First Chapter Thoughts – DEADLINE by Stephanie Ahn

Hello everyone and welcome back! It’s time for some more first chapter thoughts, this time on Deadline – a paranormal detective noir from Stephanie Ahn. Harrietta Lee is a disgraced witch, super gay, and super in trouble when she takes on a case from a powerful corporate family.

First off, I’m already in love with Harry. She’s snarky without being mean, traumatized without being whimpery, and surprisingly kind to the hapless Tristan who hires her. It’s easy for main characters to fall flat, especially in first person POV, but from the opening lines, Ahn sells it.

I’m also impressed with how the pacing and worldbuilding work together. Harry is already part of the supernatural world, so the context for the audience is given in bits and pieces, but the pieces we get don’t slow down the writing. Harry has problems; Harry is a witch; this family hiring her is a big deal and she’s dealt with them before.

I’m excited to read the rest of this book, and already ready to recommend it! I’m really hoping the rest of it holds up – but I truly believe it will.

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