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Mob Rules (Luna Books)

A book by Cameron Haley

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Truly stellar world building and fun supporting characters couldn't save this story with its wimpy romance and dull plotting.

  • Sep 22, 2010
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In MOB RULES the good is really good (amazingly creative world building and a feisty fun sidekick), but by comparison, the bad is really bad (a slow storyline that never picks up speed).

The main storyline in which magical mob enforcer, Domino, is trying to avoid a gang war while chasing down a nasty killer who skins and crucifies his victims in order to drain them of their magic sounds a lot more interesting then it is on paper. And that's not because Haley is a bad writer, he's not, but his pacing leaves a lot to be desired. The whole mystery could have been solved in three chapters but instead it drags on for fifteen.

I actually found myself getting mad that this very cool world building was wasted on a story that just meandered through this fascinating alternate L.A. in which Domino's familiar is Mr. Clean trapped in her TV, she contacts the dead through a Facebook type site, graffiti tagging can tap into juice (aka magic), and spells for everything from counteracting nicotine to all matter of cosmetic enhancements are triggered by famous quotes.

The other bright spots in MOB RULES were the scenes between Domino and a mischievous eight inch tall naked piskie named Honey. Honey felt like an import from a Stephanie Plum novel with lots of quick and quirky dialogue like this scene where Honey begrudgingly offers to teach Domino how to control her magic:

I laughed. "No offense, Honey, but you're eight inches tall. And you have a sword." I noticed the sword was missing. "Where do you hide that thing, anyway?"
"It's a secret."

Overall, the truly stellar world building and fun supporting characters couldn't save this story with its wimpy romance and dull plotting. There is a prequel in the anthology Harvest Moon coming out October 1, 2010, and the sequel called Skeleton Crew due out sometime in 2011 but I can't see myself picking up either.

Sexual Content: References to sex. A scene of mild sensuality.

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November 05, 2010
Great review! I had heard the same thing about this book and luckily decided to wait to put this one on my TBR list. Now, I'm glad I did. Have you read @DreamsAndSpeculation's review?
November 05, 2010
I did read TJ's review. Sounds like we had the same problems. Too bad, I wanted to like this book.
November 05, 2010
Yeah too bad! I loved the idea of it too! But, I'm really glad that I read your reviews first ;p Phew.....nothing I hate more than getting excited for a book and being let down.
About the reviewer
Abigail ()
Ranked #579
I am a 20-something book lover with an obsession for all things urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on the paranormal genre withBuffyandTwilightbefore discoveringPatricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Suffice … more
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About this book


Starred Review. Haley's zippy debut introduces Domino Riley, the tough, streetwise lieutenant to 6,000-year-old gang boss Shanar Rashan. ("The LAPD thought he was Turkish. He was actually Sumerian.") When Domino investigates the grisly murder of a low-ranking graffiti mage, a conversation with the victim's ghost reveals that this is no standard gangland rivalry and the sorcerous gang world shadowing the real world is not the only magical game in town. In order to protect her relationship with Rashan's handsome son, Domino is forced to break the careful balance of mob rules, putting herself in increasing danger. A wise-ass jinn in a TV set, a hippie Vietnam vet werewolf, and a warrior-princess piskie round out the highly entertaining cast. Much of the story is series setup, but fast pacing, pungent wit, surprise twists, thoughtful discussions of morality, and escalating, cinematic battles keep the pages turning.
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ISBN-10: 0373803206
ISBN-13: 978-0373803200
Author: Cameron Haley
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Luna
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