Apr 29, 2013

ARC Review--Dead Man's Deal by Jocelynn Drake

The dark and dangerous follow-up that continues the adventures of a magical tattoo artist begun in Angel's Ink

In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart's desire. One tattoo is all it takes. But remember, everything has its price. . . .

Gage learned that lesson long ago, in ways he'd rather not remember. But the cruel and powerful wizards in the dreaded Ivory Towers he escaped aren't about to let him forget. Though Gage has managed to stay out of sight, he can't outrun the past forever.

The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters-entire cities-get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him . . .

I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Dead Man's Deal is the second book in the the new Asylum Tales series by Jocelynn Drake! This one picks up about two months after Angel's Ink and we immediately see Gage and Bronx working a job for Reave, the dark elf mob boss. But Gage is still a good man at heart and cannot stomach helping Reave out in his illicit affairs, so he does his best to muck things up!

The bulk of the story has Gage dealing with some of the aftermath problems of Angel's Ink. He is determined to find a way to help Trixie out with her dilemma of the elf king, who wants to use Trixie as his concubine so that they can have children and keep their race alive. Trixie has been on the run for centuries trying to avoid that very thing and Gage is determined to get her out of this messy situation. His other problem includes trying to get Bronx out his situation with working for Reave, again, but the troll remains stubborn about it, refusing to leave Gage to Reave's whims as well.

The BIG issue goes back to the Towers. More than one issue really, but any problems with the Towers is going to be catastrophic! First off, word on the street is that Reave knows all eight locations of the Towers, that includes a special hidden tower that no one is suppose to know about. Gage learns this when he learns that Reave's newest recruit, and someone Gage is told to tattoo to protect said recruit from danger, harm and all that jazz that comes with knowing an incredibly dangerous secret.

The problem there is that this recruit is someone Gage knows very well. I won't go further into that because it was quite the surprise when revealed!

Like its predecessor, Dead Man's Deal was filled with action and suspense! There's never really a dull moment and Gage is an amazing hero! He is willing to go to any and all lengths, no matter how deadly and dangerous and life threatening they may be. He wants to keep his friends safe and doesn't even pause to consider his own safety. He is a true friend to both Bronx and Trixie, yet sometimes I feel like he is too much of a martyr, always willing to sacrifice himself to protect others. But then not realizing that he will be leaving his friends vulnerable to future attacks, because the bad guys hardly ever work alone.

The pacing to this one was awesome, like I said. Hardly a dull moment to be had, even when there were moments that didn't really add to the direct plot, those moments were still action-y or just plain entertaining! There's still some romance sparking between Trixie and Gage. One very heated moment in particular! Wowzas! Ha ha! Jocelynn really knows how to grab a reader's attention!

The ending was incredible! There was more action just building up and then suddenly Gage finds himself in the pickle of all pickles and the results are near devastating! Mostly because I now have to wait who knows how long to read the next book! There's definitely going to be more excitement in the books to come!! Jocelynn draws readers in with her dark, gritty landscapes and characters that just jump off the page and come to life! I hesitate in saying that this series may top the Dark Days! But I won't, because the Dark Days series was still incredible, the Asylum Tales is a new brand of incredible!

Overall rating 5/5 stars

Dead Man's Deal releases May 7, 2013


  1. Oooo, look at that tat! LOL! I do need to get to this authors work. *sigh*

  2. I haven't read anything by Drake, but I really like the sound of this series! I will put it on my TBR list, for sure. I have to say that his ink reminds me of the logo for the Sons of Anarchy LOL


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