Series: The Prospero's War #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Orbit on January 21, 2014
Reviewed by: Julia
References to sex, prostitution, and sexual assault.
The first in an all-new urban fantasy series by USA Today bestseller Jaye Wells.
The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn't expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.
The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she's convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she's been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she'd never use dirty magic again.
Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should be never say never.
DIRTY MAGIC brings wizardry to the violent power struggles and chemical dependencies of the city streets, through the eyes of a heroine who has lived on both sides of the law. Wells builds her world on a mix of pharmacology and alchemy, giving an urban fantasy flavor to this gangland drama.
Though I enjoyed DIRTY MAGIC, I never quite lost myself in the story. Whether it be the slightly confusion gang inter-relationships, the seemingly arbitrary line between "dirty" magic and "clean", or the not quite note perfect emotion of Kate's addiction to magic, this world was interesting but not immersive. The characters, however, have my full attention. While Pen and Baba were mostly backdrops that allowed Kate to be both a cop and a single parent, Kate's colleagues and enemies were complex enough to keep me interested.
Despite my minor issues with this book, it's building a strong foundation for future books. Hopefully the next installment can use DIRTY MAGIC's world building as a springboard for a more immersive experience. Kate's position, pinned between her underworld past and her law enforcement present, will definitely have me coming back for more.