Review: Dead Mann Running by Stefan Petrucha

Posted September 25, 2012 by Gikany-Una in 4 stars, Rating A, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Dead Mann Running
Author: Stefan Petrucha 
Release Date: Sept. 4, 2012
Publisher: Roc
Hessius Mann #2
ISBN: #978-0451464743
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s):  Paperback (339 p), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Just because a bullet has your name on it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t duck…
Either I’m stubborn or it’s rigor mortis, but being dead didn’t stop me from being a detective. But it’s tough out there for a zombie. These days the life-challenged have to register and take monthly tests to prove our emotional stability. See, if we get too low, we go feral. And I’ve been feeling down lately myself.
So when a severed arm – yeah, just the arm – leaves a mysterious briefcase in my office, my assistant Misty thinks figuring out where it came from will keep me on track. But this job goes deeper and darker than I imagined.
Turns out the people after the briefcase know more about my past life than I can remember, and even more about what I’ve become.
What G & U are talking about:
Dead Mann Running is the second novel in the Hessius Mann series.  Overall Gikany and Una enjoyed this latest installment; however, we are curious to see where it goes from here.  It is amazing how dystopian this world is, although the only difference from our current state is the discovery (and use) of RIP – the magical drug that returns the dead to life…or something like it.
Gikany and Una felt a little amiss as we started Dead Mann Running.  We had forgotten how much had happened in the previous novel, Dead Mann Walking.  If only there had been time for a reread, it might have made the start of this novel a little smoother.  Pushing that aside, it amazes us how much Mr. Petrucha can fit into a novel.  Although this is urban fantasy, it is woven around a detective element.  We loved to watch the pieces fall together.  Sometimes it felt like we were watching a suspense movie and we were screaming at the screen because we know what is waiting.
The Hessius Mann series is a darkly, adults-only series. This is truly illustrated in the first few chapters of Dead Mann Running.  Considering Chakz (the term this novel loosely uses for returned to life) go feral when they lose whatever it is that keeps them going, and all the negative experiences and trials that Hessius goes through, it is truly astonishing that he hasn’t gone feral.  The world that Mr. Petrucha has created could be argued to be a dystopian society or a lesson against the prejudice that seems to plague our world.  The prejudice against Chakz is strong and demoralizing.  
Without giving anything away, the world falls out from under the feet of Hessius near the end.  But we love how, even when he thinks this will be it and he’ll lose it; he doesn’t.  Hessius seems to always have a light that keeps burning and keeps him from falling off the deep end. With everything that is revealed and left at the end, Dead Mann Running is an explosive second novel in the Hessius Mann series.  Gikany and Una are eager to see what happens next.
Their Rating:
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

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