Night Child by Jes Battis

24 Dec

nightchildbattisFavorite Lines: “Can you screw death? Or is it exclusively a top?” (p. 226)

Tess Corday is a probationary CSI-1 called to investigate a vampire death. Able to sense auras, she is a low level employee who bucks authority and is told that this case is win or lose for her. If she solves the case all will be fine, but screw up and she is out of Central Occult Regulation Enterprise (CORE), the group that solves magical crimes.

The dead vampire has two clues on his body: a picture of him with a woman and an address. When Tess follows up on the address, she meets a young girl,the girl’s demonic aunt, and a conspiracy firmly rooted in the vampire community. She’ll need the help of the vampire liaison, necromancer Lucian Agrado.

Night Child is an interesting foray into the scientific world of investigative crime work. It gave me flashes of the television series CSI, but where the television show is easy to follow because of the pictures the book is much harder. There are long interruptions in the storytelling so as to explain the science behind many different moves. It was distracting.

I understand that Mr. Battis is a doctor with strong ties to the gay and lesbian community (because it says so in the thank you part of the book), but it was uncomfortable for me to read the first person story of Tess Corday (a young, straight woman), who used words of endearment within the gay community-by this I mean words like fag and twink-constantly in her inner dialogue. It felt wrong; not because there were gays, but because the woman was thinking like a gay man. Maybe I just don’t know women who think like her (and maybe I do and they just don’t tell me), but it was a niggling in my mind.

Once I got past those things, I found myself enjoying the interaction between Lucian and Tess. Lucian was mysterious, sexy and powerful. There is one sizzling scene between the two of them that was the highest point of the story.

The dark parts of the story were great and sometimes creepy. And the murder who-dun-it aspect eluded me (although I feel really dumb that it did).

Overall, it was interesting. I’m not mad that I read the story, but I’m also not interested in reading science enough to closely follow the series.

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