✸ [BOOKS] ✬ Play Dead By John Levitt ❂ – Gsagency.co

Mason Used To Be An Enforcer, Ensuring That Those Magic Practitioners Without A Moral Compass Walked The Straight And Narrow But Now He Just Wants To Keep His Head Down, Play Guitar, And Maintain A Low Profile With Lou, His Magical Canine Companion But Mason Is Down On His Luck, And When A Job With A Large Payout Comes Along, He Finds The Offer Hard To Resist Not Knowing It Might Mean Sacrificing What Both Man And His Best Friend Hold Most Dear

10 thoughts on “Play Dead

  1. says:

    Please bear with me as I ramble my way through this review.As I was reading this book I had a discussion about my reaction to it with one of my friends on Goodreads I wasn t very into the book and found myself disappointed because I had unconsciously expected something different I am a huge fan of the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher I discovered the series at the same time I discovered the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton That was years ago, way before I had read any other Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance book.I read the summary of this book and saw that it had a male main character written by a male author I ve recently begun trying to find of these that interest me because I love the way Harry Dresden comes off He seems like an actual guy, not just a guy seen through a girl s filter So if you have rec s for this type pass them on in the comments So I snapped this book up because I had been contemplating buying the first book in the series for a while I figured there was no time like the present to test the waters, and I ve been trying to break my OCD need to read series in order with no exceptions Anyway, back on track While I was expressing my disappointment my friend clarified something for me Sometimes your first experiences with a particular type or genre will mold your expectations Even if you don t see a direct correlation between the books you expect something similar I guess I saw the male lead paired with him being a magic user and assumed it would be in the vein of the Dresden series even though I didn t mean to I expected depth and intensity and growth and struggle and lots of magic I don t feel I got that here and I was unreasonably let down because of it.I can t say this is a bad book, because it s not But it wasn t a good one for me either At the most it was meh It took me a couple days to get through because I found the style kind of monotone There were no real highs and lows for me to sink into Even when the big confrontation came at the end it felt matter of fact instead of intense I just kept waiting for something to draw me into the action and it never happened.I found the idea of some of the magic interesting One of the characters has the talent to create a singularity one of those odd constructs that mirror the real world, but aren t entirely real themselves I thought that was a pretty neat idea, especially when we got further insight into it and other areas like it that can be accessed Almost like a wiki, said Jackie It s already in place, but anyone can make changes to it, and sometimes those changes can be extensive The secondary characters didn t have much dimension and I honestly didn t sense much of a connection between them and Mason other than the fact that they pow wowed frequently Possibly that connection would have been stronger if I had started at book one I think that might be the only thing that would prevent someone from reading this series out of order Other than that I felt it was pretty standalone.I think I might have liked this book a bit despite the unexciting events if I had liked Mason I didn t dislike him, but it was just another case of being sort of meh about it I found his character pretty boring and occasionally irritating He had nothing that really drew me in This could be different with a music lover because there are details of that in here that may draw some of you in I also found his method of investigating haphazard, bordering on ridiculous He d just walk into situations or even search them out knowing he had no plan or information to give him a slight advantage It s just frustrating because something bad always happened He was also waaay friendlier than I would expect with people who had screwed with him in the past I just couldn t respect him much While I can t recommend this book I can t not recommend it either The most I can say is that it just wasn t my style I think if you like your books a little slower paced with less action then you may enjoy this than me.Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen.

  2. says:

    It is a special pleasure when an author draws both the mundane and the fantastic into their writing In this fourth installment in the Dog Days series, John Levitt thrilled me with the magical world he created, the mystery that drives the plot, and a number of sweet little details about the day to day of being a musician Despite this being the first of the Dog Days books I ve read, I found it both accessible and pleasant to jump into the action from Mason s perspective Information was given about both Mason s confederates and the magical variations they practice without any sort of data dump The sympathetic magic Mason practices was particularly interesting, especially the details about how his jazz background lent itself to an improvisational magical style.And Mason needed all the improv skills he could muster to unravel the threats he faced The mystery elements of PLAY DEAD held hints of our favorite Chicago wizard, if only because Mason shared Harry Dresden s inability to see danger in the form of a beautiful woman Levitt does a good job of making the story his own, however, and I found the similarities with Dresden superficial if anything I wouldn t have minded a bit of Dresden, though, when Mason had moments of immaturity where he exposed himself to additional danger While these episodes didn t detract from my enjoyment of the book, they certainly helped me understand why all the women in Mason s life are of the ex variety.The one relationship Mason seems to do well with maintaining is his partnership with Lou, his canine Ifrit companion I particularly liked that, despite being a mysterious magical creature, Lou was still a dog that loves bacon, squirrels, and bad smells Lou sometimes has a hard time getting his blockhead owner to understand what he was saying, and I thought that added a great dynamic between him and Mason Rather than taking all the guess work out of the mystery, Lou added another level of interpretation for Mason and thus the reader to navigate.Playing along with Lou and Mason was both a satisfying read and a great introduction to the Dog Days world While I m not yet ready to commit to a pre order, I am going to head back to the eponymous first book, DOG DAYS, to see where Lou and Mason got their start Sexual Content A mildly graphic sex scene.

