Thursday, March 5, 2015

Audio Review: Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells

Deadly Spells
(Prospero's War #3)
Author: Jaye Wells
Narrator: Morgan Hallett
Release: February 10, 2015
Goodreads  Amazon
After the grisly murder of a dirty magic coven leader, Kate Prospero and The Magical Enforcement Agency team up with the local police to find the killer. But as the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon.
When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero's past in the covens, old ghosts resurface. The team will have to use all the weapons in their arsenal to stop the coven war and find the killer before the case brings down all their careers - and their lives.

In my opinion, Deadly Spells is the strongest in the series and my favorite so far. Fans of the series that have been looking for some more character development of the side characters as well as some progress in Kate's personal life will really enjoy this installment. Kate Prospero is back and as feisty as ever in book three in the Prospero's War series, even showing off her colorful mastery of language right off the bat on the first page of the book.

This is my favorite in the series so far because I feel like some of the side plots finally moved forward a little bit and when this book was over I was dying to read the next one. Kate's relationships with both Volos and Morales become both more complicated and more simplified in Deadly Spells. Some questions about Kate's true feelings for each man get answered and I was really pleased with the result, as well as the way the book ended! Kate's relationship with her brother, Danny, also smoothes out a little bit here, which is nice after the overabundance of teenage angst we experienced from him toward her in the previous two books.

Deadly Spells is definitely more about character development and advancing the series' overarching story than one tight murder mystery. This book's plot was interesting enough, but it tied largely into developing the back story of some side characters as well as propelling Kate forward in her quest to end the covens' power in Babylon rather than act as a stand alone mystery. There is still definitely action in this book and that feel of being authentic to the real world of a cop that I have come to associate with this series is still very present. But the central focus is somewhere different than past books. I am actually happy with this choice though, as I felt more involved in the story than in the previous two books.

This series won't appeal to all readers. As a rule, the romance element is light and the police procedural feel is heavy. Kate curses like a sailor, which I greatly enjoy and love hearing on the audio. This is straight urban fantasy, with human magic as the fantasy element, so if you are into that or need a palette cleanser between heavy romances or young adults, this is a great series for just such a thing. I personally take pleasure in how straightforward and no nonsense Kate is in her professional life while being so damaged and obtuse in her personal life. Its a great balance to a character that I have come to love, and lord knows I love a heroine with a troubled past.

After reading this book I felt a really solid direction that this series is heading and I'm very interested see where everything will end up. Many ends were left loose here: Kate's team and how they will conduct things from this point on, Volos' connection to the MEA team, Kate's relationships with Volos and Morales, Danny's side plot, and Kate's relationship with her Uncle Abe. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Notes on the Narrator: I'm still loving Morgan Hallett's voice for Kate. So much so, that after beginning the print copy I received for review, I switched to the audiobook because I missed her voice so much! Man, she nails that colorful language I mentioned earlier. Morgan Hallett IS Kate Prospero for me.

Recommended for fans of: strong female leads, police procedurals, the Sabina Kane series, and curse words.

This review is based on an early finished copy of the book and the audiobook.

  4.5 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Dirty Magic (Prospero's War #1)
Cursed Moon (Prospero's War #2)

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