Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: Dead Man and the Army of Frogs by Lou Harper

Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit (Dead Man, #1.5)Title: Dead Man and the Army of Frogs by Lou Harper
Series: Dead Man #2
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Publication: August 4th 2014
Length: 166 pages

Rating: 5 Stars
Review copy provided by Author


All Denton wanted was a few minions. He got frogs instead.

Web developer by day and necromancer by night, Denton Mills is used to seeing things nobody else can. When he starts hallucinating frogs, he simply assumes they have something to do with his boyfriend Bran's obsession.

Bran Maurell is a witch, who in a youthful outburst, accidentally turned his then-lover, Peter, into a croaker. Bran has been trying ever since to reverse the spell. A fresh amphibian encounter only spurs him to double his efforts.

As if Peter's ghost coming between them weren't enough, Denton and Bran are forced to deal with several errant spirits stalking the citizens of Chicago. Between a French chef who refuses to admit he's dead, and malevolent creatures bent on causing mayhem, jealousy may be the least of Denton's problems.

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4.5 Stars rounded up to 5

It would be good to read Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit before this because Lenny revisits and sets up the mystery with the appearance of a frog linked to demonic spirits.

Denton is obsessed with kilts. Throughout the story, he comes up with a plan to get Bran to wear one. Between the two of them, there are a lot of cute moments and funny dialogue. The main story line starts when Denton is worried that Bran is not over his first love, Peter, while Bran is suspicious that Denton is having an affair with Gabe. Bran becomes jealous of Gabe since he and Denton hang out a lot (purely to talk business). Bran and Denton stops communicating with each other and individually get stuck on the mystery of frogs until a seer comes into the picture. Clearly, Denton and Bran still have a lot to work on in the relationships department, but I like how they progress from the first book. 

The weird little details like Lenny's spirit possession and a haunted oven are masterfully stringed together and become part of a bigger mystery. The side characters are fun and full of life; even the haunted oven has personality. Denton's friend, Joy, loves her new haunted Dutch oven since everything cooked in it turns out delicious and prevents Denton from exorcising the ghost cook. However, the ghost cook finally pissed Joy off by cooking too many complicated recipes and got exorcised. All of the characters are entertaining and delightful to read about.

The only thing I didn't enjoy is that various subplots seem scattered. Even though they are connected to the mystery of frogs, the plot doesn't thicken and the mystery doesn't build with each case they work on. The main mystery of Bran's ex-boyfriend-turned-frog is always in the background, not the forefront, and the conclusion feels anticlimactic.

Overall, this is a great fantasy story with lots of bizarre (but fun) characters. I definitely recommend this book for lovers of the first book and fantasy fans. 

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