Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

Banishing the Dark
(Arcadia Bell #4)
Jenn Bennett
Release: May 27, 2014
Goodreads   Amazon
Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell's life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who's not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady's body.

Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, Cady must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. Fast.

As she and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon's teenage son Jupe sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list.

Let's get this out of the way first - this is the last book in the Arcadia Bell series. Most of you familiar with the series probably knew that, but for some reason I didn't realize that when I started this book and it came as a big shock as I neared the book's end and realized this must be the end of the series. But whether you were aware or not, let's have a moment of silence for the end of one of my favorite urban fantasy series...........

Okay, feel better? I don't. I adore this series and I'm sad to see it end. That being said, the series went out with a bang and author Jenn Bennett did all our favorite characters justice with this final installment.

In Banishing the Dark, Cady's main focus is discovering the origins of her Moonchild powers and the mystery surrounding her strange conception in order to learn more about how to keep her mother from escaping the demon plane and taking possession of her body. Yeah, its important that doesn't happen. So, in order to protect her entire family from her mother (*wink wink* if you remember from the end of the previous book what exactly "entire family" means) Cady undergoes a memory spell in order to make her forget certain things that would put her family in danger.

Except, oops, the memory spell also accidentally wipes out her memory of her feelings for Lon. This made this book heartbreaking at times. Cady didn't remember her relationship with Lon and it was difficult to read some of the scenes between the two of them and know the suffering Lon must have been going through. It was also a smart plot point for the last book in a series because we kind of get to see Cady fall for Lon all over again. Several moments felt like their relationship in the first book, Kindling the Moon, again and it was fabulous and wicked at the same time. Sometimes Cady's memory loss was heart wrenching, sometimes it led to funny moments, and at other times it led to very steamy moments between her and Lon. I loved them all.

Jupe gets some short chapters from his POV and this was a special little addition to Banishing the Dark that I enjoyed. He plays an important role in this book, although I was yelling at him in my mind the whole time for all the unsafe decisions he was making. Jupe even gets the start of a little romance himself in this one and I thought that was a cute add on as well. Jupe is my favorite teenage side character, with so much personality and charm he jumps off every page he's on. He should get a novella or a spinoff for himself........HINT HINT Jenn Bennett........

Of course the action was great in Banishing the Dark because this series is, at its heart, an urban fantasy. Cady's new reptilian form gets used a lot in this book and she also gains some interesting knacks along with it that are fun to watch Cady play with. This series has always balanced action, romance, humor, and darkness really well and this book is no exception.

Bonus for readers who love the series: we get a wonderful epilogue that will warm your heart and give you THE FEELS. Like, whoa. The epilogue is actually the point I realized this was the last book in the series. Yeah, I'm that dense. But seriously, the series was ended perfectly. Jenn Bennet has left lovers of Arcadia and the gang wanting more more more, which is exactly the way a series ending should make you feel.

Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy, magic, bouncy teenage boys that say the wrong thing, amazing couples, strong heroines, and pirate mustaches. Always pirate mustaches.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book provided by the publisher.


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