Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIRTY MAGIC by Jaye Wells

Prospero’s War Book One
Orbit Books
January 21st, 2014
Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by self-purchase
4 Hearts

For patrol cop Kate Prospero, it was just any other night while on patrol. When she tries to take down a snitch, she finds herself facing a monster that leaves her no choice but to kill it. But after that incident she is brought in to explain herself over the shooting and in the process makes the Magical Enforcement Agency (MEA) take notice of her. When Kate hears about this deadly blend of dirty magic, she wants in but can Kate handle that her past as once a dirty magic user when it is used against her. Now racing against the clock, Kate must rely on her wits, her new team of MEA agents and her past in order to save the one she loves as well as figure out who is behind the deadly blend of dirty magic out in the streets. Because Kate pissed off the wrong wizard and now it’s payback time.

I have to admit, I absolutely loved DIRTY MAGIC. The world building was phenomenal and the characters were quite diverse as well as unique in some cases. The first book in a new series is always fraught with information dumping as an author tries to make sure the reader gets to know all the players and the setting. Ms. Wells is an author who just lets it flow and doesn’t give so much information at one time. She draws it out smoothly and I just ate it up. DIRTY MAGIC combines police procedural and magic along with some paranormal thrown in to keep things interesting. I loved how the author set up the covens, the distinction between good magic and dirty magic and made sure that there were some interesting characters to enjoy as well.

Meet Kate Prospero. A former dirty magic protégé for her uncle and head of the Votary Coven before he was taken down by the federal government and Kate walked away from ever using dirty magic again. Add in an old boyfriend, a younger brother eager to figure out if being an adept means magic time and trying to save her job, Kate is pulled in so many directions it is a wonder she hasn’t snapped. I loved the dynamics of Kate with her brother Danny. Who hasn’t had a child or known one who fights or chafes against the rules an authority figure puts down? Those scenes were interesting and very life-like. Add in some colorful secondary characters like Baba, a dirty old woman concerned with Kate’s lack of a love life, Mary with little man who I swear had shades of a character from both goonies and roger rabbit. I loved Kate very much. She was multi-dimensional, dealing with trying to stay away from magic all together, raise her brother and try to move up in her job. She is at times brash, determined and can be vulnerable as well. Those scenes where she is fighting for her brother were just plain awesome. Who hasn’t done something for their child or family when your back is to the wall? All the characters are well written, quite eclectic and very intriguing. I really liked the setting of this series- down on its luck Babylon and deliver a real life look at how a down and out city tries to stay in the game. The writing is fast paced, story moves at times like a speed of light though there were some pages where I wanted the author to hurry up already and move on to the next thing but overall it was quite enjoyable nonetheless.

DIRTY MAGIC is truly a gritty gem to discover if you like kick butt heroines, a unique take on magic and crime as well as some of the most interesting cast of characters around. I am eager to see what happens next for Kate, Danny and everyone we met in DIRTY MAGIC in the next book, Cursed Magic. If you enjoy Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series or Kim Harrison’s Hollows books, then you just might enjoy Jaye Well’s Prospero’s War series. I think this author is right up there with these two wonderful urban fantasy authors. So run-don’t walk- to grab this first book in what looks to be one action packed ride into a new series by the author of the Sabina Kane series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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