Mad Dash Adventures in Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford

Mad Lizard Mambo Book Cover Mad Lizard Mambo
Kai Gracen
Rhys Ford
Urban Fantasy
Dreamspinner Press
September 13, 2016
220

Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.

Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.

Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.

The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.

Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford is the long awaited sequel to Black Dog Blues. People – me among them – long hoped for a continuation of Kai’s adventures. With Mad Lizard Mambo the author sure doesn’t disappoint. As a side note, it’s handy to read Black Dog Blues before you start this book.

What is Mad Lizard Mambo about?
The story is a mix of Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings meets Supernatural in a way. It’s a story high on adventure and low on romance, although the last is certainly there. With Elves (Sidhe) of both courts literally merged with this world with all the troubles that comes along with it, including dragons. Kai is a stalker – someone who hunts the bumps in the night – on loan to the newly formed San Diego court. Which means when Ryder, head honcho elf, asks Kai for something, it’s very hard for Kai to refuse. Although Kai is not sure if he wants to.

Can you tell us about the plot for Mad Lizard Mambo?
The plot is predominantly focussed on the task set upon Kai by Ryder. Ryder comes along for the ride and there is mayhem all around. Along the way Kai and Ryder deepen their friendship and are maybe onto the road for something more. It’s slow going because of Kai’s past. Speaking of the past. Kai’s rear his very ugly head a few times.

What I can tell about the plot without giving anything away, is that there are a few twists and turns that you do not see coming!

So do Kai and Ryder finally get together?
For that you have to read the book. I can tell you that it’s very slow going for the both for them. Their romance is not the main focus of the story, rather a sub plot. I love how it’s blossoming slowly and with each story Kai is learning more about himself. For Ryder, it’s a done deal even if Kai hasn’t reached that point and I love how how his slowly growing court feels the same.

Are the characters of this story dynamic, rounded?
As always, characters are crafted well by this author. They are characters that have seen hardship and pain and overcame them and have made a life for themselves, how unlikely it may seem. Especially Kai remains a character you can’t help but want to hug and care for I’m sure Ryder thinks the same. The characters of Mad Lizard Mambo are dynamic and mysterious, never an open book and you always learn something new about them. I love that they have have their flaws but can still be a role model or learn from their mistakes.

How is the writing in this book?
As always the writing by this author is descriptive, flowing and clean with chatty and witty dialogue, without being overly flowery or descriptive to the point of being boring. The world building is strong and a good strong setting that is believable.

Is there something you didn’t like about this book?
Well…no…not really. I really loved Kai’s story! The one little niggle I did have was about the Black Dogs in this story. Compared to the previous books they play a larger (literally) role in  this story. We learn more about them but they also seem a lot harder to kill. The fighting scenes with the Black Dogs are more extensive and it seemed a little overdone as to how hard they were to kill. I know this has to do with whoever creates them, but it took a little away for Kai’s fighting skill compared to Black Dog Blues.

How do you rate this book?
With 5 stars and it is definitely recommended!

*crosses fingers and hopes there will be more Kai stories*

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