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Burning Water: A Diana Tregarde Investigation Paperback – Dec 23 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (Jan. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765313170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765313171
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 490 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #768,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Fresh and original.” ―Marion Zimmer Bradley on Children of the Night

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author of the bestselling Valdemar series, the Obsidian Trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls), the Enduring Flame trilogy (The Phoenix Unchained, The Phoenix Endangered, and The Phoenix Transformed), and the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms. She has written many other books, including Trio of Sorcery, Phoenix and Ashes, Sacred Ground, The Firebird, The Fairy Godmother, and Alta. Lackey is the co-author, with Andre Norton, of the Halfblood Chronicles, including Elvenborn. Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago and graduated from Purdue University. She has worked as an artist's model, a computer programmer, and for American Airlines, and has written lyrics and recorded more than fifty songs. She lives in Oklahoma.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mercedes Lackey admitted to writing the Diana Tregarde books because paranormal investigations were big at the time and she had no problem with making a little cash by playing the fads. I'm glad that she did, because although the series isn't fantastic, it's still very entertaining to read through. In this one, Diana is called upon to help with a police investigation of a serial murder, and ends up getting tangled up in the middle of a plot to resurrect ancient Aztec gods into modern-day (or relatively modern, at least) Dallas.

I admit, it's a little disconcerting to read Burning Water and seeing the remarkably un-PC language used throughout. References to "Indians", "krauts", and "gypsies" are littered through the pages, terms which people don't tend to use anymore unless they want to get glared at on the street and called ignorant. Sometimes I had to make myself take a step back and remember that this was all written before PC language was really coming into its heyday, and such terms, while not perfectly acceptable, were still in more common use, and so in context, it's not that unusual to see them mentioned.

That being said, the attitude towards paganism as a relgion as expressed in the novel is rather ahead of its time, given that even today, 20 years later, some people still don't have that level of understanding when it comes to non-Abrahamic religions. The idea that there's no one true way seems to be a common theme in Lackey's work, though, and so it was no surprise to see it echoed here.

The writing style is still very early-Lackey, lacking some of the polish she attained with more practice, though it still shows a lot of promise of what's to come, all the good bits that I like about her writing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, you should know that this is NOT the first book in the series.
Second be prepared for a depressing ending, like the prequel CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, this is a book that I feel that if one only read the good parts( though far fewer than in the prequel) and made up a new ending it could be a decent book. This seems to be a copy of the first, only washed out, gorier , and devoid of Andre LaBrell, the only redeeming charter in the whole set of stories. Okay, so I'm a vampire freak, shoot me.
Anyway... the story is that Diana tregard is called to help a cop try to stop a series of slaughters and ritual sacrifices, and at the same time trying to save her own life from the evil god trying to kill her and steal her power. All in all, I must say that I really didn't care for it, and that I was messed up for weeks after. If you must read this book, I strongly advise you to get it from a library. CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT was a better story, but it had a very, very, bad ending in my opinion, so it kind of balances out. Haven't read jinx high, but it most likely has a similar plot.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A few flaws cause some problems in this book, but on the whole it is very good.
Diana Tregarde is a great character, and so is Mark Valdez. Both are fleshed out well in various vignettes unrelated to the investigation of the crime.
The problems I mentioned are problems of competency. Nobody seems to realize that pulling a heart from a body, in the southwest, could possibly be related to well known Aztec ceremonies where that happened. I studied that ceremony in grade 6. Ok, Diana was kept of the trail by spellcraft, but surely somebody else would have figured it out. The villains as well are not overly competent, luckily for Diana and Mark. When told to send a warning to Diana by taking down someone close to her, a minor character she saw once before and didn't like was taken down. As if the author didn't even want a peripheral friend of Diana's to be hurt.
Those problems aside, the plot flows well and it keeps your interest despite the fact that as the reader you know who is doing what. Mark and Diana are both wonderfully sympathetic, attractive characters and the fact that they have to struggle to figure this out is a small plus. The shadowy world of psychics, mediums, wiccans and pagans is also shown well, and the supporting cast is reasonably well defined, though somewhat cliched.
Diana had great potential, I look forward to the next two books and it is a shame she quit writing them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I took this book and it's sequel, 'Children of the Night,' down off my shelves while doing some research and decided it would be interesting to reread them. There is a third book, 'Jinx High.' in the Diana Tregarde series, but I have never read it. While these books are very representative of Mercedes Lackey's early, and not quite polished, writing style, the are interesting, and the heroine is a strong independent woman in a time where this was still a bit exceptional. Since these were originally billed as young adult reading material, their influence is more significant than one might initially guess.
The plot turns around the Aztec theme of the return of a god, in this case Tezcatlipoca, the god of war, and a very unpleasant character. He has possessed a local resident and plans to keep killing until his power has returned. Mark Valdez, a Fort Worth detective is involved in a the murder investigation where one gruesome killing follows another. Mark is a sensitive who used to work with Diana when they were in college, and can feel that there is more to the killings than just a serial killer. He manages to convince his boss to bring in Diana as a consultant.
Diana is a Wiccan practitioner who has taken to heart the role of warrior/protector. A powerful witch, she is dedicated to exposing the false and undoing the evil. An intelligent and beautiful woman, she makes her living writing romances (when there are no wrongs to be righted). In this case, there is plenty of wrong, victims are drowned, skinned and de-hearted with depressing regularity, and Diana and Mike are unable to trace the crimes to a probable perpetrator. Diana is completely stymied for most of the book, unable to even identify the tradition behind the murderous sacrifices.
If Diana is stuck, we are not.
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