Review: Frost Moon {Skindancer #1} by Anthony Francis

Title: Frost Moon {Skindancer #1}

Author: Anthony Francis

Publisher: Bell Bridge Books March 2010

Synopsis: In an alternate Atlanta where magic is practiced openly, where witches sip coffee at local cafes, shapeshifters party at urban clubs, vampires rule the southern night like gangsters, and mysterious creatures command dark caverns beneath the city, Dakota Frost’s talents are coveted by all. She’s the best magical tattooist in the southeast, a Skindancer, able to bring her amazing tats to life. When a serial killer begins stalking Atlanta’s tattooed elite, the police and the Feds seek Dakota’s help. Can she find the killer on the dark fringe of the city’s Edgeworld? Among its powerful outcasts and tortured loners, what kind of enemies and allies will she attract? Will they see her as an invader, as a seducer, as an unexpected champion … or as delicious prey?

Status: Read from September 19 to 20, 2011 — I own a copy (Courtesy Bell Bridge Books/NetGalley}

My Thoughts:

Dakota Frost is a magical tattoo artist, the best in the SouthEast, with a mohawk that adds even more height to her 6ft2 heavily tattooed frame, a penchant for leather and an eye for a gorgeous man, or woman – she’s not particularly fussy. I love Dakota, she is feisty and confident and is a little different from the usual urban fantasy heroine. Dakota identifies her self as a Skindancer – her tattoo’s are more than just art, she has the ability to make her tattoos live, the vines that adorn her body can create an impenetrable barrier, the butterfly on her wrist can flap it’s wings and flutter around the room and the dragon that is wrapped sinuously around her entire body will save her life. Yet Dakota isn’t invincible, behind the bravado she is ill-equipped to defend herself and when she becomes the target of a serial killer we learn of her physical and emotional vulnerability.
There are some quirky support characters including Dakota’s ex girlfriend who is a Christian vampire Queen, the blind graphomancer/witch and a rather unprofessional man in black. The most delightful is Cinnamon, a teenage were tiger stray who attaches herself to Dakota with fierce devotion. It will be interesting to see how these characters play out during the series.
The plot of Frost Moon is fast paced and cleverly layered, there are several seemingly disparate threads that slowly weave together as the story unfolds. This is a gritty urban fantasy, there are some scenes and innuendo that are unpleasant though (with the exception of one which includes a ball gag and a cage) I didn’t feel they were gratuitous. However I didn’t think Dakota needed to salivate over everyone that crossed her path but I wrote that off as a misstep of a male author and was willing to overlook it.
I thought the world building was creative though I could have done without the street by street tour of Atlanta, it probably has more significance for someone who knows the city but I didn’t find it relevant. There is plenty of interesting variety in the population though, vampires, weres of all descriptions, magicians, witches to name just a few. The Edgeworlders are part of the human world but very much on it’s fringes at the same time.

Frost Moon is an interesting and imaginative urban fantasy series debut with attitude. It’s a little darker than most with some raw edges but I am looking forward to seeing in what direction the author takes the second installment. Luckily I have Blood Rock to directly follow up with.

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Available to Purchase

@ Amazon

@ Book Depository

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Book # 2

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Australian Bookshelf
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 22:32:59

    Sounds like you enjoyed this one more than I did! I probably won’t read the sequel.

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  2. alisonholtbooks
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 23:23:28

    What a great concept for a story and a main character! I applaud the author for such imagination and have added the book to my TBR list.

    Alison N. Holt
    http://www.alisonholtbooks.com

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  3. Melliane
    Sep 24, 2011 @ 05:35:14

    I’ve this one in my TBR with the second, I must read it, but not done it yet. Thanks for the review

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