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Dead Man by Domino Finn
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I had the pleasure of reading the ebook back in 2016 but with the release of this series in audiobook format, I felt I needed to revisit this book. What follows is an updated review that includes my thoughts on the narration (which is excellent!).

Cisco Suarez, necromancer and a wee bit of a dumb ass, wakes up in a dumpster. Wait. Can the dead wake? Cisco is full on dead and he’s none too happy to learn about it, especially since a variety of folks are set on seeing him dead. Again.

The Miami heat can be harsh, especially if you’re already prone to giving off body odor. Cisco needs info and the first person he runs into that he knows is Milena, who was his sister Seleste’s BFF. Cisco soon learns what tragedy befell his family and he’s heart broken and ticked off all at the same time.

The Haitian gang, The Bone Saints, are after him and he’s not too sure why. They have a new leader, Baptiste, who is dead set on ending Cisco’s second life. Cisco has few options so he calls upon his friends for info and aide. There’s the Norwegian biker tattoo artist Kasper, his boyhood school friend Evan Cross (who’s as straight laced as you can get), and his buddy in studying the dark arts Martine. Unfortunately, Cisco will get less aide than he hoped for and more info than he can easily handle.

This is a wonderful nitty gritty urban fantasy detective story. Miami provides the author with the opportunity to mix in several cultures and languages. Of course, I loved all the food references. Cisco has that interesting mix of boyish charm, machismo, underdog, do-gooder, and more power than he can easily handle. Oh, and playing with dead things. It made for a fascinating character set in a place that ties together several cultures, and hence, several mythologies.

I often found myself cheering on this necromancer, which is not something I have done often. I mean, it’s just wrong to mess with the dead, right? But Cisco made me see the right of it. After all, there’s utilizing the dead for a higher purpose and then there’s abusing your necromancer privileges. Cisco sometimes walks a fine line, but that only added to the tension and enjoyment of the story.

My one quibble is the ladies. They are few and far between and mostly are comforters and sex objects. Now part of that is how Cisco sees the world, so I can see that adding to the character’s personality, but the ladies as a whole aren’t well represented. Martine has some skills in necromancy, but she has a pretty small role. Max, a body guard, I think has like 5 lines for the entire book and is one-dimensional. Seleste gets a nod and Milena has the largest role mostly because Cisco spends plenty of time admiring her figure. There’s an old girlfriend who also gets a nod but must be protected from the truth as she’s too fragile to handle it (eye roll). It’s modern-day Miami, which is known for a lot of things, including their bad ass women (for example the numerous ladies from the series Dexter). Alas, this book was lacking in this regard.

With that said, it was still a very engaging story and an excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre. Apparently, the dead can be used more creatively than I expected. The balance of humor and serious points kept me on Cisco’s side throughout the book.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Neil Hellegers delivers! I was definitely impressed with what Hellegers could do in this audiobook. There’s plenty of accents called for, all of which Hellegers does well. Then there’s several supernatural entities that required some creativity to voice and Hellegers pulled those off as well. He’s simply great at being Cisco Suarez, Dead Man bumbling his way through his second life. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Sep 15, 2017 |
Dead Man (Black Magic Outlaw #1) by Domino Finn is a pretty good fantasy book. Lots of action, magic, necromancy, suspense, and plenty of twists and turns. I had the audio narration and the narrator was pretty good. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Jul 1, 2017 |
What made the experience of listening to Dead Man the most enjoyable?
The humor of the main character, Cisco Suarez, which was dry and black. I also really like the narrators voice, he did a great Cisco, and many of the othe characters.

What other book might you compare Dead Man to, and why?
It made me think of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton due to his involvement with necromancy.

What does Neil Hellegers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
I think Neil Hellegers had a really good voice, the dry/black sarcastic humor coming across really well and it helped me to visual what the characters would look like. As a female, I don't tend to think of the male tone of male characters, so for me he really brought the male characters to life and he did a good job with the female voices.

Any additional comments?
The overall story line was interesting with a pretty good plot, great characters whether they are or are not likeable. I found Cisco's humor really entertaining and even though he liked to refer to himself in the 3rd person, it added to my amusement of the story. I'm look forward to next in the series. ( )
  FiLoMa | Apr 8, 2017 |
My original Dead Man audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Cisco Suarez wakes up in a dumpster after being killed 10 years ago. He remembers none of the last decade, how he died, or how he got many of the skills and strength he now has. After tracking down a couple of friends, he is able to piece together enough details to follow a trail toward his killers. More questions arise as he finds out someone slaughtered his family and a Hattian voodoo gang wants him dead.

The action continues non-stop throughout the story, voodoo, necromancy, the occult, potions, and more fill the tale with magical violence. The story is written in the first person, so the listener is inside Cisco’s head throughout; reliving his fears, insecurities, slowly returning memories and newly discovered abilities. He is a self-taught necromancer and wielder of magic, so most of his skills are sometimes a surprise to him.

As the listener rediscovers Cisco’s lost 10 years, we relive his emotions with him, lost friendships, family, and lover. It gets claustrophobic and redundant at times but remains generally entertaining. The plot is less about making sense than following Cisco’s stumbling luck as an amateur occult detective.

Neil Hellegers performs the story well, giving it a personality. His voice gets into the listeners head as he becomes Cisco. A solid performance that is pleasant to listen to and gets out of the way when the action gets hot.

Dead Man is a detective story wrapped in the shell of magic and the occult. There are enough dead bodies, zombies, and wizards to fill a small stadium. Strange that the non-magic people don’t seem to notice much of it. Never mind, that’s not the point. It is Cisco’s world and you are invited to share it intimately as you ride on his shoulder. While there is plenty of violence and most of it horrific, it is cartoonish and won’t give you nightmares. The story is entertaining enough, fast paced and inventive. Listen to the sample, it will give you enough to decide if the style is your taste.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Dec 8, 2016 |
This was a very fast read, and an interesting concept. I thought the main character, Cisco, was very well developed. I thought a few things were a little rushed, but I liked the overall outcome of the story. I will pickup the next book in the series very soon. ( )
  Jason_Gatewood | Nov 28, 2016 |
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