Format: ebook (kindle)
Synopsis: (From Goodreads) In an alternate Atlanta where magic is practiced openly, where witches sip coffee at local cafes, shapeshifters party at urban clubs, vampires rule the southern night like gangsters, and mysterious creatures command dark caverns beneath the city, Dakota Frost’s talents are coveted by all. She’s the best magical tattooist in the southeast, a Skindancer, able to bring her amazing tats to life. When a serial killer begins stalking Atlanta’s tattooed elite, the police and the Feds seek Dakota’s help. Can she find the killer on the dark fringe of the city’s Edgeworld? Among its powerful outcasts and tortured loners, what kind of enemies and allies will she attract? Will they see her as an invader, as a seducer, as an unexpected champion … or as delicious prey?FROST MOON is Book One of the SKINDANCER fantasy series by debut author Anthony Francis. Filled with unforgettable characters, spine-tingling action, kinky rebellion and edgy love, FROST MOON is classic storytelling at its best, and Dakota Frost is an irresistible new star of fantasy fiction.
Review: Dakota Frost is a bisexual magical tattoo artist in Atlanta. She is feisty, strong and one of the best magical artists in the city, one of the few who can create a tattoo that comes to life. Atlanta is home to skindancers, werewolves, witches, vampires and magicians which makes for an interesting setting.
When someone starts killing magical tattoo wearers in Atlanta and cutting their markings off their bodies, Dakota becomes caught up in a police investigation to keep her clients- and herself- safe. Just when she is warned to keep on the low, Dakota accepts a seedy werewolf as a client as recommended by her mate Spleen. He wants a special symbol tattooed on him before the full moon but Dakota needs to take measures to ensure that she will not be putting him or anyone else in danger first. For extra protection Dakota is fitted into a dog collar that warns other vamps that she is part of Lady Saffron’s clan- the queen vampire who also happens to be Dakota’s ex-girlfriend. Spunky, naïve Cinnamon a young were-tiger also teams up with Dakota which is really quite entertaining.
Overall the premise was quite unique as were Dakota’s sought-after abilities as a magical tattoo artist. But the plot seemed to jump from here to there and at times I forgot what the point of the story was. The standout was that I really struggled to relate to Dakota as a character. I don’t feel like I really got to know her, there’s not much of her background revealed and she presents as a tough, determined woman who often talks before she thinks. When Dakota is hospitalised and breaks down we do get to see a softer (less bravado) side to her but my connection with her continued to lack.
There was an underlying romance sub-plot which really didn’t go anywhere and Dakota seemed to experience sexual tension with most of the characters in the story- male and female. One of the most interesting was with the detective as well as the awkwardness with her ex-girlfriend. I guess what was evident was Dakota’s lack of connection with those around her and perhaps that is why I didn’t really ‘get’ her. I wonder if Dakota’s sexuality, superficial relationships and aggressiveness is prominent due to her being written by a male author?
At times I couldn’t really get into the book and it really took me awhile to get into it- and although I did finish it- I probably would not read any more of the series.
So, if you like urban fantasy with a fierce female protagonist with minimal romance then Frost Moon may just be up your alley. It just wasn’t for me!
2.5/ 5 rating
* I was provided a digital copy of Frost Moon from Netgalley and Bell Bridge Books in exchange for an honest review.
Frost Moon can be purchased from Amazon in paperback and digital formats.