Series: Baba Yaga, #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley on September 2, 2014
Pages: 352 pages
Reviewed by: Kristina
sex scene, kissing
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…
Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.
But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.
Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…
The mythology of Baba Yaga portrays her as an old witch who lives in the woods in a spinning house that stands on chicken feet. She helps or hurts those who look for her based on what they do for her. I grew up reading and hearing stories of Baba Yaga so it was great to see a book that could effectively 'modernize' Baba Yaga and still keep the essence of who she is and what she does for people. I like how the Baba Yaga mythology is added to with Barbara Yagar (a clever modern name) acting as a guardian between the human and the Otherworld where the fairies live.
In WICKEDLY DANGEROUS Barbara is 'called' to a town to assist in catching a kidnapper and resolving an imbalance in the natural environment. The Baba Yaga of today has been cast as a modern day private eye of sorts solving crimes and traveling in her Airstream trailer (a very nice update to her chicken feet hut). The mystery is a very very slow burn and took awhile for the story to pick up. I also got a bit frustrated with the fact that the villain was found out so early yet the confrontation took so long to actually happen. I wasn't to impressed with the villain either as she came off as one dimensional and not to dynamic of an individual to warrant villain-hood in this mystery. While the story dragged in the beginning, it picked up to a fun action packed conclusion and the characters were entertaining enough to keep my interest.
Barbara is mysterious, practical and fun to watch as she interacts with humans and fairies with her matter of fact attitude. I loved Barbara's dog/dragon Chudo Yudo who is extremely quirky and funny. The creatures in the Otherworld are unique and the most entertaining of all of the characters in the Otherworld is the fairy queen. She is crazy dangerous and brash, just what I would imagine a fairy queen to be like. The relationship with Liam, like the mystery was slow to unravel and didn't really overtake the plot which is why I was curious as to why this book was labeled as paranormal romance in some places. Sure it has a romance with some sweet scenes between Barbara and Liam who work amazingly well together but it kind of takes a backseat to the mystery. It was fun though to see Liam try to figure out Barbara and the scene when he finds out about Barbara's magic is very amusing.
WICKEDLY DANGEROUS is a fun retelling of the Baba Yaga mythology in an modern urban fantasy setting. I loved this update and the fact that the personality of Barbara so consistently reflects what she is like in her old tales. While the story starts off slow it has an effective payoff and was an entertaining read.