Dead Man Rising is the follow-up to Working for the Devil. This is a series and it’s my opinion that they should be read in order, because without the knowledge and emotion of the first book, I don’t think the reader would get the same impact in the second. That said, let me state unequivocably: Dead Man Rising rocked my world.
I admit I went into this book a bit sceptical and hesitant because it’s no secret that I loved Working for the Devil. I made everyone I know buy it (and a higher percentage loved it than didn’t). It’s truthfully not a series for everyone. For one thing, it’s fantasy. Some people don’t read/like fantasy that has complicated world building, unfamiliar terms or concepts that they have to think about in order to understand the world. Lilith Saintcrow does amazing world building. I think her books are well-developed with fantastic detail but not so much that you need to be a member of Mensa to follow along.
Some people said they couldn’t move past the Anita Blake comparison in their heads because Dante is a Necromancer, she’s kick-ass and the book is first person. Let me state–there’s no comparison. I wouldn’t even attempt to compare the two series–with their different worlds, different characters and different authors–and doing so for those reasons is insane and you’re missing out on something great if you gave up on Working for the Devil because of that. Shame on you. Go back and try again 😉
But going back to my earlier statement, I was hesitant because I loved WftD quite a bit and I wasn’t sure how the sequel could possibly compare. I was almost afraid to start reading the book because damn, I asked Bryan at Warner for an ARC and it would suck to offer a bad review in return. And I was wondering to myself how the hell I was going to give Lilith a bad review when I’d previously offered to bear her children. Well thank God I don’t have to worry about any of that because the book compared!
Oh my giddy-grandmother did it ever compare! There I was at midnight, reading next to my husband who was sawing logs beside me (he doesn’t really snore but it adds to the imagery, don’t you think?), with tears streaming down my face and valiantly trying not to sniff so I didn’t wake him up. Sobbing like a schoolgirl who’s just had the zit on her nose pointed out to her in front of the cute boy she has a mad crush on. Oh yeah, that was me. Totally brought to my knees by this book because it was just that damned good.
You see, Lilith has a gift for writing characters the reader cares about. She builds a rapport between reader and the characters so you find yourself desperately caring about them, wanting them all to be happy and just dying to know what happens next. I’ll be honest here: it took all of my willpower from about 30 pages into the book on to not flip to the last chapter and read the end so I could just KNOW what happened and not feel like I was racing through the pages to get there. I’m so glad I didn’t. The pay-off is brilliant, the story rich and compelling and the characters so real I felt as though I knew them. Dead Man Rising is every bit as good as Working for the Devil…and perhaps even better. There’s so much I could say about this book but saying them without spoilers is nearly impossible. Lilith Saintcrow has crafted another hit with Dead Man Rising and crafted a challenge for herself…how will she possibly write a third book to stand up to brilliance of the first two?