Author: Lori Devoti
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 05/26/09
Meet Mel: Business owner. Dedicated mom. Natural-born Amazon.
It's been ten years since Melanippe Saka left the Amazon tribe in order to create a normal life for her daughter, Harmony. True, running a tattoo parlor in Madison, Wisconsin, while living with your Amazon warrior mother and priestess grandmother is not everyone's idea of normal, but Mel thinks she's succeeded at blending in as human.
Turns out she's wrong. Someone knows all about her, someone who's targeting young Amazon girls, and no way is Mel going to let Harmony become tangled in this deadly web. With her mother love in overdrive, Ms. Melanippe Saka is quite a force...even when she's facing a barrage of distractions -- including a persistent detective whose interest in Mel goes beyond professional, a sexy tattoo artist with secrets of his own, and a seriously angry Amazon queen who views Mel as a prime suspect. To find answers, Mel will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do: embrace her powers and admit that you can take the girl out of the tribe...but you can't take the tribe out of the girl.
Plot: 3.5 Stars
The Amazons in this story were very interesting. I liked that they all had different abilities, although I wish some of the abilities had been discussed in a little more detail. My favorite part of the whole story was that the main character was a tattoo artist. I love body modification (I have 11 piercings and 5 tattoos), so I was really excited for two of my favorite things to be come together in a novel: tattoos and urban fantasy. I was a little let down in the fact that the tattoo aspect of the story was only a small part, especially considering the title, but it fit with the Amazon storyline quite well. The end of the novel was a bit confusing. Mel spends the majority of the novel bouncing from one suspect to another, constantly changing who she her top suspect for the murders. As the final showdown comes around, she puts a lot of random pieces together really fast, and I'm still not sure exactly how she figured it out.
Pace: 3 Stars
This book was a bit of a slow read. As the story progressed, the pace picked up a little as well. But it definitely wasn't a fast-paced story. The ending was the only part of the story that I wouldn't describe as "slow" but it was a bit to fast-paced. Mel put things together too fast, too quickly, and before I knew it she was racing off to save the day while I was still trying to put things together. While the rest of the book could've used a little bit of a pick up, the ending needed a couple more pages to help walk the reader through all of the relevations leading to Mel figuring out who was behind the murders.
Characters: 3 Stars
Mel was a very interesting and complex character. Throughout the story, I really got to know who she was and how she would react. I enjoyed that she was a working mother and trying to keeps things as normal as possible, consider her and her family were all Amazons. But other than Mel, none of the other characters were developed all that well. Mel's mother and grandmother lived with her and her daughter, but you never learn too much about them. Mel hires a new tattoo artist, but doesn't know anything about him until he drops a bomb near the end of the novel. A whole parade of Amazons move into Mel's crazy old-school-turned-house, and the few who actually stand out still come across as a bit flat.
Cover: 3 Stars
The cover model was exactly how I pictured Mel. I really liked that they didn't choose some barely legal model, because Mel is the mother of a teenager. I liked that they kept the cover realistic. The color palette of the cover was also a good choice; the magenta catches the eye, while still giving off a bit of a darker atmosphere which fits the novel. I wasn't a big fan of the tattoo sign in the background. It leads you to believe that that aspect of the story is going to be a little bigger than it actually was. And it was very bright, which dragged your attention away from the cover model and her awesome sword. I just wish there was a bit more detail in the background, like something reminiscent of the setting.
Overall: 3 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.