Rating: 4 stars
Release date: 09/07/2020
Publisher: Silver Sun Books
CW: Sexual assault, alcoholism
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Josie is the author of multiple novels and short stories. Most of those are set in the Silverse, a pre- and post-apocalyptic world filled with vampires and zombies.
She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA). Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.
After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn’t sure what to do with her life.
She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn’t love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.
Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die. Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekersseries, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Reading new urban fantasy is one of my favourite things. It’s one of my absolute genres, and this is good urban fantasy. It’s got vampire police. Vampire drug dealers. Vampire aristocrats. Also, a trigger warning should be thrown up, because a non zero amount of vampire sexual violence. It kind of gave me the ick, and if the rest of the book didn’t have its hooks into me quite as much it might have got me to put the book down. Just thought I’d get that out the way.
So, main character Jack Valentine is a newbie vampire and a member of the vampire police. She’s precisely the kind of flawed, messed up anti hero I like. She’s an alcoholic, because all hard boiled detectives are, she’s… you know what? Kind of a cliché, but it’s a cliché I happen to love, so she gets a pass on that. I like me a flawed, hard boiled detective. Especially when she’s a bi vampire!
The cast of side characters are interesting and entertaining and wonderfully queer. The plot moves at a good clip and is nice and twisty. In fact, I’m struggling to be objective about this book because it feels like it was written specifically to pander to me and my specific niche likes in a book. I don’t know if the four star rating I’m going to give it is fair or not, but I’m going to give it one anyway.
Okay, review over.
I’m going to mention the next book now, so if you don’t want a major spoiler for it, consider this post over:
Seriously. Go away.
Also, TW sexual violence:
A character in this book sexually assaults Jack. Like I said, it gave me the ick, both in the way it should when you read something horrific, and in the “I didn’t think that kind of thing happens in a modern book” way.
Then in the second book there’s some plot hand waving to justify it, and Jack ends up sleeping with her abuser. It was just a bit much for me and kind of tore me out of the book and away from the characters. It gave me the mega ick. Did not like. Probably won’t read any future books if there are any.
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2021 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official.
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