A scene of sensuality. A semi-graphic sex scene
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .
Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
Urban fantasy, like any genre, develops it’s own markers, it’s own rules, and it’s own clichés. In the hands of a good author, fun can still be had. But when you take a talented author and break free of the usual urban fantasy tropes, the end result is magic, or in this case, the result is KINDLING THE MOON by Jenn Bennett, the first book in the Arcadia Bell series.
Arcadia Bell is one of those rare breeds of urban fantasy heroines who walks the line between uber-tough-warrior-chick and thoughtful-run-to-live-another-day-chick. She’s got the magical prowess to cause some serious damage (and she does in KINDLING THE MOON), but she’d prefer to avoid danger if possible and she has no problem relying on others for help (and who wouldn’t when help comes in the form of a Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like whose beta in the ways you want and Alpha too). Typically, we get one extreme or the other in this genre and I really appreciated the very realistic balance shown in Arcadia.
And wow was the worldbuilding cool. Demons, alternate dimensions, and magic users are all subtly different in this series. The details that are given are just enough to breath life into this world while still leaving enough mystery for future books. Sort of like mixing the mythologies of Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian series with Kelly Gay’s Charlie Madigan series, two of my favorites.
I had only two minor complaints. I did figure out the ending right away, and I wish the danger had felt real and dire instead of just mildly alarming. It never got there for me which did cut down on my excitement while reading. Arcadia is trying to clear the name of her parents before they face murder charges, but since we never really meet them, the sense of urgency never really connected with me. But those are minor issues in an otherwise excellent book.
Don’t you love it when an urban fantasy author gives you something new? Something that hasn’t already be staked to death in this increasingly flooded genre? Me too, which is why I‘m ready to belly up to the bar for more stories about this magical bartender in KINDLING THE MOON. The next Arcadia Bell book is called SUMMONING THE NIGHT and will be published in April 2012.
About the author
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