Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Review: Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic & Haunted

I have written in the past about buying several books in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. The first two books in the series, Bitten and Stolen, focus on the world's only female werewolf, Elena. As I've said before, I enjoyed these books, especially Bitten, which prompted me to buy the next three books in the series: Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, and Haunted. These books focus on witches, and Elena and the other werewolves play only minor roles.

Dime Store Magic
... Paige [is] just an ordinary twenty-something who runs her own website design company, worries about her weight and wonders if she’ll ever find a boyfriend. Okay, so she’s leader of the American Coven and guardian of Savannah, the teenage daughter of a black witch. Really, life is ordinary. But then a telekinetic half-demon, Leah O’Donnell, shows up to fight for custody of Savannah. And although Paige is ready for her, she’s not quite so prepared for the team of supernaturals that Leah brings with her, including a powerful sorcerer who claims to be Savannah’s father.
When all hell breaks loose -- literally -- and Paige is accused of witchcraft, Satanism and murder, the Coven, fearing exposure, abandons her. Cut off from her friends, Paige is forced against her better judgment to accept the help of a young sorcerer lawyer. And she quickly comes to realize that keeping Savannah could mean losing everything else.

Industrial Magic
... Someone is murdering the teenage offspring of the underworld’s most influential Cabals — a circle of families that makes the mob look like amateurs. And none is more powerful than the Cortez Cabal, a faction Paige is intimately acquainted with. Lucas Cortez, the rebel son and unwilling heir, is none other than her boyfriend. But love isn’t blind, and Paige has her eyes wide open as she is drawn into a hunt for an unnatural-born killer. 
Eve Levine - half-demon, black witch and devoted mother - has been dead for three years. She has a great house, an interesting love life and can't be killed again - which comes in handy when you've made as many enemies as Eve. Yes, the afterlife isn't too bad - all she needs to do is find a way to communicate with her daughter Savannah and she'll be happy. But fate - or more exactly, the Fates - have other plans. Eve owes them a favour, and they've just called it in...
Industrial Magic is my favorite of these three - the Cabals are a really interesting concept and the "whodunit" factor of this one was a nice departure for the series (or what I've read so far). In general, though, what I like about this series is how different each of the books is from one another. That's also a little bit of a complaint, since there is something so satisfying about re-visiting the same characters in most series. But the twist here, where the same characters re-appear but the focus changes from book to book, keeps things interesting and makes each book stand on its own quite well. The books build on each other, though, so its better to read them in order. Overall, I recommend these three books to any adult* fantasy fans. However, I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Broken, as it returns the focus to Elena, who has been, hands down, my favorite character.

Buy Dime Store Magic on Amazon.
Buy Industrial Magic on Amazon.
Buy Haunted on Amazon.

*Yes, there's a smattering of sex in each book, plus other adult themes.

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