  3. says:

    I found this book a bit hard to get into at times, which is why I didn t rate it higher But I did like some things about it Lou I loved him He s not just an ifrit, he s a dog, and he s adorable in his dogness Good humor bits It had me laughing out loud, which is good Interesting magic system The musical aspects were authentic, enlightening, and fascinating The look at San Francisco, which is a beautiful town that I have had the pleasure to visit and would love to go back to And soon Overall rating 3.5 5.0 stars I ll definitely be following this series.Reviewed for Bitten by Books.

  4. says:

    Unbelievably, Levitt captures the essence of dogs and their magical qualities even better in Play Dead than the previous books in the series Lou is always a dog, ever ready to abandon Mason for a quick snack of bacon or ham but ever mindful that he is Mason s protection, friend, and loyal companion There is something to Lou, just like most dogs that keen intelligence that shines from their eyes, the unquestioning loyalty and a happiness that radiates Lou may be an Ifrit, but as you read Play Dead, you start to believe that just maybe, all good dogs have a little Ifrit in them From the tilt of his head to Lou s fierce defense of Mason, he is a dog, he is magic, and his is a story that is easy to love.Mason is Mason he d be admirable if he weren t quite so careless, but he gets talked into things too easily, whether it s a job or the fact that no one in their right might should donate even a drop of blood to a black practitioner not in the name of learning, not in the name of anything Because in the end, forwarding black magic always goes bad It isn t that Mason is stupid, but his decision making borders on for the sake of the plot in a couple of instances Mason redeems himself just in time only to get careless again, in a cycle that has the reader wanting him to just once keep it all together One of the things that saves the plot is that Levitt takes the time to draw complex characters ones you aren t sure are all bad In fact, you see the good Just like in real life, you re dealing with lots of variables and lots of hope And Mason has stayed in character throughout the series he s basically a good guy, and he means well, he just sometimes wants annoyances to go away so he does something quick instead of smart.Mason really shines in his love of music and improvising spells He s unique in the way his magic is layered, and Levitt always takes time to create the magic rather than wave a wand you re there, you re watching the elements come together like the notes come together in a song There s no sloppiness there, and I love the cleverness.Levitt is the only writer I read or have read who makes the villain entirely too human Instead of feeling a complete lack of empathy hatred even for the bad guys, when the time comes for justice, you feel their pain You watch their loss with a sense of but if only The villains are evil, sometimes insane but you know who they are, how they got where they are and the complex good and bad inside each character You may not like them, but the sense of loss is there nonetheless This is a skill that captures war or death as the real necessary evil even as we suddenly realize that the guy on the other side could be us and is us.The mystery plot is always good there are miscellaneous clues here and there brought together in a knot that gets tighter throughout the book rather than tied neatly at the end This book also visits fantasy with a touch of quest without the urban, but it works.There s talk rumor that this might be the last in the series that would be a shame because there s still a lot of heart and soul here There s a magic that merges the real world into something special This will no doubt make my top ten of the year, not because it is perfect but because, in the end, this book ended with such poignancy, I couldn t help but love it.And Mr Levitt, you owe me a pan of brownies Mine seem to have overcooked while I was reading.

  5. says:

    Structurally, it s definitely moving in the right direction 4 has a complex plot and nicely nuanced villains But why is Mason so damned reckless and stupid It s hard to get immersed in the story when you re thinking Wow, that s dumb every 20 minutes.As for that cliffhanger ending, I didn t really feel a sense of urgency to find out what happened to Mason and Lou When you ve had four books to endear the characters to the reader, that s not a good sign I might read a fifth one if I come across it sometime Or maybe not, since it doesn t sound like Levitt s in any hurry to write it.

  6. says:

    Good story, lots of action, but what a cliffhanger at the end.

