SUCH A Funny & Enjoyable Series
5 out of 5 stars
This series is easily one of my favorites. The comedic value alone makes it worth the cost of admission. Add in the amount of deer-related puns and you’ve got a funny and interesting story. I had the pleasure of reading these stories when they were originally released and I wrote full reviews for each one. But, if you’re curious if this is worth a credit? 100% yes. A good urban fantasy with shifters, comedy, and so much more. Phipps and Suttkus nail each story and DeLisle is the PERFECT Jane Doe.
I love the world that Phipps and Suttkus credited and worked in with the Bright Falls Saga and these stories might be my favorite in their entire metaverse.
Here are my reviews of each story inside of this saga.
Book One: I Was a Teenage Weredeer
Nearly Perfect and a Blast of a Book
4.75 out of 5 stars
In my head when I’m writing this description I can hear the slow (and just flute version of) Morning Mood by Edvard Grieg (Youtube) because that’s what I hear when I’m thinking of a place called Bright Falls where people aren’t just people anymore. They are shifters that make up different classes and animals. There are Werebears and Werewolves and then you meet Jane Doe (aptly named) the main character who is a Weredere. She just turned 18 and is trying to work her way into enough money to get out of Bright Falls when her best friend’s sister turns up dead in an apparent murder. Recruited to find the murderer by her friend Jane Doe’s life will never be the same.
There are some authors that you realize that you like anything they write even when it’s not in a ‘typical’ genre. C.T. Phipps is that author for me. This is at least the third unique genre I’ve read that he’s written and I’ve liked them all. I Was a Teenage Weredeer (though the name and cover art did catch my attention) wouldn’t normally be a book that I thought “Yup! I have to read that” but… now I’m mad at myself for not thinking that. I Was A Teenage Weredeer was a blast from beginning to end.
Phipps and Suttkus kept cracking me up – all of the deer puns and the interaction between the different shifter species were great. Along with the hallowed history of Bright Falls and the mysterious “aura” and feeling that surrounded the town. I also didn’t know going into it (I don’t always read the entire synopsis for fear of spoiling the book) that this was going to be set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton.
I Was a Teenage Weredeer while being a mouthful to say was one of those books that just got my sense of humor. As I mentioned above – the puns were great (and the notion that one of the stereotypes about weredeer were these bad deer-related puns). The premise of the book (a town is cursed and they must find a murderer) sounds typical but what Phipps and Suttkus do with it is far from that.
While not a perfect book it’s darn close. I ended up finishing this in less than two days because I couldn’t put it down. It should come with a warning telling you that you might lose sleep until you finish it.
I Was A Teenage Weredeer is a book for those who don’t take everything too seriously. A fantasy book that will make you laugh and a story about friendship, magic, and finding out who you really are all wrapped up into one.
The narration for this was done by Arielle DeLisle, who I thought did a fantastic job of bringing Jane to life. It was one of those voices that were so good that it’s hard to pull Arielle from Jane in my mind now.
Book Two: An American Weredeer in Michigan
An EnDEERing Story Full of Awesome Characters
5 out of 5 stars
See what I did there? If you don’t like that, then this book isn’t for you. Though An American Weredeer in Michigan has a lot fewer puns than the original book in the series – they were still there and made me laugh just as hard. I can imagine Phipps and Suttkus chatting with each other trying to come up with the ultimate deer-related pun. I’m also curious which one they each liked the most.
An American Weredeer in Michigan (man, that’s a mouthful – that’s what she said… sorry) is one of those stories that you just enjoy. It was pure enjoyment from beginning to end – Phipps and Suttkus really know how to write characters that you want to follow. Jane is endearing (yes, I spelled it right this time) and a little doe-eyed at times, but she’s also funny and relentless. I just love everything about her. If she were a real person I could definitely see being friends with her.
American Weredeer and the entire Bright Falls Mysteries series was one that I jumped into not fully sure what to expect, but I came out a completely changed man. Phipps and Suttkus have this way of writing that drew me in and won’t let me go. They’re all so enjoyable and fun from beginning to end.
There was more teenage drama in this one, but what do you expect when you have a 19-year-old main character. There’s going to be drama – it’s inevitable. And I thought that it was well thought out and appropriate for the amount of drama and stress that Jane and co have had to go through.
One of my particularly favorite scenes (there shouldn’t be any spoilers here) was when Jane pets and nuzzles the Werewolf version of her best friend – to which she replies “you know you’re the only one I let do this?” I don’t know why I just found that perfect and hilarious. I think partially because of the character building and dynamic between the two of them, but it was great.
