Melissa reviews Murder Once Seen (The Oddities #1) by J.T. Hall Published December 12th 2016 by Riptide Publishing, 352 pages.
In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.
Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.
Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.
Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I like to watch Supernatural, need I say more? Yes? Okay, a hot super human bounty/demon hunter meets a sexy prostitute seer. All that’s missing is the car and the “Charmed One’s.” 😀
I enjoyed this story, but the beginning of the book was a lot better than the middle and end. I WILL be reading the next book in the series because overall, the book was good (if predictable).
I think this series will shape up into a nice paranormal collection. JT Hall built a very interesting world, one that is nothing like ours. There are demons of all varieties and shapes, there are those with extra “powers” known as Oddities, and their abilities vary. Derwin is a bounty hunter who is an Oddity (super speed and strength); he recharges his batteries you could say by feeding on the pain of others. It certainly makes for an interesting dynamic because he likes pain freely given, which leads to BDSM. The sexual torture/pain of BDSM really gets Derwin going. I was so excited to read this and thought it would be a big part of the story.
When Derwin meets Elliot, sparks are immediate for both of them. Elliot is a rent boy and he wants out of that world but fears he can never get away, especially since he too is an Oddity (he can get visions off objects) and most people don’t react well if they find out. Elliot likes pain – up to a point – but he’s into the scene and those types of clients usually pay more for pain anyway. Derwin and Elliot’s first time together is very hot and torturous; Derwin gets a real energy boost from their session. It has been a long time since Derwin has felt anything for another person; since his boyfriend (Grady) was killed 2 years ago, he’s really kept to himself in that way.
When Elliot has a vision unexpectedly, Derwin learns that Elliot can help him find Grady’s killer. What follows is a lot of action packed, demon hunting, investigating, vision getting, turf warring, kidnapping, insta-loving in less than a week, happy for nowing story. (I never claimed to be a poet.)
I did have issues with how some of the story played out (predictable and contrived). I wish the story could have lived up to the potential of the beginning. The story ends with a Happy For Now, and there is another book being released, Fraud Twice Felt, no blurb yet. I look forward to reading it because despite my issues with this story (insta love), I liked the world Hall created here and I want to see what else happens with these two.
I recommend this story but with the warning that the plot has problems. Still, I look forward to book 2.
P.S. Review writing is not always fun because I have so much I want to tell you but it would be so wordy and convoluted you probably wouldn’t read it anyway so what would be the point? And since this isn’t high school, I didn’t takes notes for a book report. Sometimes I think I should, though.
Check out J.T.’s latest projects, reviews of LGBT titles, and musings at her blog here: http://jthallwriting.wordpress.com
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