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I Belong

Review: Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway

Title: Precinct 13

Author: Tate Hallaway

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Precinct 13 (Book 1)

Publication Date: August 7, 2012

Format: Paperback, 308 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425247791 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425247792 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Michelle


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…

Quick & Dirty: Precinct 13 is funny, full of wit, and refreshing.

Opening Sentence: I never dreamed of being a coroner.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I’m new to Tate Hallaway as an author, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The cover is interesting with the many faded symbols all throughout the background. The blurb on the cover, under the title, says “The dead have tales to tell. And sometimes they just won’t shut up.” I knew I was going to enjoy this, and that Hallaway would turn out to be an author right up my alley.

Precinct 13 introduces us to Alex, as bold and daring as they come. After taking a bet from her best friend, she campaigned and won the election for Hughes County coroner in Pierre, South Dakota. It wasn’t a fluke chance either. Alex is a forensic science graduate, who dropped out of medical school because of complicated life issues. But all of the complications and her former life in Chicago are behind her now, and as ready as she’ll ever be. Alex’s first day on the job resulted in moving body markings, a new protective snake tattoo, as well as having a fresh corpse getting up and walking from her table. Life as she knew it will change forever, opening up Alex’s eyes to paranormal truths and become a part of something that makes her feel normal.

Precinct 13 is a secretive division of the law that handles things out of the norm. From zombies to magic curses, nothing is too paranormal for Precinct 13. Alex then realizes her ability, ignoring the past of mental issues and finally realizing her potential. Precinct 13 brings the reader on an exciting adventure with many promises of paranormal and fantasy elements.

Alex believes she has mental problems. Aside from romantic problems with Valentine, she has seen and lived through many things. Alex is convinced that her stepmother is a demon, she has seen trolls under bridges, and more tragically, she left her boyfriend as he was jailed for assaulting her stepmother. She is independent and strong-willed, until you involve her mental capabilities. Understandably so, living in a world where seeing paranormal beings just don’t belong. And while others might find the sarcasm annoying, I thought it added to the comic relief of the story.

Precinct 13 has a handful of amazing supporting characters. From Valentine, the elusive romantic interest, to Spenser Jones, the half-fairy lead detective, Hannah Stone, a gollum with both physical and mental strength, Devon, a half vampire and half werewolf, and finally Jack, a technology-using magic user. Every single character had elements to contribute to the whole story, as well as individual entertainment appeal. The personalities did so well to compliment each other, never hindering against another.

Hallaway’s world is different, bordering between reality and fiction. There were enough supernatural and paranormal scenarios to grant this a paranormal/fantasy genre, but who knows, it could also mimic real life. I did feel that there was a lot to explain, which slowed the pacing in the beginning, but once that was all out of the way, it was smooth sailing ahead.

Precinct 13 is funny, full of wit, and refreshing. Hallaway is a great writer who will entertain you throughout the pages. I enjoyed Alex, Valentine, and the officers of Precinct 13, and I think you will too.

Notable Scene:

Her kindness was like a punch in the gut. My eyes threatened to fill with tears. I held them back by biting my lip. She could not know what she was apologizing for, but it was a lot: my lover imprisoned, my medical career in ruins, my family– fuck, my family– my dad walking away when I needed him the most. A life full of accusations of being strange, weird… insane.

“It’s over now,” I heard Jones say. You’re not alone anymore.”

That did it. The floodgates broke. I sobbed like a baby.

Precinct 13 Series:

1. Precinct 13

FTC Advisory: Berkley Trade provided me with a copy of Precinct 13.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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