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12.09.2010

Review: Mob Rules by Cameron Haley


Mob Rules ( #1) by Cameron Haley
Urban Fantasy, Magic, Fae
Trade Paperback (LUNA, 320 pages, $14.95)
ISBN# 0373803206

I'm Domino Riley, an enforcer for Shanar Rashan.
Like most mob bosses in L.A., he's a powerful sorcerer, battling for control of the city, gathering up the magic of violent and powerful emotions and storing it for his own use. Back in the day, Rashan saved me from the streets and made me his lieutenant. You could say I'm his go-to girl.
When a fellow gangster is ritually executed, I have to find out which of Rashan's enemies was behind it—and why. The cryptic messages I'm getting from the Beyond tell me it wasn't a simple hit.
With the bodies piling up, I need to win an occult gang war, take out the supernatural traitor within our outfit and, oh yeah, deal with the mixed messages I'm getting from the boss's son…

Author Site: www.cameronhaley.com

Something NEW this way comes. (4 stars)

In Domino Riley's world if you're not the one controlling the most juice you're liable to get squeezed. No really. In L.A. the gangsters work for stronger magic ("juice") users who control their territories. As a bit of a right-hand to Shanar Rashan, Domino commands a lot of respect for an half-Irish, half-Mexican woman in the world of thugs. When one of Rashan's boys meets a very grisly end completely dried of his juice it's up to Domino to find out how. The plot continues to thicken as she begins to suspect a rival gang's Haitian head, Papa Danwe, is trying to overthrow her boss.

But when it comes to magic and the people who can manipulate it, everything is not always as cut and dry as it seems. Vampires, piskies and djinn occupy this world throwing their own interesting complications into Domino's investigation. By the time the whole story unravels the fight for L.A.'s juice may become a blood bath, but not if Domino can stop it.

In the genre that is Urban Fantasy it sometimes feels like you're reading the same story you've read before and all that's changed it what things are called and character names. Then, once in a while, you get really lucky and find a diamond in the rough. A book that's so fresh in concept or delivery you can't help but want everyone to read it. Mob Rules is an amazing example of taking an old idea and breathing some new life into it. There are lots of magic users out there in the genre but mixed in with the ganster elements this is urban fantasy guys can read without hiding the cover.

Fans of first person narratives from tough heroines should try this one out. Occasionally it's obvious Domino is written by a guy but thanks to her lifestyle it's forgiveable and works. The dialog is solid, something that for me as a reader is an essential element in enjoyable fiction. Haley does a great job of making larger than life secondary characters that don't pull you away from the heroine yet jump off the page making each scene they pop up in memorable. Honey the piskie is an absolute riot and next to Jenks from The Hollows series gives just the right touch of humor to lighten otherwise dark moments.

There is a touch of potential romance, a romance that—without me giving any spoilers—left me wanting more. Haley manages to use it well, making it just one spice in a tasty broth. I'm really looking forward to seeing where he takes Domino with this in future installments.

Overall I can't do the book justice as a reviewer. I can't quite put everything I want to say about what I liked into words without spoiling some of the greatest elements of the story. There are definitely some excellent surprises, just when I was totally bummed Haley managed to pull a fast one on me giving me a little hope. I am hooked. I recommend this one for urban fantasy readers sick of romance and sex taking over good plot, for readers looking for something weird and unexpected and for guys especially. Yeah, yeah, I said I recommend it for guys especially. I tend to like what my husband calls "guy movies" and can never fathom why he calls them that, I see them as "girls can be tough and look really sexy at the same time" movies. Domino is my kind of girl, doesn't take anyone's crap, can roll with the dudes but she's still a girl who can put on a skirt and makeup underneath it all.

Other Reviews:
Abigail of All Things Urban Fantasy
Dreams and Speculation
Liddlshortydemon on Amazon.com


Notes: I received this one as an ebook review copy through NetGalley.

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