Saturday 10 August 2019

Reviews: Live Fae or Die Trying & Dead Fae Walking by Jenna Wolfhart (Paranormal PI Files)

My thoughts on books one and two of the Paranormal PI Files! 

The Paranormal PI Files is an urban fantasy series by Jenna Wolfhart following the character of  Clark - a half fae, half shifter - as she is pulled into life within a fae court by the Prince of the Crimson Court - Balor - despite her best intentions.
The story is based in the UK and neither book is particularly long so they are nice quick reads.

Despite being two books into the series, I have no idea why the series is called the Paranormal PI series. Clark may have been a PI - and not a very good one - before getting sucked into the Crimson Court but there is no 'PI-ing' going on in the books... Just court investigative work so she's essentially Balor's personal investigator and court security guard from around chapter two of book one.
It's a minor niggle but it still bugs me so it needed to be stated! 😆

The series is scheduled to be six books in length.


*Read via Kindle Unlimited*

I'm a fae without a court, but that suits me just fine. Kind of. For years, I’ve hidden in my shabby East London flat, working as a private investigator for romantically-scorned supernaturals. The pay? Total rubbish. I’m broke as hell and almost homeless. But I’m stuck in this life. If anyone discovered my dark past, I’d end up dead. 

But when a serial killer starts picking off London's fae, it seems fate has other plans for me. Balor, a dangerous and sinfully enticing fae prince, wants me to help him hunt down the killer. Apparently, my mind-reading abilities would be an asset. Now, I'm being whisked away into a court of wealth and magic. 

Problem is, I can't read his mind, and I'm not sure I trust him. Worse, he knows I'm keeping a secret of my own, and he's determined to figure it out. Despite his allure, I start to wonder if he's behind the crimes. If he is, I'll never make it out of his Court alive.

First of all, I'd like to state that the blurb, while wholely accurate, makes this book sound a lot more exciting than it is. That's not because the book is boring, it's not, it's just clumsy and clunky when compared to the smooth and slick blurb.

In this book, you get a brief intro to Clark. You learn she's a complete loner, barely managing to fend for herself and constantly paranoid that she's going to get swooped up by one of the Fae courts and some deep dark secret from her past is going to get her killed when that finally happens.
Of course, she is swooped up by the Prince of the Crimson Court within the first couple of chapters and the sky doesn't fall in on her head.
I was disappointed at how meekly she submitted to it all considering her life or death worries despite her having her own reasons for temporarily acquiescing.

Clark is assigned to the Court's security squad because of her rare mind-reading abilities and settles in fairly quickly with the other team members as she helps them detangle the mystery of some missing fae women.
She also gets dragged into Court politics and has to deal with the fact that Balor gives her the tinglies despite the fact she doesn't know if she can trust him and the fact if he finds out what her deep dark secrets are she's dead.

The twists and turns kept me guessing and I didn't have a clue who the baddie was as the story progressed so got a nice surprise.
I found it annoying that we got to know very little about Clark's background and nothing but surface information on Balor but I guess that's to come in later books.
Clark and Balor's apparent connection felt forced and I really hope if it's to be explored that it's built up slowly in subsequent books so that I don't have to deal with the jarring vibes of this one.

All in all, Live Fae or Die Trying was interesting enough for me to want to continue reading but was a poor offering when compared to other books of its ilk on the market.
It felt like a really good draft of a novel, not a completed article, but there is definitely potential!


*Read via Kindle Unlimited*

As a new investigator and guard of the Crimson Court, I've got a lot to prove. Like, I need to show that my mind-reading powers are actually useful.

So, when Balor, my alluring fae prince, wants to team up on a case, I jump at the chance. Only problem is, he's still digging into my past. If he finds out the truth, he'll banish me into the darkness. And away from his side.

Worse, a sorcerer is transforming humans into bloodthirsty members of the walking dead. The culprit is hell-bent on destroying London, no matter what the cost. If we don't stop him--and fast--the dead will kill us all.

If Balor doesn't discover the truth about me first.

Book two, Dead Fae Walking, continues in much the same vein as book one in this series.
Clark is a member of the Crimson Court having decided to stay despite the risks to her person if her deep dark secrets are revealed and we are still left wondering what the hell those deep dark secrets are for we don't even get crumbs!
We do however get a little bit more info on what Balor's problem is and why he runs away from his connection (I refuse to call the forced chemistry feelings) for Clark. They run hot and cold throughout the book and the childish back and forth is irritating, not sexy, so I really hope that this gets sorted quickly.

Trickery and betrayal are afoot and Clark and the gang must stop an evil sorcerer from creating an army of undead creatures (called the Slough) but one who uses supernaturals for his corpses instead of plain old humans - which was the norm until this book.
Tensions are rising between supernaturals and humans so it is imperative that Clark and co not only put a stop to the sorcerer but they do it without revealing the slough's existence to humans thus further straining human tolerances.

Clark's powers are developing and she's starting to come into some of her shifter abilities. I'm curious as to how this side of her will develop and I really want to know what the big secret is!
 I'm also curious to see what the political fallout from this book is for Balor and the Crimson Court. A powerful enemy within Balor's own court now knows his closest held secret and his court is fracturing, under assault from both the outside and from within.
I have a feeling things are going to get much worse before they get any better.

Despite the fact the writing of this series is not improving - this book also felt like an unedited draft! - I'm definitely going to read book three. In fact, I'm probably going to keep going until I know Clark's secret (as a minimum) because my brain is annoying like that.



  1. This is a new series to me and it does sounds pretty good. I am curious to what Clarks secret is too. Great review.

  2. The synopsis on these sound amazing! It sucks that they don't actually reflect the book itself. I'm surprised that the writing doesn't improve as the series continues. Is this a self-published book? It's a shame that these books don't seem polished and edited for release. Hopefully the third on is better. ;)

  3. Glad to hear you enjoyed some parts enough to keep reading the series. Hopefully the books improve. :)

  4. Indie books can be so hit or miss with editing and how easily they flow. Sorry this one wasn't the best series out there. If you are looking for Indie recs I have quite a few that are really good and edited well.

  5. I don't read a lot of fae stories because the fae sometimes irritate me. So the books with them in t can be good or not depending on the story.

  6. Hmm, I added the first book to my TBR just to check out and see if I'd like it- thanks for the reviews!!

  7. It would niggle at me too that the series title doesn't make much sense since there is no P.I. work going on. Twists, turns, and secrets in a series always keep me reading too! Hopefully thew author's writing will improve the further you get in to the series. Charlie sounds like an interesting character, and it's always so much fun learning about a character's abilities in Urban Fantasy!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape


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