghosts from Boyd's past, ghosts the young deputy isn't ready to face. Refusing Hallie's help, Boyd takes off to deal with the problem on his own, only to find that he's facing something much larger and more frightening than he'd imagined.
Stalked by a reaper and plagued by dark visions, Hallie finds she must face her fears and travel into Death's own realm to save those she most loves.
From the moment I laid eyes on DEEP DOWN's gorgeous cover, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. In WIDE OPEN, I fell in love with Hallie. There is a particular quality to Deborah Coates's writing that immerses me in her characters. The spare, concise narrative is so clearly seen through Hallie's eyes, so simply stated with her voice, that even though I have little in common with this self-contained character I come away feeling like I know her on a meaningful level. This connection with Hallie became all the more important as her world writhes and changes.
Ghosts, magic, and monsters all permeate this story, sometimes to a ridiculous degree. Though this book is supposedly a "closed world", where the supernatural isn't acknowledged or believed in, Hallie and her companions have no trouble brushing past the issue of concealing magical events from unsuspecting "civilians". Addressing characters' doubts (or lack there of) is definitely not central to this story. I don't mind this oversight, though, as DEEP DOWN explores the origins of Hallie's powers as well as the rippling repercussions of past events. Coates's common-sense day to day style makes Hallie feel so real.
Fans of Charlaine Harris will definitely enjoy how Coates mixes the esoteric and everyday. DEEP DOWN prompted me to induct Hallie into my personal Sisterhood of Practical Badasses (of which Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connelly are founding members), as Hallie grocery shops with a harbinger of death riding shotgun and barters grazing rights for interviews with the dead. This series has gained speed from book one to book two, as DEEP DOWN evens out some of the pacing and believability issues I had with WIDE OPEN. This has my anticipation ratcheted all the way up, I can't wait to see hints of book three.
1. Deep Down - 3/5
Book Chick City - 4/5
For the Love of Books - 5/5
Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
Harper Connelly by Charlaine Harris