Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dead Man's Hex by Ani Gonzalez
Series: Drop Dead Witchy #2
on September 15, 2021
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Publicity team
It’s a cruise ship to Hell. Literally.
Sun, sand, and ghosts. Sounds like the perfect working vacation, no? The supernatural cruise would be a chance to get a tan, enjoy a variety of cold drinks with colorful umbrellas, and make some money leading ghost tours along the Mid-Atlantic coast…or so I thought. I didn’t count on a seasick hellhound Chihuahua, a stowaway ghost, and a crazy cult cramping my style. Now I’m fighting Octonomicron acolytes, trying to keep myself in one piece, and save humanity at the same time. Oh, and that tan? So not happening.
When the costs of home repairs get too steep, a necromancer reluctantly signs on as one of the VIPs for a paranormal cruise. Naturally, her reluctant Chihuahua hellhound’s reluctance leads to a severe case of ‘I Told You So’ when things go to the devil. Ani Gonzalez’s paranormal world drew me in from the beginning and I have devoured each book since. I was excited when she started writing this exciting urban fantasy spin-off of her fun cozies.
Dead Man’s Hex is the second of the Drop Dead Witchy series and could be read out of order in a pinch though works better when the reader, at the least, started with the first in series. Personally, I think the best bet is to get all the Banshee Creek series so the background and regular characters who crossover make better sense.
It has been a few years since the last release and I was a tad hazy on events from the last book, but I took the gamble and dove in hoping memory would kick back in since I remember loving it. It worked out great because the author took the time to recap the events from the last book and fed the reader enough along the way that it started coming back for me. The current story led a little time after the events of the last book when Claire is trying to settle back into her ancestral home with squid inter-dimensional monster and all. Claire, her first crush, Cole the Ghost and the Paranormal investigation team at PRoVE are on the lookout for Octonomicron cult sightings either in the present or something they left from the past knowing they only tackled the tip of the tentacle in the last book.
I liked the banter between Claire and Pookie, her hellhound sidekick, and I enjoyed the backdrop of historical ghost settings and sightings sprinkled liberally throughout the story. The cruise boat setting offered a colorful, eccentric group of characters that almost made up for the crazy kookiness of the PRoVE team led by Caine- okay, in the end, they more than made up for Caine being off page.
I enjoyed how things built slowly until it was edge of my seat excitement. Claire was meant to be a guest presenter and celebrity guest on the cruise and she was joined by others in their paranormal entertainment and investigation community. The fan groups were fun and I enjoyed the antics that went on woven with the serious paranormal mystery stuff. I figured out about half of what was going on early, but that did not dim my enjoyment of the series and neither did the lack of progress/resolution when it comes to Claire and Cole- though, with him as a ghost, I guess that is a bit tough.
All in all, it was an abso-fab entry in the series and left things in a good place with hints toward even bigger stuff to come. Those who enjoy a cozier style of urban fantasy with a plethora of quirky-fun characters led by Claire and my fav, Pookie.
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