Review: The Night Beat by Gini Koch (Necropolis Enforcement Files #1)
July 2 2012
Received from author
Kick Ass Chick – Victoria Wolfe
From Goodreads –
The majority of Prosaic City’s residents don’t know that their town exists on top of another place — Necropolis, City of the Undead. For the most part, the two planes of existence manage to remain separate. And when they don’t, Necropolis Enforcement has beings in place to ensure the general human population remains blithely clueless.
Victoria Wolfe is more than just a policewoman. She’s an undercover werewolf assigned by Necropolis Enforcement to work Prosaic City Police’s Night Beat. Victoria’s comfortable working the shift where all the weird comes out to play, especially since her partner is also her perfect man. Or would be, if Victoria could ever work up the nerve to tell him she isn’t like other girls.
It’s hard enough being a werewolf in disguise, but when a creature from the Depths of Hell shows up in an alley preferred by junkies, bums, and hookers, it’s going to take more than just Victoria’s special gun and werewolf skills to subdue the ancient Sumerian demon. Especially when the demon is merely the start of what appears to be a major takeover attempt by the Prince of Darkness.
Soon all of Necropolis Enforcement’s Undead Brigade is involved in the fight to stop the Prince’s Major Minions from taking over Prosaic City and the rest of the human plane. But it’s Victoria who has to face the Adversary and figure out what intricate plan Lucifer has up his wings before everyone she cares about is destroyed.
In other words, it’s just another day on the Night Beat.
Where to start with this book?! When I was offered Night Beat, the first book in Gini Koch’s Necropolis Enforcement Files series, for review I did what I usually do: I read the blurb. And what a blurb it is! I remember wondering why it was so long and now I have my answer: because so much happens in this book!
I am going to warn you guys now that this book has a huge amount of info dump. And by huge, I mean HUGE in all capital letter. And it’s not just in the beginning or the first few chapters – it happens throughout the entire book. I did find myself confused at times and having to re-read a few paragraphs to make sure I got things. And I may still be confused about Satan and Lucifer and the difference between them…maybe. But everything you learn is really interesting! The information isn’t shared with you in pages and pages of descriptive prose. It’s pretty much all done via dialogue, which helps a lot. Certain characters need to understand what is going on and Vic and friends explain it all to them – and to you in the process. Gini has put so much thought into this world that she created that even though it’s overwhelming at times, it still left me in awe.
As you can tell by my mentioning Satan and Lucifer in the previous paragraph, this book touches a lot on religion. But do not fret, it is not a preachy book or is it a book stating one set of beliefs and you the reader are expected to just go with it for the duration of the book. Night Beat is about how Armageddon is being triggered by some evil minions and our awesome crew of characters have to figure out who is starting it, where, how they are doing it and how they can stop it. Gini has filled her world with angels and gods (yes, plural) and different levels of evil.
But it’s not just angels and ‘heavenly/demonly’ beings in this book. Oh heck no. There is pretty much every single form or paranormal creature imaginable in this book. Zombies (no they’re not gross), succubus, werewolves (our heroine is one), vampires, ghouls…even a white worm thing. We do get a lesson or two about werewolves but we don’t learn all that much about the other beings – which is good because that would be way way too much info and pretty much irrelevant to the story. But I liked how all of these creatures were friendly and fun to read. No one eeked me out or made me want to gag or anything *grin*. Not only do you get every possible form of paranormal creature but you’ll also get a crazy amount of ‘dead’ celebrities and well-knowns showing up as these creatures! That aspect of the book was so fun. You never had any idea who would pop up next and who was chosen fit very well to the role Gini gave them.
Let’s talk about the main characters. There are actually quite a few of them but I’m going to talk about Victoria, Jack and Ralph. The book is told from Victoria’s (Vic) point of view. She is awesome. As I mentioned, she’s a werewolf but she is working undercover as cop in the human world. She’s also a cop in ‘her’ world – she’s a member of the Necropolis Enforcement Agency. I just found her a lot of fun to read. Smart, funny, snarky, warm without being sappy and annoying…a fabulous UF heroine. Seeing how Victoria is a werewolf, she sometimes demonstrates canine traits…especially when she is feeling particularly excited or happy. I thought how Gini included this into Vic’s character was great. It adds a whole other level of humor to an already fun book.
Jack. Oh what to say about Jack? He is the subject of a few ‘holy cow!’ moments in this book. Jack is human and Vic’s partner. She’s also in love with him. He is a man. Now don’t you all go rolling your eyes at me and think that I’ve lost it. What I mean by that is you will not find a single scented candle in this guy’s house. You will not find some fruity alcoholic beverage and you will not expect him to start talking about useless sh*t. He is a man’s man and that is why Vic likes him. She’s a no-nonsense sort of girl and she needs a guy who can match that. And Jack does. Boy does he ever. There are times where I wondered about him but then things were explained and all was right once again in my world.
Ralph you would not think a main character when you first meet him but his part grows through the book. You also kind of find him annoying when you meet him but eventually totally love him. He is really funny and his and Vic’s interactions are a hoot to read. Their scenes together were some of my favorite in the book. I can’t wait for you guys to ‘meet’ him.
Really, the characters were the highlight for me in this book. Each and every one of them, whether they played a large role in this book or just a small one, was incredibly written and they are the reason I will be reading the next book.
The relationships (yes, plural) in this book almost seem to go from one to the other a little too quickly. I felt a little off about that. But once things are explained it didn’t seem as odd to me. I know that probably makes little sense to you but once you read the book you’ll know what I mean. 😉
I am really unsure how to rate this book. On one hand, it’s confusing at times and there is a lot of detail to read. For that I’m leaning towards a 3 star rating. But on the other hand, the characters are top notch, the main story is awesome and the world is very interesting. For that I’m leaning towards a 5 star review. So I think I’m going to go with the average and give Night Beat 4 stars. I’m assuming now that the world has been set up and explained very well that the next book will be a little easier to read.
Giggle worthy quotes
“Jack kissed me for a good long while, until I wasn’t trying to do anything but hump his leg. Hey, there are some things you can’t help if you have a drop of canine in you.
“Just before we reached the doorway I changed back to human. Ralph followed suit. Only, in his case, it was more like birthday suit. “Whoa!” I didn’t know whether to look or not. But, you know, I looked. I mean, it was there, on full display. Full, impressive display.
‘Whoa what?!’ It was cute, he was confused.
‘You never told me you went commando. Back to wolf! Back to wolf!’ I couldn’t help it, I wasn’t looking at his face. I was looking at his naked body. All of it, and then specifically one part of it.
‘Ralph, the special werewolf suits, that you’re not wearing? The ones that change with us so we’re never butt-naked if we go human…that you’re not wearing!’
I managed to wrench my eyes up. He was turning bright red. ‘They itch,’ he muttered.
‘Poor baby. Back to wolf!’”