Friday, June 20, 2014

Bullet by Jonathan Lister: Review



A father’s love doesn’t bend, so what happens when it breaks?

Corruption, dark truths, and a new Alpha mean Leon Gray’s days of running  without a pack are over. At least, that’s what everyone but him believes.

He’d rather be helping his teenage daughter navigate the landmine life of a full werewolf, finish out his servitude as bodyguard to a former Demos City reporter and, in all honesty, not be taken advantage of by a beautiful woman who really only wants him for his body—figuratively and metaphorically.

Of course, the only way any of that might happen is if he’s dead. That’s likely given the information the reporter has unearthed and the territorial battles already underway between packs. If only Demos City's corruption didn’t have such deep roots—older than the bones of the city or any of the werewolves who’ve decided to claim it. A city can only take so many power hungry mongrels
invading it at one time, and Leon can only take so much knowing his daughter lives within its boundaries.

War has come to Demos City.

It’s up to Leon to fix ... what's most important to him.

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3.5 Stars

I highly anticipated this second Demos City novel because the first book had absolutely blown me away.  Leon is back but things are rough, he’s having relationship issues with darn near everyone in this book. Demos City is a powder keg of secrets, lies and political maneuvering.  His teenage daughter is often sullen and angry.  She is going through a difficult transition; becoming a full-powered werewolf. The change is difficult for her and for Leon. Leon wants to protect his daughter, but she feels as if he is too controlling.  Unfortunately, too often Leon is so wrapped up in other problems and is so protective of his child that he is rarely honest with her.  He tries to scuttle her out of harm’s way making her even more petulant. 

There are several factions vying for control of Demos City, each aiming to recruit Leon to their cause.  Leon steadfastly maintains his lone wolf status but the costs are severe.  Alliances form and dissolve frequently, and sometimes I had difficulty keeping all the different players straight.  As the tension mounts and the backstabbing commences I became frustrated with the political games.  Then the pace picked up and there were several bloody skirmishes that were delightfully original and mostly unexpected. 

I really missed the old Hastings from book one.  Leon and Hastings have lost much of the rapport that made their partnership shine in book one.  I just hope the pair will find a way to repair their friendship, and that Leon will learn to trust Shauna a bit more.  She is a character with phenomenal growth potential.  I would delight in watching her truly come into her own under the tutorage of her legendary father.

This book ends well but with plenty of wiggle room for the next adventure.  I remain a loyal fan and I am looking forward to finding out what will happen in the next book.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J 


Jonathan Lister is a full-time writer with work appearing in outlets of USA Today, The Houston Chronicle and many others. A graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, he’s waited an unspeakable amount of tables en route to having the career he wants, and the ability to the tell stories he loves. Bullet, a Demos City Novel is Jonathan’s second book-length work of fiction. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area and continues to drink too much coffee.


“The uniqueness in the Demos City stories is that the supernatural and humans know of one another,” says J. Taylor Publishing. “It’s just part of life in Demos City, but what happens when one infringes on the other or turf wars impede progress? Therein lies the fundamental problems with a society that knows about supernaturals and Jonathan is poised to tell the story for many books to come.”
“Mixing the supernatural and human populations is fertile ground to tell some stories with social commentary woven into them,” says Jonathan. “I didn’t want to write a story about werewolves doing ‘werewolf’ things and this was the perfect way in my mind. These characters are people with problems that mirror those in the real world today, or at least as close as I can get them.”  

Like Crossroads, the first in the Demos City series, Bullet centers around Leon Gray, a werewolf who used to work as a bouncer in a bar, and now acts in a capacity most readers expect of a werewolf—a body guard. It’s
not that role that gets him in the most trouble though, who he’s protecting and why are the key in this second book.

“What are werewolves? Animals or people? Why do we believe the answer that pops into our head?” asks J. Taylor Publishing. “Readers expect certain things from characters and supernaturals specifically because they’ve been taught with other books to believe ‘x’ when in the Demos City case, Jonathan totally turns those preconceived notions on the head.”

“Unless there’s girl superhero meets socially awkward boy type romance in a supernatural book today, it’s tough to make people read the first page,” says Jonathan. “Hell, the success of that plot arc alone built an entire sub genre. Those preconceived notions keep many authors from getting books in print, and it’s one of the reasons I’m so invested in the Demos City series. We need new stories, new characters that readers can invest in. Isn’t it time we moved forward a bit?”  

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