Thank you so much to Dave @ The Write Reads for including me in those Blog Tour and also thank you so much to Josie for the review copy! This hasn’t affected my opinions on the books, which are all honest and unbiased.
Title: May Day
Series: Seekers #1
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Published July 9th 2020
by Silver Sun Books
Length: 388 pages
Genre/Age Range: Adult Urban Fantasy Mystery
Content Warning in the back of the book or in the Details tap below
brief mention of: suicide & miscarriage
use of ‘date rape’ drug in non-sexual way
predatory sexual behaviour (not seen) discussed (i.e. stalking, assault and rape)
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Firstly, I want to mention that I really appreciate Josie adding content warnings in the back of her book! I’d love more authors to do that. So definitely bonus points here.
But let’s start with the actual story, shall we? And oh boy, did I enjoy reading May Day! Actually, I loved it! It was the perfect book to read this last few days. With me currently writing my thesis and having a lot of other organizing stuff to do for Uni I was a stressed little cupcake and reading May Day was so relaxing and addicting and I’m in love!
Jack Valentine is an interesting character. She’s determined, stubborn and has a vendetta. I can totally see why people may not like her, but surprisingly enough I did, right from the start. And she only grew more and more on me. She is a little whiny sometimes, has no care for hierarchy or authority, a great appreciation for gin and really bad impulse control. In short, she is a bit of a disaster. And I’m here for it.
“Alright Valentine”, he says, “Whatever you say. I suppose you are going to storm out again now?”
“You suppose right.”
I lift my chin and do exactly that.
While May Day has a romance subplot (that I really enjoyed, but more later) it has also a really nice friendship that made me smile multiple times. Cam is the sunshine to Jack’s grumpiness and they work so well together. We don’t get too many scenes with them both, but the ones we do get are really showing how well they work together. They bicker and tease each other, but also talk about their relationship problems (or don’t talk about them … )
I quite liked Cam. He has a bit of his own relationship trouble but we don’t really go into depth with him and Ed. So I didn’t connect to that part really. The same with Naia, I find that I actually don’t really care for her. She is one of Jack’s colleagues and the more I read about her the less I liked her. The reverse happened with Ed and Boyd. I didn’t really care about either of them until we get some more little snippets about their personalities and then I instantly liked them. Ed and his love for his petri-dishes and not understanding that others might not share the same interest (moodTM) and Boys and his anti-social personality and not being good with people (again, moodTM)
There were a lot of minor characters where it was really interesting to see Jack (and Cam) interacting with them and see how the dynamics change. I thought that was really very well done.
And when we are already talking about changing dynamics … I loooved how the relationship with Killian Drake and Jack evolved and changed constantly throughout the book. The love triangle between Jack, Dr Tabitha Ross and Killian Drake was one I actually really liked. It was well done and didn’t feel unnecessarily dramatic (largely because of Tabitha and how she handled everything!!) and I love all three of them. Tabitha and Killian are so different and I’m all for how the book ended in regard to those three.
Buuuut the book isn’t all relationships, far from it. The mystery is incredibly intriguing and just gets more and more complicated, convoluted and frankly … dangerous. I’m living for it. (Lately, I’m really into mysteries again!) The resolution worked perfectly with everything and I definitely didn’t guess it. If you’ve already read Josie’s other series The Gilded King than you are already familiar with the Silvers like I am. But I really enjoyed getting to know them, the Seekers and the Solis Invicti in this modern-day setting. How their justice system works, what is actually illegal and what the punishments are.
The writing flows very well and I didn’t want to put the book down. (I actually tried reading while eating but it proved difficult … my roommate can attest to that. Although it was quite the nice workout for my little finger. Poor thing had to hold the book open on its own)
I’m a little miffed at the fact that there is no sequel yet because the end made me so giddy to continue! What would I give for being able to continue right now!!!
“I have always written stories, but it wasn’t until I started the first book in the Solis Invicti series in 2014 that I really became obsessed with writing. I love to read, particularly where the escapism of the story is enhanced with an element of fantasy or science fiction. For me, writing is simply an extension of that journey, but I get to decide what happens next (though it’s amazing how often the characters seem to decide for themselves what I’m going to write!). I love to hear from readers, so please do get in touch through my website or via Twitter.” – Josie Jaffrey