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Dead to Me (Simon Canderous Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Good start to a new series

A friend who knew I was a Harry Dresden fan suggested this book to me. Simon Canderous is a likable hero, who possesses a gift which is selectively useful in the quest for Good. I appreciated Strout's use of humor and the fact that the story doesn't take itself too ser...
A friend who knew I was a Harry Dresden fan suggested this book to me. Simon Canderous is a likable hero, who possesses a gift which is selectively useful in the quest for Good. I appreciated Strout's use of humor and the fact that the story doesn't take itself too seriously. While the book is likely targeted toward urban fantasy fans, it may also appeal to readers of light crime fiction who might appreciate a supernatural twist. People who find Dresden too fantasy-heavy might find this book more to their liking.
Now that the characters have been established, it will be interesting to see what Strout does with them in subsequent books.

posted by 171612 on May 8, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Needed a good editor

Good premise but the writing is so very weak. Strout strives for John Zakour humor but misses entirely. Ghostsniffing is a ripoff of Tim Powers "Expiration Date". His editors must have been on vacation. There are spelling errors ("peaked" for "piqued"), bad grammar ("Th...
Good premise but the writing is so very weak. Strout strives for John Zakour humor but misses entirely. Ghostsniffing is a ripoff of Tim Powers "Expiration Date". His editors must have been on vacation. There are spelling errors ("peaked" for "piqued"), bad grammar ("This was a much different Irene than the one that had attacked me."), peculiar word choices (Simon orders pints of beer in a New York bar) and a stunning ignorance of nutrition (if Simon is hypoglycemic after using his powers, getting legless on "pints" in Chapter 33 would likely kill him). Two characters are murdered and then vanish except for random inserted sentences. Ditto the strange business with the little clay pots. And what's with the 250 words on the Surrealist movement of the 1920s? Doesn't Strout know that if he wanted a wooden fish in his story it could be a symbol for Jesus or Pisces? Yikes. Cardboard characters run around aimlessly for 35 chapters then Simon saves the day between pages 328 and 342 and the tale ends a few pages later.

This is not a book for readers who care about style. Harry Dresden or Cal Leandro fans should not touch it even with wards in place.

posted by AllisonB on July 29, 2010

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    Needed a good editor

    Good premise but the writing is so very weak. Strout strives for John Zakour humor but misses entirely. Ghostsniffing is a ripoff of Tim Powers "Expiration Date". His editors must have been on vacation. There are spelling errors ("peaked" for "piqued"), bad grammar ("This was a much different Irene than the one that had attacked me."), peculiar word choices (Simon orders pints of beer in a New York bar) and a stunning ignorance of nutrition (if Simon is hypoglycemic after using his powers, getting legless on "pints" in Chapter 33 would likely kill him). Two characters are murdered and then vanish except for random inserted sentences. Ditto the strange business with the little clay pots. And what's with the 250 words on the Surrealist movement of the 1920s? Doesn't Strout know that if he wanted a wooden fish in his story it could be a symbol for Jesus or Pisces? Yikes. Cardboard characters run around aimlessly for 35 chapters then Simon saves the day between pages 328 and 342 and the tale ends a few pages later.

    This is not a book for readers who care about style. Harry Dresden or Cal Leandro fans should not touch it even with wards in place.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    Good start to a new series

    A friend who knew I was a Harry Dresden fan suggested this book to me. Simon Canderous is a likable hero, who possesses a gift which is selectively useful in the quest for Good. I appreciated Strout's use of humor and the fact that the story doesn't take itself too seriously. While the book is likely targeted toward urban fantasy fans, it may also appeal to readers of light crime fiction who might appreciate a supernatural twist. People who find Dresden too fantasy-heavy might find this book more to their liking.
    Now that the characters have been established, it will be interesting to see what Strout does with them in subsequent books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    I'd really like to recommend the book. The plot is intriguing, a tantalizing peak into urban fantasy. I couldn't get past the writing. Perhaps it is aimed at a young audience. The writing was not crisp it was simplistic. It relied on the use of '-ly' adverbs and telling the reader information instead of describing the scene. I was stopped on page 72 when I encountered 'The smile on his face looked forced, yet diabolical. I made myself disappear against the wall as the two men locked eyes in a struggle for dominance.' I put the book down with 'Wesker's smile fell away and he clenched his fists at his side.' Strong editing of this book would have been beneficial. I'm sorry, it is not worth my time to finish reading the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Keep it coming!

