Frost Moon by Anthony Francis
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Available: March 1, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book received from: Bell Bridge Books
In an alternate Atlanta where vampires and werewolves prowl the night, magic is real, and tattoo magic is the strongest magic of them all, a serial killer is targeting the magically tattooed on the full moon.
Dakota Frost, best magical tattooist in the Southeast, learns from the police she may be a target … just when she receives a lucrative commission to ink a magic tattoo for a werewolf before the next full moon.
Caught between the rough and tumble world of the werewolves, the law and order rules of the vampires, and a sexy man-in-black whose motives are in doubt, Dakota must tread carefully to survive – because she doesn’t know whether her werewolf client is the tattoo killer … or the next victim.
Frost Moon is the first book in the Skin Dancer series by Anthony Francis.
Little Five Points, Atlanta is home to Dakota Frost, magical tattooist. She stands out among her peers sporting a deathhawk and magical tattoos that cover her entire body. She is known as one of the best magical tattooists in the business and her expertise is sought after by humans and otherworldly creatures—also known as Edgeworlders.
Dakota is plunged into the middle of a murder investigation when a special investigator for the DEI (Department of Extraordinary Investigations) seeks out her expertise regarding a series of murders linked to magic tattoos. It seems murders are occurring during the full moon and the victims all sported magical tattoos. The tattoos have been cut from the victims bodies. The Feds are in possession of one of the removed tattoos and need Dakota’s help in indentifying the origin and who the owner was. But, since Dakota is not only a tattoo artist she also wears many magical tattoos, she could be a target for murder as the full moon approaches.
It’s always important to like the main protagonist or at least be able to learn to like her. In Frost Moon, Dakota had me at the first line in the book where she says:
“I first started wearing a Mohawk to repel low-life’s—barflies, vampires, Republicans, and so on—[…]”
I mean really, you’ve got to love a protagonist who puts low-life’s, barflies and Republicans all in the same barrel right? Ok, maybe not but, but I love Dakota. She comes off as a tough, streetwise woman who can take care of herself. She is sarcastic and a bit sharp around the edges but her dedication to her craft, her strong work ethic and her general care for all kind—human and paranormal alike—make her very likeable.
We meet an eclectic group of secondary characters in Frost Moon: vampires, weres of all sorts, magicians, a blind witch, and a sexy (human) federal agent. Each character is interesting in their own right and hold promise for interesting possibilities as the series expands. My favorite is Lady Saffron, the fetish loving vampire queen and ex-girlfriend of Dakota. There are a lot of unresolved issues between the two of them and I hope we’ll see this relationship/friendship explored in future books in the series.
The mystery in Frost Moon is quite intriguing. Although it was pretty much a straight up who-done-it, and there may have been clues here and there as to the murderer, I was stumped until the reveal. I was kept guessing through out the book and the one time I took a chance on nailing down a suspect, the question of his possible guilt was eliminated in the next chapter. You got me Anthony Francis, you got me!
Frost Moon is an exciting Urban Fantasy that starts off strong and keeps up the steam throughout. Anthony Francis has created an interesting take on the usual paranormal world incorporating magic and mysticism into a dangerous world where both humans and paranormals live side by side. This is certainly a series I will keep up with.
My favorite Dakota Frost Quotes:
“Look, ‘Cinnamon,’ the last thing I need is another spice-themed girlfriend, suitor or ex […]”
“You pull some James Randi shit and leap up to start sprinkling Styrofoam chips on me when I’m working, I tattoo you a new working asshole in the middle of your forehead.”
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