Review: Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells
Magic, mystery and sexual tension, sign me up to read the book! Ms. Wells is an author I adore ever since I found her Sabina Kane series. Her new series, Dirty Magic is very promising. Kate Prospero is a cop who is held back from promotions because of her family connections. It's hard when one's uncle is one of the most dangerous crime lords from a powerful coven. It doesn't matter that he's in jail; his reach is still quite far.
From a plot, world building and character development, Ms. Wells nailed it. It is a total 5 star rating from me. The world is very well constructed and Ms. Wells' research is extremely thorough. Without reading her author's note about police protocol and how she learned it, a reader can tell she's done more than just a wikipedia look up. What is really impressive is how she interweaves magic, alchemy and drugs. There is a logic to her books which is so appealing. I'm always impressed with her attention detail. From a character perspective, she carefully creates each one with distinct personalities. There are layers upon a character to make them feel more real. So why is this only a 3.5 star?
I didn't like Kate. The first few chapters, I could get into her and understand her. After a bit, specifically her issue with magic, I started to loose respect for her. She makes terrible choices. I understand this is because she needs to grow. The conflicts because of her pride and stubbornness is realistic and needed to drive the plot forward. After a while, I'm so frustrated with Kate that I just want to smack her repeatedly. This is generally a bad sign for me. While I appreciate all the excellent writing, I'm starting to not enjoy the book because I want Kate to be dead. It's never a good sign when I want the main character dead.
My guess with why I'm having difficulty with this is because the story is written in first person. I'm not a fan of first person because it immediately puts me in the character's shoes and I'm supposed to relate better with the character. Unfortunately, I can't relate to Kate because her choices are so bad. If this was in third person, perhaps it wouldn't be as bad and I'd be giving this a 4 star. Still, this is a very good series and I can't wait to read the next book. I have faith Ms. Wells will turn it around with each subsequent book. I'll grow to love Kate.
From an imagery standpoint, Ms. Wells excels. The way she describes the locations is phenomenal. It's easy to visualize Kate's home, the "gym", the lab and the tunnels. With the added details of smell and sound, it makes scenes pop up in 3D, playing like a movie in the reader's head. There is a good balance between action and downtimes. This helps make the action scenes more vivid and intense. I love it. The descriptions down to the blood splatters on the face is well done. Overall, this book is highly recommended to paranormal readers who enjoy urban fantasy.
*provided by NetGalley