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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Death: Passage to Mesentia by Dorlanna Vann

Death: Passage to Mesentia by Dorlanna Vann
Publisher: Tease Publishing
Genre: Contemporary; Paranormal
Heat: Sweet
Length: Short (80 pages)
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Wade and Bella’s lives have been altered since the murder of Bella’s archaeologist parents and the arrival of a mysterious stranger named Ben. The couple decides to help Ben find an ancient Egyptian artifact, which Bella's parents had hidden. After Ben reveals his true identity, they are thrust into an unknown supernatural reality, and his deeply romantic and tragic love story begins to lure Bella towards him. Will Wade and Bella’s love endure, or will Bella be drawn in by the dangerous quest and find Ben too intense to resist?

Tension builds rapidly in Vann's "Death: Passage to Mesentia." It starts out with an ordinary enough disagreement: Wade Roberts is annoyed and is stressing Bella out, almost on purpose. He does not relish meetings with his sophisticated girlfriend's parents. We sense that 'something is off' almost as Bella does...

One ominous assignation allows Bella to think she's figured the motivations all out (well, except for her feelings for Wade,) but we, much like the little girl inside of her, are screaming 'Get out before its too late!'

"Death: Passage to Mesentia" leaps energetically from episode to episode, without apology and without a moment's reflection. The intrigue, like the tension, only builds. The characters are wonderful; deep and poignant and conveyed in such a short span. Wade's tough attitude and total dedication come across easily through dialog. Isabella's decisions are believable if less understandable- and Ben, who arrives so fortuitously, is enchanting. Ben seems far too academic - and earnest - to be the 'Herman Munster,'Wade calls him. Could Wade merely be jealous?

All questions of romance aside, there are serious crimes to figure out, and serious danger to avoid; if they can manage it.

"Death: Passage to Mesentia" delivers some thrills along with its great characters. The presentation keeps the action hopping. If there were to be one complaint, it is that the writing style is wordy, and descriptions fail to move the plot forward. Some past detail is slow. However, the creative story and deft handling of tension are guaranteed to enthrall.