I met Lily Luchesi at a release party for Andy Peloquin and she had somewhat of the same premise as my books, so I decided to give her first book a try. While life prevented me from reading this book all night, it took me four sessions to read it the entire way through.
(This probably wouldn’t be the case if I owned the paperback, since I tear through those. However, I’m running out of room and bookshelf space.)
This review is comprehensive and a shorter version will also display on Amazon. Amazon is not responsible for this review, and I did use KDP to read Luchesi’s first book. To find more about Luchesi’s Paranormal Detective series, click the image, where I’ve linked to her Amazon book page.
This book received a 4 out of 5 rating, which is great for a first release.
Stake Out had what I expected from a mystery/paranormal thriller: a guy with a gun, pointed at danger. The color scheme and the font intrigued me, along with the tagline on the book. It’s a shame I don’t own a print version, because I imagine the typography is beautiful towards the back.
For once, I liked both main characters, which was a surprise. There’s usually a book where I want to strangle one of them because they fall into a stereotypical character trope category, such as ditzy bimbo or the sexpot who manipulates people.
Danny has some quirks, but for his situation, his behavior was appropriate. It was believable enough for me to keep reading to see if he’d resolve his issues with the female main character. (I don’t usually like relationships in books between main characters, so Luchesi did good here!) He grew a little toward the end, but that’s expected, especially with the first book in a series.
Angelica intrigued me, but confused me at the same time toward the beginning. This was an interesting twist, because that was the secondary reason to read the story. Something about her character was easy to guess, but if I wrote why, it’d spoil the book for the readers.
I loved the plot, but felt that some scenes transitioned too quickly and jarred me out of reading. I would have liked to see three to four chapter starts not have so much time pass between them, because I wondered why a chapter started several days later. It wouldn’t be apparent until the second or third page with a sentence or two to explain.
At one point, halfway through the book, I was kind of at the edge, wondering how the rest of their assignment would go during the stake out portion. The reader will have several emotions whirling at once as they get to this section of the story. The timing here was perfect, because both parties experienced the same thing on different levels, so it wasn’t jarring.
Plot-wise, most of it was explained – save for the cliffhanger Luchesi left the book off on. It was appropriate, but I still wanted to read more, because one major point was not resolved. However, for a series, you kind of have to leave some unresolved stuff, as long as you close up that book with no other issues.
Otherwise, readers wouldn’t want to continue a series, would they? 🙂
The style goes between showing and telling, and improved as the book went on. All writers go through this transitionary phase, so there was more showing as the book went on. There is a fine line between showing and telling, so that is one thing to consider.
The one thing I loved about Luchesi’s writing was the quirky statements as people were thinking. She referenced realistic things that are in today’s society to compare a situation with. There were several times I found myself laughing at these remarks, so that was a plus.
Positives and overall evaluation
Overall, Stake Out was a good starting book and I hope that Luchesi’s skills grow as she develops into a writer. The characters were likable, I could relate to their situations and the plot moved fast enough to keep the reader’s attention.
I’m looking forward to Luchesi’s next book, and hope that anyone who enjoys paranormal/urban fantasy will consider Lily Luchesi.0