Dead Weight

Magic, Mayhem, and the Law in Precinct #153, Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
500 Pages
Reviewed on 02/05/2024
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite

Dead Weight is a work of fiction in the fantasy and paranormal genres. It is suitable for mature audiences and was penned by G.P. Robbins. This is a gripping and imaginative urban fantasy crime thriller that takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through the supernatural streets of Cauldron City where magical creatures coexist alongside humans and darkness lurks around every corner. The novel introduces us to the newly promoted Detective Jace Smithson, whose life quickly spirals into chaos as he investigates a series of gruesome murders and the kidnapping of a unicorn capable of creating diamonds.

Dead Weight explores themes of justice, belief, and the harsh realities of a city where magic and crime intersect whilst still allowing moments of joy and laughter along the way. One of the novel's strengths is its well-developed characters, especially Jace Smithson. As the protagonist, Jace is a multi-faceted character with a blend of vulnerability, determination, and relateability which we see as he's forced to confront his own beliefs and navigate the city's dark complexities. At first glance, the story may seem like a typical crime mystery, with greed and violence at its core; however, G.P. Robbins skillfully weaves a complex and layered narrative, adding humor and the paranormal into the mix. This unique blend of urban fantasy and crime drama adds a fresh and intriguing dimension to the story. Dead Weight is a page-turner that combines supernatural elements with a gritty detective story. G.P. Robbins' use of wit, vivid world-building, and compelling storytelling make this novel a must-read for fans of urban fantasy and crime fiction alike.

K.J. Simmill

In G.P. Robbins’ Dead Weight (Magic, Mayhem, and the Law in Precinct #153, Book 1) Precinct 153 is a place where weird and weirder look normal. Sometimes, however, there are events that take the cake, like the fearsome and respected ruler of New York City almost being assassinated by eggs. But that is the least of Jace’s worries. With a recent spurt of brutal, stomach-churning crimes, organ theft, and kidnapping, the rookie detective has really been thrown in at the deep end. Can he prove his mettle and piece together a case that has everyone scratching their heads? This will certainly be a baptism by fire, especially if his new roommate is allowed anywhere near the kitchen.

The writing style of G.P. Robbins reminds me a little of how it would be to read a collaboration created by the writers of RIPD, Bright and Happy. The combination of playful antics and humor is perfectly offset by the darker themes of ongoing investigations. There has clearly been a lot of thought put into not only the characters’ development but the world-building and the mythos of the magical hierarchy. Dead Weight really focuses on the issue of large cases with next to no leads and the troubles thereof, which also allows ample time for all the characters to have their time in the spotlight in a slow-burn mystery. You see the inner workings and frustrations of Precinct #153 as they put together their case based on clues and instinct, unraveling the threads and slowly building a bigger picture. Getting that picture is a challenge as everything seems to pile up against progress. Character-driven, this book is a must for those who love deep and developed characters with their own personalities that avoid cookie-cutter expectations. The interactions and challenges are priceless, and you’ll be grinning, cringing, and looking on in horror right along with them.

K.C. Finn

Dead Weight is a work of fiction in the paranormal, urban fantasy, and intrigue subgenres, and it forms the opening novel of the Magic, Mayhem, and the Law in Precinct #153 series. Penned by author G.P. Robbins, it is best suited to the general adult reading audience. We are introduced to a fascinating world where magic and crime intersect when we meet Detective Jace Smithson. Newly promoted and a little out of his depth, Jace finds himself entangled in a complex case involving multiple murders and the kidnapping of a unique and valuable unicorn. What appears to be a straightforward murder investigation quickly takes on sinister dimensions, with dark forces at play.

Author G.P. Robbins weaves a gripping tale of crime, greed, and magic in Cauldron City. Jace's journey to unravel the mystery and bring the culprits to justice is both thrilling and filled with unexpected twists. I really appreciated the attention to pacing and clue-giving that allows readers time to figure things out on their own before the big reveal to see if their suspicions were correct. Cauldron City is a vividly portrayed setting where dragons, unicorns, and humans coexist, each with their own interests and secrets, brought to life with cinematic and immersive prose. Jace's interactions with the city's magical inhabitants are slick and witty, and this contrasts well with the personal struggles and the moral dilemmas he faces, making him a well-rounded and compelling protagonist. Overall, Dead Weight is a promising start to an intriguing and highly entertaining series, and I look forward to following Detective Jace Smithson's future adventures in this captivating world.

Jamie Michele

Dead Weight by G.P. Robbins revolves around Detective Jace Smithson of Cauldron City's Precinct 153, who is called to investigate a case involving a suspended unicorn alongside ten bodies. Jace is a human-to-unicorn shapeshifter himself and is acutely aware that the crime is driven by the value of unicorn droppings. Jace's life moves between his detective work and a bit of quirk, including participation in a dragon game show and his passion for books. Following an emergency operation on a black dragon with a personal connection named Alicia, Jace undertakes investigations into kidnappings and gruesome murders that all have hallmarks of the same killer. Partnered with colleagues, the focus of the case embodies poisoned alcohol sales, victims' profiles, and horrific organ removals, leading to their suspecting an underground organ trafficking ring.

Dargon rides, unicorn poop, precious gems, a smoking hot unicorn-man that cooks, and a book collection and wolf-dogs that he names after a punk band and a musical? No, this is not my Christmas list; this is the glory of Dead Weight by G.P. Robbins, the first book in the fantastical Magic, Mayhem, and the Law in Precinct #153. I have read my fair share of detective novels that involve supernatural worlds and elements, but Robbins has delivered the first where the force itself is inter-species and, as far as the city is concerned, they're normal. Of course, Jace as a main character is anything but, yet Robbins does an excellent job in both developing him as a character and also making him relatable. The best way this is accomplished is by one of the more eerily realistic antagonists: the crazy ex. Even in fantasy, there is no escaping them. The world-building is top-notch, and aside from being just plain fun, Dead Weight has a weight of content where it matters, and I have no doubt others who begin this journey will agree.

Asher Syed

In Dead Weight by G.P. Robbins, human/unicorn metamorphic Detective Jace Smithson is assigned to probe a sequence of kidnappings and murders by his dragon boss, Captain Farthan. Jace meets the Black Dragon of New York, Grant Grimstone, medically assists a black dragoness, Alicia, and aids in her detoxification, all while trying to solve grisly murders potentially linked to organ theft. The discovery of a vigilante group's database provides a possible break, but in his attempts to find the killers and the spate of abductions, Jace will have to rely on his unicorn abilities and an unusual collaboration. In the midst of all of this and more, Jace navigates multiple attempts on his own life, danger with those he cares for, and the hunt for a forever home for his wolf dogs, book, and gemstone obsessions.

G.P. Robbins piggybacks a stack of subplots alongside the bodies in book one of the Magic, Mayhem, and the Law in Precinct #153 series, Dead Weight. Jace's shapeshifting is revealed very early on when a unicorn is alive but strung from a ceiling because, in Robbins's world, unicorn dung is profitable. This world where unicorns, dragons, magic, and fantastic creatures exist alongside simple modern-day people who go to work and run their homes, blending the magical and the mundane, is what made it immersive to me. "I have a live-in dragoness, and I have to keep her until I can somehow teach her how to survive in a kitchen." Jace's investigation and its urgency keep a reader constantly on the pulse while balancing it with humorous banter. Robbins's prose has the air of a seasoned and talented writer in this new, enchanting, and brilliant series.