(Prospero's War #1)
Author: Jaye Wells
Narrator: Morgan Hallett
Release: January 21, 2014
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.Review:
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.
With several popular, long-term urban fantasy series either having just ended or coming to an end soon, readers can take comfort in a new kick ass series to get behind. Dirty Magic is the first in Jaye Wells' new UF series…and its totally awesome. This book has everything: a mouthy MC who is great at making bad decisions, a wonderfully gritty world of magic and potions, three different magical mob-like factions, and the set up for a possible love triangle that promises to be intriguing without being annoying.
What I've come to expect from a Jaye Wells books is great action, a messed up heroine with a smart mouth, and a no-holds-bar take on swear words - and I happily found all of these things in Dirty Magic. Fans of Wells' Sabina Kane series will feel right at home with Kate Prospero, although Kate is still working up to Sabina-like badass status. Kate is a cop and she's good at her job, but when we meet her in Dirty Magic we're really seeing her just come in to her own. She doesn't always make choices that advance her personal and professional life, but at the end of the day she's smart, loyal, and does what needs to be done.
Kate lives in a world full of potion cooking, magical addicts who use potions to get high, cops who use protection spells, and cars that can run on magic instead of gasoline. Babylon, the city where the book is set, is often seedy and sordid and the way Wells describes Babylon really contributes to the story. Kate grew up in Babylon and her history there with magic is messy to say the least, so she's sworn off all magic and potions. In a world where almost everyone uses magic in one form or another, this gets in the way often. Kate gets tangled up in a complicated and gruesome case and attracts the attention of a government agency that investigates magic (think FBI-ish). Dirty Magic manages to feel a bit like a police procedural at times, with the cop characters sounding realistic despite all the talk of magic.
One such cop is Morales. He's a major hardass, all business, and enjoys giving Kate a hard time for most of the book. He has a definite interest in Kate but she keeps him at a bit of a distance because there's just too damn much going on in this book for her to get involved with anyone romantically. But, there's also Volos, Kate's ex-boyfriend from her younger years. They have a really really messy past that didn't end on good terms. Even though he's reinvented himself with money and mystery, Kate has very little trust in him and if she keeps Morales at an arm's length she keeps Volos a mile away. I know that I'm leaning toward one guy over the other, but in this book we don't see much happen between Kate and either character so things could go either way as the series continues.
Dirty Magic is one of my favorite starts to a new series in a long time. I'm excited about where Prospero's War will go in future books. This series sets up a lot of plot points that can get really twisty- turny as things speed along and I can't wait for book two!
Notes of the Narrator: Morgan Hallett is a perfect fit for Kate. Her voice is grown up but emotional and she delivers Kate's smart ass comments and slew of curse words beautifully. She also does the men's voices really well and I never felt pulled out of the story by odd sounding voices. I highly recommend the audio for this one, as some of the one-liners sound like they're much more fun on audio.
Recommended for fans of: Sabina Kane series, Kara Gillian series, gritty urban fantasy, stories with magic, and swear words.
This review is based partially on a review copy provided by the publisher.
4.5 / 5 stars