Monday 20 July 2020

Dead in The Water, Head Above Water and Hell or High Water by Hailey Edwards! (Gemini Series)

The series is technically a spin-off series from the author's Blackdog series, and characters from that series crop up in this one, but you don't need to have read the Blackdog books to read and appreciate this one... I hadn't read them and could follow what's what just fine.

Dead In The Water by Hailey Edwards

Camille Ellis is the Earthen Conclave’s golden girl. Her peculiar talent solves cases with a touch. She isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, but every bright star casts a shadow, and her deepest scars lurk just beneath the skin.

A routine consultation goes sideways when a victim’s brother gets involved in the investigation. Riding the edge of grief, the warg will go to any lengths to avenge his sister’s death. Even if it means ensuring Cam’s cooperation at the jaws of his wolf.

When the killer strikes again, Cam is caught between a warg and a hard place. To save the next victim, she must embrace her past. Even if it means dragging her darkest secrets into the light of day.

This book (series) is very different from Edwards' Beginners Guide To Necromancy series. It's darker, the protagonist is reserved and super serious and it focuses on the fae and earth-born shapeshifters called Wargs.
The story begins with Camille - a young fae agent tracking a serial killer who targets children - being called to the scene of his latest victim. This victim is a Warg and Cam is forced to play nice when the pack inserts itself in the investigation.

The book was well written, the characters and world are fleshed out and the story was interesting but something about it all just fell flat for me. I don't know if it was the lack of romance, the dark subject matter, the pacing or something else but I just couldn't lose myself in it the way I could the author's other work.
It was very much a case of I liked it well enough but I didn't love it. However, I will keep reading the series. The book has a good conclusion that isn't a cliffhanger but it leaves so many things unresolved that you really need to continue the series to get answers.

Head Above Water by Hailey Edwards

Camille Ellis has tracked many killers during her career,but this time it's personal. Cut off from conclave resources, she won't let a small thing like a suspension keep her from accepting Cord Graeson's offer of help.

Pretending to be mated to him is one way to secure allies, but the best that can be said of the Chandler Pack is they haven't killed or eaten her. Yet. Between the alpha's displeasure and the pack's distrust of fae, she's working overtime to keep her head above water.

Just when the fur starts to fly, a tip cracks her case--and her life--wide open.

Head Above Water picks up immediately after the first book in the series and sees Camille on "sabbatical" from her job and off to join Cord on his pack's lands. Despite being on sabbatical, and her organisation believing the serial killer case closed, Cam is not willing to stop looking for answers and is determined to bring an end to the true culprit.

Once again, the pace of the story is slower than I would have liked. The romance between Cord and Camille that was nought but a teasing possibility in the last book develops but it is constantly hampered by pack politics. There's also something about the romance that doesn't sit right. I like Cam and Cord and was rooting for them to get together but I wasn't feeling the love at all so it made everything that came about harder to believe.

I liked learning more about Warg pack dynamics, more about Camille's family and how Camille started to come out of her shell but I was disappointed that little progress was made towards catching the bad guy and if I hadn't had book three ready to go I'd have been royally miffed by the cliffhanger of an ending.

Once again, it was an okay read overall but I definitely could take or leave this series in general.

Hell or High Water by Hailey Edwards

Camille Ellis has gone rogue agent, and there’s no turning back now. The conclave might have put the Charybdis case to bed, but Cam isn’t willing to let it lie. No badge doesn’t mean no backup these days.

As mate to an alpha warg, she has access to new and lethal resources. A whole pack full of them. And they all want justice for the sins committed against them.

But the stakes are higher than she knows, the secrets exposed darker than she feared, and the cost of winning higher than she ever imagined.

I'm not going to lie, I spent a fair bit of this book re-reading passages and wondering if I'd accidentally skipped something but I hadn't... The story just goes down a twisty and confusing rabbit hole that's hard to follow. Needless to say, that hampered my enjoyment.
The pace was also problematic as for such a short book (~ 200 pages) it felt like it took forever to read!
However, I liked that the bad guy finally got booted (even if it was confusing af) and I enjoyed seeing the formation of Cord and Camille's pack and the developments in their relationship. Camille has come quite the distance from the beginning of this series and I like that she finally got to grips with her power and settled into her own skin (so to speak).

All in all, I don't think I'd be rushing to recommend this series. It'll appeal to some I'm sure but Edwards has better series than this and if you're looking for a fae fix there are other series, by other authors, that are much better than this.

*Series read via Kindle Unlimited*


  1. It sounds like an interesting series but having one or more of the books be hard to read and maybe be confusing isn't something I would want either.

    1. Her Necromancer series is a million times better.

  2. I want to read more of this author's work.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. Me too! I'd only read her Necromancers before so that's why I gave this series a try. I'll read more of her other series too... I like that a lot are in KU so I can experiment.

  3. The pacing seems quite slow overall - and then the way the last book meandered so much - probably not something I will pick up. But it seems like they were still enjoyable enough.

    1. Very slow... Very different to the series that drew me to the author in the first place. But still enjoyable. :)

  4. I'm pretty sure I have the first book in this series. I need to find it and pull it out it seems. It sounds interesting (which I'm sure is why I bought it in the first place LOL!). So glad you liked it! Wonderful review and hope you are doing well!

    1. It was interesting... But I much prefer her Necromancers. :)

  5. Good enough I guess lol

    At least it was included with KU

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. That's pretty much what I thought, lol.


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