Dead on the Delta - Stacey Jay Dead on the Delta features a different take on fairies than the one most children grow up believing. In Annabelle Lee's world, fairies are mosquito-sized, murdering little monsters, out for the blood of any human they can sink their teeth into, and for most, their bite results in death. Annabelle is one of the Immunes, however, and her job is to help the higher-ups out by doing all the dangerous work that involves contact with fairies.

I had a number of issues with this book, mostly pertaining to Annabelle, but no matter how repulsive I found some actions of hers, Dead on the Delta is one of the most gripping stories I've read in ages. This is one book that doesn't waste any pages getting into the action or building up the suspense, but dives into the plot and mystery from the very first sentence.

Jay has outstanding talent in bringing her characters and their stories to life. I'm positive I wouldn't have liked this complicated book nearly as much if Jay hadn't written it so well, with the romance and humor placed exceptionally well amidst all the action and suspense.

Annabelle is selfish, snappy, weak, and plain mean at times. And she knows that. She knows exactly how she is (even though she's in pretty strong denial about her "habits") and I think that's why it's impossible to pity or even hate her. She is a fascinating and complex character who you can't help but wish with all your heart gets her happy ending, because no one deserves it more. Her character development, narration, witty comebacks, genuine concern over the fate of innocents, all hint at a strong woman with a heart of gold hidden beneath the drunkard she has become due to all the trauma and grief in her past and present, and I'm sure it'll come out gradually, as long as there's someone around who believes in her.

Now, who that "someone" might be, I have no idea. I love Tucker, mostly because he seems like the one love interest with the least baggage, but there's not enough about him in Dead on the Delta to say anything for sure. Between Cane and Hitch, Hitch clearly loves Annabelle more but I really don't want her to have to deal with his and Stephanie's kid, immature as that sounds but Cane could give her everything she wanted, if only she'd come to truly love him. Basically, I'm rooting for whichever man gives Annabelle the most happiness and the least pain, even though I'm not sure who that is just yet.

The ending left me utterly speechless, more than a little disgusted (not with Annabelle though), and completely in awe of Jay's amazing story-telling prowess. I can't believe I put off reading Dead on the Delta for so long, but I'm also immensely relieved that there's just one more week to go before Blood on the Bayou comes out. What started off as something I was very, very reluctant about reading quickly turned into an unputdownable, so-absorbing-you-read-it-in-one-sitting read, and I can't wait to find out what happens next in Annabelle's messed-up life.

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