  7. says:

    From what I have heard, this will be the last Dog Days book This makes me sad Louie is one of my most favorite magical secondary characters Why Probably because he s so mysterious and yet still predictable and interesting in all sorts of ways Nobody knows exactly what he is or why he s with Mason so he s a mystery But, everyone knows his prowess in searching out things and helping Mason out of trouble so he s predictable as well In any case, I will miss reading stories about Mason and Louie What I expected Since this is the fourth in a series, what I expected was of the same, for the most part I expected that there was going to be some sort of magical trouble that Mason and Louie would have to go out and work to fix Levitt has done a great job of making each situation very different and this was no exception I expected freelance musical references that wouldn t overpower the plot but also give the reader some insight into that world I expected some magical confrontations that weren t horribly graphic but that conveyed the seriousness of the plot What I got I got a lot than I expected Mason s magic use was always improvised by the environment around him and it seemed that he fought that impetus a great deal because it was different than the way everyone else did it This time the reader can feel that Mason is finally comfortable with the way he uses magic and how it is both better and worse than the way everyone else does it He also seems to have grown up a bit when it comes to working with his fellow magic users and respects their methodology and even seems to understand the reasoning behind a lot that they say and do I also got a very interesting plot interweaving environmentalism, utopianism and probably several other isms that flew over my head I really liked the fact that, like we sometimes find in our own world, people do bad things for good reasons and this is an interesting look at that While there wasn t as many action scenes as you may have found in previous books, there was plenty to enjoy What I enjoyed I loved that the interplay of the ifrits was almost a second plot They are the most interesting part of this world Mr Levitt has built and I love reading about them I also liked that Mason seems to have learned a great deal from the past and plays things cautiously and smartly than he has before I liked that the bad guys were good guys and the good guys were also bad guys Just a little nudge at our culture all of us have the capacity for good and evil and our choices define us What I did not I was a little distressed by Mason s seeming disinterest in a dead body I found it to be particularly cold that he was able to just leave it and assume it could stay in stasis for as long as he wanted it to It seemed like a short cut for plot availability and out of character for Mason I think that was probably my only quibble with the entire story Pretty good, no Would I recommend and if so, to whom Most definitely Fans of the earlier books would of course be interested but also anyone who has not encountered this series, since it is now complete you could get them all and read them back to back People who like the Dresden Files or Kim Harrison s Hollows series would mostly likely enjoy this one Cover Thoughts The cover was very much like the first three though Mason seems to have gotten either good looking or this was his best angle I ve never liked the blue and once green glow behind Louie I ve always felt that it was too much I understand the compunction to put something on the cover to convey that the story deals with magic but there must have been a better way than making Louie look radioactive Otherwise the covers are nice looking, not ugly or horribly misleading or anything Nice, attractive covers but they would have been better without the glow.

  8. says:

    Took me a while to get going on this one, but the last half of the book made up for the relatively slow start.There s a touch of the procedural with these books in that they seem to start out the same way generally and you don t really need to have read the earlier volumes to understand what s going on after the first chapter or so.Mason remains likable enough as a protagonist, but it s a little frustrating to see him essentially treading water from a life standpoint, considering he seems to have gone through a great deal of personal growth over the last several books Maybe this is part of the whole procedural aspect, where characters are fairly static until a big plot point forces a change or accurately, a change becomes a plot point Lou the Ifrit in the form of a most lovable mutt remains a fine costar, even without ever saying a word.The plot is pretty big, and the whole thing ends with a pretty enormous change to the status quo, which I presume was intended to drive the plot of the next bookbut it sounds like that book isn t going to happen Too bad, these are enjoyable, if not revolutionary books and it would have been nice to get a satisfying conclusion for Mason, Lou, and friends.

  9. says:

    John told me this was likely to be the last in the series and that the ending was final and very serious, to I rushed to find out what he meant In fact, I can t imagine anything worse happening to Mason and Lou It made me cry I won t spoil it for you.I like that Mason continues not to be the sharpest tool in the chest, but that he s the one everyone reaches for when they need something done This book had a twist that I did not see coming, which was fun Again, no spoilers I enjoyed the down and dirty magic this time around, too The bad guys were fun in this book, even as the stakes they are playing are higher.I ll miss poking around San Francisco with Mason and Lou I loved John s descriptions of hiking around Mount Sutro in the fog and running through the Tenderloin I was pleased when I recognized the site of the final confrontation down near Half Moon Bay I wish I could spend time with them.I raced through the book while on vacation, so I look forward to rereading the whole series when I get a minute That will have to satisfy me for now.

  10. says:

    I enjoyed the writing style in this book Despite this being the first I d read i the series, viewing the world through Mason s thoughts was both satisfying and informative I particularly enjoyed the brand of sympathetic magic Mason practices, as well as the relationship between him and his Ifrit Lou is a magical companion in dog form, capable of greater than average problem solving and comprehension, but he and Mason, literally, don t speak each other s language Mason s communication with Lou is three parts guesswork and one part personification, making their partnership fun to follow along with.See my full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.