Series: Insighter #1
Published by Berkley on September 6, 2016
Genres: Adult, Romantic, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: Sex scenes
Reviewed by: Kate
Leah Nazir is an Insighter. Reincarnation is her business. But while her clients' pasts are a mess, Leah's is nothing short of tragedy. She's been murdered. A lot. If left to that bitch, destiny, it'll happen again. Leah wants to know who's been following her through time, and who's been stalking her in the present...
P.I. Archer Drake has been hired by Leah's mother to keep an eye on her. But the more time he spends watching, the more he finds himself infatuated. Before long, he even finds himself agreeing to help find the person who wants her dead. Over and over again.
Now going full-on "rewind," Leah hopes it can stave off the inevitable. After all, she's grown fond of this life - and even fonder of nerdy Archer. But changing her pattern means finding out who her killer is today. And as Leah fears, that could be anyone she has come to know and trust. Anyone.
I will admit it: I started reading DEJA WHO solely because it is set in Chicago. But I continued reading it for the originality, the wit, and the mystery. First in a new series, DEJA WHO is a huge departure for Davidson after the 15 book Undead series. Focusing on the prickly Leah, an Insighter, somebody who can see people's past lives, the world is creative and original, the romance is sweet, and the mystery is nothing too scary.
Leah grabbed me from the beginning. She's snarky, a bit dark, and she sees people's past lives! In a world where knowing about your past lives is common, she's an in-demand commodity. But she's also trying to break the cycle of being murdered she has in every life. That's how she comes across Archer, the PI. Archer is sweet, and sensitive, almost Leah's opposite, and they make a wonderful couple. Another stand-out character is Cat, Leah's pretty much only friend, who has such a hysterical back-story I was laughing out loud reading it.
In terms of mystery, DEJA WHO isn't the most suspenseful or thrilling, but as urban fantasy with romantic undertones, it works very well. And honestly, the mystery was just at the right level for me, since I wasn't going into this looking for romantic suspense. The world is like nothing I've read before, since the idea of everybody having past lives and recalling them is super different than most urban fantasy. DEJA WHO, for me, is a keeper.
One thing about DEJA WHO that some readers may not like is the slightly strange writing style. There are frequent parenthetical asides, italicized, meant to tell the reader what the character is thinking. They are split off into separate paragraphs. It's an interesting way of writing the character's thoughts, because it's sometimes almost like the character is thinking one thing and then interrupts their own thoughts. It took a little while to get used to, but I definitely didn't mind it once I was used to it.
All in all, the first book in the Insighter series is a fun, worthwhile, read. I would definitely recommend DEJA WHO, and I know I will be desperately waiting for book two in the series!
- Deja Who
- For more by MaryJanice Davidson, try her Undead series.