5bat! Review: Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix

June 13, 2011 Review 6


 Black Dust Mambo (Hoodoo, #1) Title: Black Dust Mambo
Author: Adrian Phoenix
Series: Hoodoo #1
Cover Art: Steve Stone
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Julia

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket, June 29, 2010
  • ISBN-10: 1439167877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439167878

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Sexual Content:

Kissing, explicit fantasies, and discussions of sex.


Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.


“There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain’t going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse . . .”

Kallie Riviere, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching — the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju — a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.

Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer — even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie’s search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated — back home to Bayou Cypres Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie’s aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.


Hexes and poppets and bayou magic abound in BLACK DUST MAMBO, creating a vivid, detailed world that unfolds as naturally as breathing.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read an Urban Fantasy novel that swept me away quite like this one (The Guild Hunters series comes to mind), and though BLACK DUST MAMBO is just the first of it’s series, it has already raised my expectations very, very high.

The action moves lightening fast from page one.  Kallie puts on a bathrobe, opens her door to a knock, and doesn’t have time to pull on a pair of pants until almost halfway through the book.  This rapid fire plot doesn’t skimp on character development, however, and even with the quick introductions I felt emotionally involved in the characters.  I was particularly impressed with how Phoenix handled Kallie and Layne.  From the moment they meet over the body of Layne’s best friend and Kallie’s one night stand, Phoenix creates a powerfully charged blend of guilt, obligation, and sexual chemistry between them.

Phoenix is not afraid to keep relationships complex, messy, and hot in this book, and Kallie and Layne are by no means the only relationship that has my attention.  All of the characters planted many false trails and tantalizing sexual possibilities, which has me salivating to see which fantasies will become reality in book 2. BLACK DUST MAMBO was great, this series has the potential to be amazing, and I can’t wait to pick up BLACK HEART LOA in June.

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6 Responses to “5bat! Review: Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix”

  1. Paranormal Haven

    I was a little surprised about how much I enjoy this one. I'm usually not one of magic type books but I can't wait for the 2nd one in this series to come out.

  2. wheels209

    I am a new follower. I enjoyed this book very much. The relationship between Kallie and Belle was fun to read. I will be reading the next book as soon as it comes out.
    Take care,

  3. Angie

    I'm a BIG fan of Adrian Phoenix and I loved this book and can NOT wait for the second book BLACK HEART LOA! So looking forward to it. Adrian Phoenix is an awesome writer and her other series MAKER'S SONG SERIES is also awesome.

  4. Julia

    P. H. – I can relate to your feeling of surprise. I thought BLACK DUST MAMBO was going to be a few common Paranormal Romance cliches wrapped in hoodoo…. and then the story just took off running and didn't look back.

    Steve – Thanks for commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed BLACK DUST MAMBO. Kallie and Belle are a riot, their dialogue definitely gave me some laugh out loud moments.

    Angie – I just started the MAKER'S SONG, it seems so dark compared to BLACK DUST MAMBO! I'm going to keep reading, though, I'm prepared for some heartache…

    Kara – Augustine is such a ham, I love it.