Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review and Character Interview with Jesse Sullivan from Dying Light by Kory M. Shrum

Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood? I’m from the middle of nowhere, southern Illinois. And, uh, no. My childhood wasn’t happy. Let’s just say that when my father died when I was 8, it just got worse from there.

Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing? Right now, I’m on the run and not really living anywhere. After all, you can’t really live in a hotel can you? But I had a house in Nashville that I really liked. Until I burned it down accidentally. Uncontrollable pyrokinesis. Got to love it! Before I had to leave Nashville I was working as a death replacement agent, dying so others don’t have to. But then people started trying to kill me and I “quit”.

What's going on in your life right now? Now I’m part of a small tactical team that’s trying to take down the bad guy. I hallucinate and talk to angels. As you can imagine, this doesn’t help me stay focused on killing the bad guy. I’m pretty sure we’re all going to die.

Is there someone special in your life? I’ve got this hot lesbian thing going on with my best friend.

How did you meet? We met when we were 11 and have been best friends ever since. We just recently got together, probably because it’s now or never.

What's keeping you two apart? The homicidal maniac trying to kill us and the fact the world might end at any minute. All couples have their problems!

What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out? I’m not sure it will work out, since it looks like I’m going to have to choose my life or hers. But it isn’t a hard choice for me. I’d choose her every time.

Any last comments? Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. She has dabbled in everything from fortune telling to martial arts and when not reading or writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, or wearing a gi. She is the author of four books in the Jesse Sullivan contemporary fantasy series. She is also an active member of both SFWA and HWA. Called "addictive" by New York Times Bestseller Darynda Jones, those interested in strong female leads are sure to take a shine to Jesse Sullivan, the reluctant anti-hero of this series.

Synopsis of Dying Light:
In the wake of her handler's death, Jesse has never felt more alone. Her best friend is distracted by a new love. Her mentor Rachel is missing and her boyfriend Lane isn't returning her calls. 
Worse, a Necronite with the ability to heal any wound wants to kill Jesse and absorb her power of pyrokinesis.

With little to hold her to Nashville, Jesse agrees to work as a freelance agent for Jeremiah Tate, a pharmaceutical tycoon in Chicago. Together they plot revenge against Caldwell, the mastermind responsible for the genocide of over 100,000 Necronites worldwide.
When Jeremiah fails to dominate Jesse and her abilities, tensions escalate, dividing her from her allies. Then Caldwell gives Jesse an ultimatum she cannot refuse.

My Review
Dying Light is the fourth story by Kory M. Shrum that I've enjoyed. This book picks up where the third one left off, with Jesse fighting supernatural forces of evil, Ally in love with Nikki and Jesse, Jesse in love with Ally and Lane, and Lane having left Jesse. The last book, Dying for Her, gave us Jesse’s handler’s backstory in depth. While it is not necessary to read the series in order because the author does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed, you would lose out on a lot of enjoyable reading if you don’t.

This story is told from the point of views of Jesse and Ally, rather than one point of view. This structure adds depth and breadth to a tale of life, death, reanimation, and the struggle between the demonized Necronites (do not call them zombies!) and a country following a madman who hides behind religion to advance his ambitions. More than ever, Jesse is called upon to confront and defeat this madman. Will she and her allies survive and overcome the madman? Or will she die and lose her powers to the man she must defeat? Will Nikki and Ally have a happily ever after? Or will Jesse reunite with her lover?

I don’t want to give anything away. However, if you are worried about madmen who wrap themselves in a cult and call it the truth, if you care about marginalized people, if you know anything at all about the rise of Nazism on the way to WWII and the cult of the Aryan nation, then you will want to read this thought provoking paranormal tale of the battle of good and evil, life and death, destruction and creation. At times heartbreaking, this is not a story for the faint of heart. Prepare to be catapulted into this dark, world and buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride. I highly recommend this series and am eager to read the next book in the series.