Genre: Urban Fantasy – Paranormal – Young Adult
Series: Bright Falls Mysteries #1
Publisher: Mystique Press (September 21, 2017)
Length: 256 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
Urban fantasy isn’t one of my usual reading genres. Young adult isn’t either. Neither is humorous stories. Be that as it may, I decided to cast caution to the wind and give I Was A Teenage Weredeer a go, certain that these authors could wow me as much with this creation as they did their space opera Lucifer’s Star.
Set in the same world as Phipps’ Straight Outta Fangton, Weredeer takes place in the small town of Bright Falls, Michigan: the home of the shifter clan. Our protagonist is a smart, snarky, and geeky girl by the name of Jane Doe, who just happens to be a weredeer. It isn’t a big issue for her though because everyone around here has a special gift and paranormal activity is a part of life.
What is a big deal is that Jane’s brother is a suspect in the murder of her friend’s sister. Jane quickly winding up in the middle of said murder investigation. The mystery which thereafter evolves is full of family and town secrets; secrets which will certainly change Jane’s life forever.
There are more than a few things to really like about Weredeer, but one of its chief strengths is the authors’ clever subversion of the standard tropes of both urban fantasy and young adult. Even though the usual teen angst of YA and fantastical elements of urban fantasy are ever present here, the authors offer a rather darker side to many things, using societal issues and diverse characters in a refreshing way to add depth to what would otherwise be a fairly generic plot line.
If you had to point to one thing and say that is what I Was A Teenage Weredeer is all about though, then it would have to be the humor. First, everyone in this story is obsessed with puns. Good puns. Bad puns. Puns that are cheesy. Some that are damn clever. More than a few about deer and our protagonist Jane DOE. Second, pop culture references are everywhere, turning many scenes into funny discussions about how this film or this character would handle the current situation. The puns and references making sure the fun never stops.
The only thing I would complain in Weredeer is the pacing. To be fair, this was most notably a problem in the middle sections of the book, slowly fading as the authors accelerated to a very exciting conclusion; however, during the times it was an issue, the narrative did drag quite a bit, weighed down by descriptive passages and too much humor. I know all the puns and pop culture references were there to lighten the mood up, add some fun to things, but when it seemed ever single character was getting into the pun making, it became a case of a little too much of a good thing, causing my desire for more puns to peaked and quickly decline.
To sum up, I Was A Teenage Weredeer was a nice, easy read with a few surprises, some good paranormal MUR-DEER action, and loads and loads of puns. I could definitely see fans HUNTING for something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or a similar tv series/films enjoying this novel DEERLY. (Yeah, I had to put in, at least, a couple of deer pun.) Seriously, though, anyone who finds YA urban fantasy with a dark side to their liking would probably really enjoy this novel.
I received this book from the authors in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.