    I just started these books, they are are a trilogy and remind me a lot of the Dresden Files books, but Simon definitely has his own unique character. The book never gets boring, and Anton Strout will do well if he continues this series. Give it a try, I think you will like it very much. I was plesantly surprised.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Simon is mine!

    I heard about the author in a event, and bought the book out of curiosity... I loved it! Surprising, easy to relate to the characters, and the writing is pretty good as well! :-)

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    What is up chicago?

    I noticed this cover, just scanning thru, and decided to take a chance. Other than the chicago connection, which has made me want to consider moving there, shared with Dresden, the skinners series, and a few others, it has a feel of realism at a whole nother level. Add in the use of 'gifted' agents, and a creepy realism, and you can really get into this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    Caught off guard

    I am a serious Dresden Files kind of guy and I was looking for something else to keep my interest. I took a chance on this book as a I was browsing through the sci-fi section at the local bookstore. I was really pleasantly impressed with the story telling and humor. Enjoyable and look forward to the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    A reviewer

    Anton Strout provides us with a differnt take on the paranormal/urban fantasy with his reluctant hero Simon Canderous. Working on the RIGHT side of the law, Canderous gets himself in a fair amount of trouble. Not only with the law, but really with everyone including his mentor Connor. Strout's writing stlye is straight from the hip. No flowery flourishes or background porno music for this guy, Strout tells it like it is with a sense of timing and comedic approach, the chutzpa great writers are made of. This is his first novel in the Simon Canderous series and seriously I cannot wait for the next one!! This is a must buy!! Go on get it now.. you know you want to!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Funny stuff!

    I really loved the humor in this one. In the background you have a great paranormal mystery, sort of like Dresden lite, and the author did a pretty good job of making me laugh at Simon's antics. This is a fun read, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Fun & Witty Read

    Dead to Me is Anton Strout's first novel and it's a great read. He tells a good story with fun and funny twists and a lot of wit. Simon is a very well-rounded character making it easy to empathize and understand him. There were a few parts that were a little slow, but I honestly believe that we will only see improvements. Anton Strout has talent and style. I cannot wait for the next installment!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    from page one which was 'in your face' non-stop action, its sets the pace. Chapter one was a delight and I couldn't wait to tell folks. If the whole book is this kind of read, we have a new author to choose from, good luck Anton

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    excellent urban fantasy

    Simon Canderous spent years misusing his psychometric skills to steal. However, he has reformed and now employs his ability to obtain the history of an object by touching it for the Department of Extraordinary Affairs. What he has not learned is patience as working for a bureaucracy has proven frustrating with SOPs, red tape, and fearful nurturing leaders who are CYA conscience with everything needing documentation a zillion times over. Simon accidentally spills his coffee through a female ghost who remains ignorant to the fact that she is dead let alone murdered. He vows to bring her killers to justice. However, he will soon learn how complex his pledge is as he is assaulted by the forces of Darkness who are attracted to him and want him to join them but he is not sure in what precisely and learns more clues from a killer bookcase and a wooden fish. As he gathers information, none of that he obtains seems to get him closer to solving the homicide. --- This excellent urban fantasy stars an interesting lead male who readers meet when his tryst with Tamara goes wrong when she pins him to the bed and starts kissing him until his psychometric skills tell him about her New Orleans encounter she flees from this perverted stalker. Thus the audience immediately learns the down side of the gift, which in turn personalizes and humanizes the hero. The whodunit investigation is fun to follow sort of like an early Dresden so fans should stop at the Lovecraft café for an entertaining paranormal investigative tale. --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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