Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #103: Haunted by Kelley Armstrong

I’ve been enjoying this series a lot, but some reviews on Goodreads made it sound like this was one of the weaker entries in the series.  I actually quite enjoyed it, possibly because I had tempered my expectations.  This time Eve is the narrator, a character that has so far mostly only appeared as a topic of conversation since she is dead.  However, Armstrong opened the door to the afterworld in Industrial Magic, so Eve’s appearance is not a complete surprise.  Since Eve is a ghost, this means that there is a limit on how many of the other characters show up in the novel, but Eve’s motivations are driven by her daughter’s safety so I actually enjoyed this slightly related side story.  Besides, Jaime Vegas is a necromancer so Eve soon convinces her to help, and it was fun to see more of her.

Full review.

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Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #92: Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Picking up a few months after Dime Store Magic, Paige, Lucas and Savannah are living in Portland, Oregon. Lucas continues to do pro-bono lawyer work in defiance of his father, the CEO of the Cortez Cabal (think head of the most important mob but run by sorcerers and employing supernaturals), while Paige attempts to start a coven of her own. However, she is rather lacking in success, and part of it is due to her boyfriend being a sorcerer (sorcerers and witches are portrayed as enemies in this series) and her ward being the daughter of a witch with a reputation for practicing dark magic.
While Lucas has been trying to protect Paige from family politics, she gets pulled in when his father Benicio visits their apartment in Portland. Someone is targeting the children of Cabal employees, and Benicio would like to hire Paige or Lucas to investigate, and is also concerned for their safety. Despite initial hesitations, Paige and Lucas are drawn into the investigation, and spend a large part of the book in Miami, the Cortez headquarters. Cortez is not the only Cabal that has been targeted, and working with the other Cabals raises some issues, especially since one of them played such a prominent role in the previous novel, and Savannah’s custody case.

Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #79: Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Spoilers for previous books in the series …

In this third novel of the series, Armstrong changes perspectives and narrates the novel from Paige’s point of view. It works very well, too – the first novel introduces Elena, in the second novel Elena realizes there are more supernatural beings than just werewolves and meets some of them, including Paige, and now that the world has expanded, Paige tells her story. Of course, it also makes sense because Paige had the most changes to her life as a result of the actions in Stolen. Her mother is dead, she is now in charge of the coven and Savannah, a thirteen year old orphaned witch, is living with her as her ward.

Full review.

Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #53: Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

I’ve taken a bit of an unplanned break from reviewing, and have also fallen a bit behind on my reading in general (so this is what having a bit of a social life does – I’m not sure if I approve), but figured it was time to get back to it. Stolen is the second novel of the Women of the Otherworld series, and so far, I’m definitely still hooked. While investigating a potential threat to exposing werewolves to the public, Elena discovers that werewolves are not the only supernatural beings in the world when she realizes that the people she is meeting with are witches. This meeting leads to the introduction of vampires, demons and other beings into Armstrong’s world. Elena is a bit surprised to find out that werewolves aren’t alone in the world, and while it is easy for the reader to thing “well, if there are werewolves, why wouldn’t there be these other things?”, it actually makes sense in a way. It’s easy to think of being able to change one’s body has some weird genetic mutation but witchcraft? That’s a whole different level.

The rest of the review is at my blog.

Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #41: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I think everyone was reading this series during CBRIII (or maybe II – either way, lots of reviews), though I’m not sure if I remember any for this novel in particular, the one that started the series, or if everyone else had already been reading it for some time. It sounded fun enough to pick up the first novel, even I never quite felt like I was in the mood to read it – as much as everyone liked the series, I couldn’t quite get beyond the cover (which is weird because covers didn’t stop me from starting the Sookie Stackhouse novels).
It was actually a nice break from what I have been reading to just enjoy some lighter fantasy fare (it’s not like I’ve only been reading deep novels, but even the Harry Hole series isn’t exactly a fun ride as much as a dark one). Elena is a werewolf, living in Toronto, and attempting to assimilate. She lives with her boyfriend Philip who doesn’t know about her other side but when she receives a call from Jeremy, the Pack Alpha, she has no choice but to answer his summons, partially just to avoid Philip’s questions, and partially because she is worried about what could be going badly enough to cause a call.