Review: Dead on the Delta

Stacey Jay
Urban Fantasy
389 pages
Pocket Books

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.
But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six year-old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .

I absolutely love when an author takes a stereotype and flips it on its ass. Jay has done just that.  Fairies are suppose to be adorable miniature human-oids with wings and bright colored lycra body suits. They have short person syndrome, and over-compensate with snarky attitudes and whitty repartee.  They are Kim Harisson's "Jenks", they are Peter Pan's "Tinkerbell".  Not anymore.  Stacey Jay has imagined a race of fairies so terrifying you'll steer clear of winged insects this summer.  Fairies have been a part of the world, and always had the thirst for human blood and have the capability to kill a human with a single bite, but up until recently their jaws hadn't evolved into ones that could puncture human flesh. *shudder* They can now.  Some people are lucky enough to die from a bite right away, others are cursed with a slow death in an exile "camp", and about 1% of the population are immune and actually repel the fairies. Enter Annabelle Lee.  

Annabelle is a dark character with a rocky past, an alcohol problem, and an incapacity to love.  She acts tough and for the most part, looks as though her life is functioning better than most.  She's got a boyfriend who loves her unconditional, friends who genuinely care for her, a well paying job, and is immune to the most deadly thing out there.  But, as the story progresses you start to realize that it's all a facade. Her heart has irreparable damage, she gives away most of her income each year, leaving herself barely scraping by, and her friends have secrets that make her question if she really truly knows them at all.  When a piece of her past comes to help the town solve a serial murder, we start to see into Lee's history, and it ain't pretty.  There are a couple of very messed up events that happened to her, and quite frankly, she thinks she doesn't deserve a better life. If this girl ever gets a happy ending, you'll know she deserves it. She's an easy character to like, but I have a feeling she's going to become more endearing as she starts to repair herself... you want her to repair herself. 

The plot runs fast, and the twists are shocking.  Especially the end-scene. I grossed out, flip-out, and then freaked-out.  I did not see the "whys" of the murder coming a mile away. It's pretty messed up.  Actually, a lot of the world is pretty messed up, and I found it a nice departure from fantasy land. There are surprises along the way, unconventional characters, and a messed up love triangle. {After you get all the facts you really shouldn't want the love triangle to play a part in the series, but you won't be able to help yourself, no matter how "wrong" that makes you.} There were times when I didn't understand why Annabelle felt it was her responsibility to get involved in some of the things she did, but for the most part the flow is plausible.  Most importantly, the story and the characters left me wanting more, and honestly what could be better than that?

Bottom Line: Fans of dark UF, line up. You've got a new series to start.

4 stars


  1. Just added it to my wishlist :) Great review! I love darker UF, plus the cover looks like its Dan Dos Santos's whom I adore.

  2. Kara: If you enjoy the darker side, you should definitely give this a go. And you're right the cover does look like one of DDS, but it's actually by Elena Dudina.

  3. Oh man...this sounds like an AWESOME book! I must place it on my TBR list and I must read it! Thanks for the awesome review Jess!