*longer, in-depth review via my blog later...
I liked the concept of this book, or at least as it was presented via the back cover blurb. Pretty soon, though, I realized my stomach wouldn't be able to take a certain aspect of it. I won't spoil what that is, but given the nature of it, the way the author describes what ahppens, it's too reminiscent of horror to me. Now, I haven't read or watched a lot of horror, but what I have felt similar to this in story and tone, enough anyway to cause said stomach issues.
The writing is good. I think the author doesn't only show promise, but has actually achieved a good book if one looks at the writing alone. That being said, I didn't feel the character, even the main one of Ray, were necessarily well developed. It's the first in a series, though, so one might hope that this particular detail is expanded in later books. Still, it would have been nicer to not only see more of what brings Ray to the point he's in at the beginning of the book, and also to see more deeply who he is as a person. As he and all the other characters are throughout the book, they feel pretty wooden a good bit of the time and we really only get surface interactions, feelings, etc. from them.
Considering all that, the plot was interesting, but I was disappointed in how it was all left off. That one aspect that turned my stomach whenever it came up? I felt it was resolved kind of poorly. It felt like such a huge, horrific deal, and it's "solved" pretty quickly and anti-climatically at the end.
The pacing was interesting in that it didn't do the typical fast start, sagging middle and fast-paced end. Instead it had a good start and from then it teeter-tottered from fast and good to slow to fast and good to slow and back all throughout the book. I feel that if the characters had been better developed, maybe this wouldn't have been so noticeable.
Worldbuilding was also disappointing. As I said earlier, this read more like horror, and what urban fantasy-esque details there were, while cool, were actually the least developed of the book. There's very little to lend the genre label of urban fantasy any credence. Also another part that could develop better in the next book. Ray hoists a cool weapon too many times to count through the story, his "boss" is some kind of amazingly tough and hard-to-kill woman, the "bad guys" are barely described - it was pretty frustrating to see so little attention given this aspect of the book. That being said, I sure did keep reading to see if it would be expanded on, if nothing else.
Considering the way the horrific detail that bothered me so much was built up SO much at the beginning, and then treated so dismissively later, I felt as if my emotions were deliberately being manipulated. This could be the mom in me - and that might tell you some about the nature of that part of the book. Still, considering how little attention is given to solving that part of the book, I did indeed feel manipulated.
I doubt I'll continue with the series. I'm glad I read it to get another male perspective on the urban fantasy genre, something I've been trying to get more of, but I don't know that this particular author's style is for me.