I thought that Arielle DeLisle was perfect once again for the role of Jane and the overall narrator of the book. She has a young-sounding voice that lends itself well to the character that was written. She has an easy to listen to voice that made the story fly by.
Overall, I think this might have been even better than the first book – and it intrigues me to see what else can happen in Bright Falls. Phipps and Suttkus – you have me hooked!
Book Three: A Nightmare on Elk Street
Phipps & Suttkus Do It Again (Buck Yes)
5 out of 5 stars
A Nightmare on Elk Street, based on the title alone is awesome. But digging into the soul of the book – shows that Phipps and Suttkus not only know how to create magnificent worlds – but know how to keep them alive and thriving. I say this with a little bit of irony because in these worlds things seem to always be going wrong, but how is that any different than our world today? Nightmare is the third book in the Bright Falls Mysteries Series and the… probably tenth (a guess) book in the overall world that Phipps created (especially with the mention of an alternate reality that Jane visited (Supervillainy Saga), New Detroit is mentioned (Straight Outta Fangton), along with many others of the same world.
As with every book in, honestly every series I’ve read from Phipps – there are lots of pop culture references. In Nightmare, there was a particular focus on horror movies, especially B-Horror movies. Jane knows most, if not all of them from her time working at a video store. As someone who worked at a video store, I can definitely confirm that’s exactly what we did, especially during slow hours. We’d throw on movies we loved or movies we wanted to see and have them playing while we were at work. So getting an encyclopedic knowledge of movies (especially certain genres) is 100% a fact.
This story was interesting because it seemed to focus on the creation of this movie (or movies) but it’s obviously so much more than that. Some of the stories focus is on Jane and just her becoming more of a woman. I say that not physically, but just in the choices she makes and has to make for herself and those around her. They aren’t kids’ decisions anymore and I thought Phipps and Suttkus did a great job in allowing her to grow as she gets older. I especially liked the scene later in the story when she’s talking with someone about how they hurt her and made her feel. That type of scene (not mentioning more because of spoilers) is really mature for Jane and I really enjoyed it.
Overall, as with all other books that I’ve LOVED from Phipps – this one is up there too. The pop culture and nerd references, mixed with the number of puns that Jane and company throw out there really make these books amazingly fun to read. But the stories back them up and they’re not just fun “fluff” novels either. Phipps and Suttkus are able to really write big wide-open worlds and throw these characters into almost anything. It’s a blast to read and I can’t wait to read more.
Given certain things that happened near the end – I’m not sure if there will be more Bright Falls Mysteries books, but I’m sure that we’ll see/hear from Jane in the other books set in this universe in the near future.
Now available in a single volume, the complete Bright Falls Mysteries saga:
I Was a Teeenage Weredeer
Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shape-changer species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will, and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life, working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her 18th birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.
Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend’s sister, in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her, while turning her big day around.
Thankfully, she’s game.
An American Weredeer in Michigan
Life is not easy for the world’s first weredeer detective. A simple hike turns into a media circus when Jane Doe, her best friend Emma, and a pair of monster hunters find a mass grave. Determined to find the parties responsible, Jane soon discovers a sinister cult leader has decided to make Bright Falls, Michigan the home of his corrupt religion.
As if this wasn’t complicating her life enough, Jane also has to decide whether or not she wants to begin a relationship with FBI Special Agent Alex Timmons, or local crime lord Lucien Lyons. Both men are determined to get to the bottom of the crime she’s investigating, but may be distracted by their own agendas, as well as their love for Jane.
A Nightmare on Elk Street
Jane Doe has settled into her new role as the Shaman of Bright Falls – but that doesn’t pay the bills. With her boyfriend off chasing his evil father, Jane has decided to take up a job in security, on the set of horror movies being filmed in her hometown. Unfortunately, the crew have been threatened by an ominous force that quickly sets its sights on Jane herself.
Complicating matters further are Jane’s past sins coming back to haunt her, with her vengeful cousins still blaming her for the death of their sister. Her complicated relationships with Alex and Lucien are also about to come to a head.
Enjoy the final installment of the Bright Falls Mysteries! It’s deerlightful!
Set in the same universe as Straight Outta Fangton, The Morgan Detective Agency, Red Room Trilogy, and Psycho Killers in Love.The Bright Falls Mysteries Saga by CT Phipps, Michael Suttkus
Narrator: Arielle DeLisle
Length: 28 hrs and 29 mins
Published by Crossroad Press Genres: Fantasy
Buy from Audible
Also by this author: Cthulhu Armageddon, Agent G: Infiltrator, The Tower of Zhaal, Lucifer's Star, I Was a Teenage Weredeer, An American Weredeer in Michigan, Lucifer's Nebula
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