Customer Reviews for

Staying Dead (Retrievers Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
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(14)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    Hired new editors yet?

    Sadly, I failed to read the excerpt before wasting my money. Maybe it wouldn't have helped.

    I'm 52 years old and have read fantasy fiction since high school, and this has to be some of the worst writing that I have ever read in a published novel. I have read reasonably written novels with poorly realized story lines, but this novel simply has some of the worst grammar and style that I have ever run across. The underlying story could be great, but I'll never know.

    Ms. Gilman and an English grammar class have never crossed paths; and, no, she did not break the rules for effect or style. If she had, it would have shown finesse. Instead, her writing displayed a hodgepodge of nearly random marks of punctuation scattered through her paragraphs.

    The number one rule of grammar for writers is that you must first know the rules before purposely, for effect or style, breaking them. Her persistent breaking of rules became a perpetual distraction. I had no chance of getting involved in the story because I was constantly yanked out of it with some god-awful sentence construction or dialogue.

    To make matters worse, she seemed desperate to sound cutesy with her style, from atrocious dialogue to the renaming of common character types with descriptors such as 'wizarts' and other such nonsense. She just made herself sound idiotic -- to an adult reader, at least. I couldn't make up my mind as to whether Ms. Gilman was a 15-year-old trying to sound like an adult, but having no clue how they speak, or if she was an adult gearing the novel for the 10-and-under crowd?

    Neither option sounds likely. So....

    Ms. Gilman has published quite a few other works, so maybe this is just a single instance of bad writing, and her other novels are better. But that shouldn't let the editors off the hook. (And, yes, I purposely started sentences with conjunctions, to let you know that I am not a purist.) Her editors should be fired if they consider this novel's writing quality worthy of publication.

    Maybe I would have enjoyed the overall story if I could have survived the writing, but it was so distracting that I couldn't stand forcing myself beyond the first four chapters.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Good but not good

    This book was confusing and often drifted off topic. Sometimes i wondered if there was a book before this one. Overall this book had a good plot.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    good

    staying dead is the first retrievers novel that I have read, bukt not the last.
    Wren finds things for people and steals them back.nher skills and magic.
    her partner Sergel owns are art gallery. But has lots more skills.
    Its a whole new York with magic,demoms, angel wizzards and humans.
    Its a action,fantasy and clean book.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Addicted Already

    Surprisingly fresh and entertaining variation on the paranormal mystery/romance. Wren Valere is not a magically capable thief -- she's a Retriever, using her skills to help clients get back things they have lost or had stolen. Her partner Sergei handles the business end, and it's been a good partnership for 10 years -- strictly business, of course. These two characters anchor an interesting and large cast.

    The banter is bright, the plot has plenty of turns, and the world Gilman cre...more Surprisingly fresh and entertaining variation on the paranormal mystery/romance. Wren Valere is not a magically capable thief -- she's a Retriever, using her skills to help clients get back things they have lost or had stolen. Her partner Sergei handles the business end, and it's been a good partnership for 10 years -- strictly business, of course. These two characters anchor an interesting and large cast.

    The banter is bright, the plot has plenty of turns, and the world Gilman creates is layered, complex and believable. She has a light hand, creating it with hints and opinions and avoiding too many long explanations. It shares certain stylistic elements with other books (Weather Wardens and Dresden Files come to mind) but isn't quite as dark as those series. Of course, that may change.

    I found this first book in the series an addictive read, and I'm eager to get into the next book in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    Great read

    This is a great series to get into, it's set in everyday life and is written great so that you can almost believe it is real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2005

    Staying Dead

    Most of us have lost things, right? People with magic do as well- and if it's something that they prefer no one to know they had in the first place, much less lost, they hire people such as Wren and Sergei to find said object and discreetly return it. In this case, the object is a magical protection cornerstone, and the ghost whose prescence is key to the spell. The ghost does not want to return, complicating Wren and Sergei's lives, as does the magical mafia that is after Sergei and all the various secrets floating around. Oh, and there's a small amount of romantic tension going on between the partners, but not enough to put off those who prefer to avoid romantic books. Unfortunately, it's not enough to really satisfy those who seek that sort of thing out. There are some promising elements to this book, but they go largely undeveloped.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2005

    Awesome book.

    This is an amazing book, beautifully written. A must read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2005

    Great plot and characters

    I was drawn in by the cover of this book. Then I read the description and started reading it as soon as I got home. I enjoyed all of the creative characters and can't wait till the second novel comes out!!!! I think its this summer but if you want to know just read her web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2004

    Teriffic romantic fantasy

    In a world in which most people believe that magic doesn¿t exist, there remains a sub-culture of Talent thriving. These folks use their powers in a way that keeps them hidden from the unbelievers. Wren Valere is a Retriever, a talent who locates things that have been missing for people who do not want the police involved. She returns the missing object to its owner for a fee negotiated by her partner and agent Sergei Didier. Both Sergei and Wren are loners who make a very good team professionally and personally even though neither wants to admit their feelings for one another.<P> A cornerstone with a spell of protection has been stolen from the Fronts building and the owner wants to get it back. Wren and Sergei intend to retrieve it from the collector who hired a rogue mage to steal the spell. Before they can accomplish the deed, they also must deal with a ghost that was freed when the spell was stolen. If Sergei and Wren want to collect their fee, they have to stop the runaway spirit, who is intent on revenge<P> Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton, Tanya Huff and Mercedes Lackey are going to love STAYING DEAD, a romantic fantasy that stirs the senses and creates a story that is both fulfilling and magical (no pun intended). Laura Anne Gilman makes the reader believe that magic exists and creatures of myth and legend inhabit the earth. It will be very hard to wait for the next Retriever¿s novel coming in the summer of 2005 because Laura Anne Gilman has cast quite a spell on readers.<P> Harriet Klausner

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    Posted January 11, 2013

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    Posted December 2, 2010

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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    Posted February 17, 2011

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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