Review: Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price

Among the Living (PsyCop) - Jordan Castillo Price

SERIES: Psycop, #1


This novella was a nice surprise. A good balance of mystery, m/m relationship, psychic stuff, paranormal stuff (that I didn’t expect), good dialogue, likable characters, and some smexy times. I think the scope of the story fit the novella length well. It didn’t feel rushed, which is a nice change of pace from some other novellas I’ve read recently. However, I did have some questions that I’ll get to below. It is one of those stories that I can have some issues with but still really enjoy it.

Victor is a Psych. He has the ability to see and talk to dead people which can be handy when you are a homicide cop. The saying “dead people tell no tales” doesn’t really apply when Victor is around (usually). Jacob is a Stiff, or a non-psychic cop. A Psych and a Stiff are usually paired together, however, Victor and Jacob are not partners. They do however, end up working together on a case.

Jacob comes off very confident and knows exactly what he wants and goes after it, which seems to be Victor. Victor, on the other hand, lacks Jacob’s confidence and seems to have a lot of self-doubt. He always seems so surprised at Jacob’s advances and interest in him. I actually had a bit of a hard time seeing Victor as a cop considering his uncertainty and lack of confidence in himself.

So here are some issues I had with the story and things that left me a bit confused.

- Jacob starts hitting on Victor right from the beginning without any warning or build up. It just seems to come out of nowhere. He zeroed in on Victor right away and it left me wondering why. (I've since learned that there is a free short story that is supposed to explain this on the author's website but I haven't read it yet. So why isn't it just bundled with this book? It would make a lot more sense to do that and the readers wouldn't be left wondering. Oh well *shrugs*)

- What was the deal with the mirrors and the eyes? There seemed to be a significance to the mirror fragments and how they were used in the story. They were used in two ways and neither was explained.

- Why couldn’t Victor hear the murdered people? Again, never really explained that I can recall.

- The sex scene at the end was a little hard to follow the way it was written. It was like watching a game of twister – how did he get that hand over there?

So, yes I had some issues with the story but overall I really liked it. The story engaged me (and I’m not even that big a fan of mystery/detective themes). The characters felt well developed for a novella size book. I want more of Victor and Jacob, and even Lisa and Carolyn were interesting. I wouldn’t call this a romance. It had romantic elements but not a true HEA and the characters continue in future books. I wanted to keep reading when it ended and that is always a good sign I enjoyed the book even if I questioned some of it. The story arc and mystery were resolved for this book. A good example of a story that doesn’t need to have a cliffhanger to make you want more, and I definitely want more.

Word Count: 29,000 (Novella)
Kindle Locations: 1597
Story text ends at 1495 (93%)
Includes Table of Contents
Heat Level: Erotic (but not as much as I expected). Door is wide open.