Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

Kindling the Moon
(Arcadia Bell #1)
Jenn Bennett

Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.


4.5 stars for this easy urban fantasy read. A great take on magic and realistic relationships make this one a must read for UF lovers!

Kindling the Moon is a fresh urban fantasy about magic and demons in our world. Sometimes this topic can be difficult to translate through the pages, but Bennett does a great job of making the rules and inner workings of Arcadia's magic abilities simple to understand. Arcadia's is a fun point of view to read from; I love it when an author writes the heroine honestly and doesn't try to make her something she's not. Cady is tough, but not unbelievably so. She is so used to hiding from the world that she has closed herself off from really letting anyone in. Yet she is also vulnerable. The moments when she was letting herself feel were great to read. Cady's thoughts are also funny at times.

“I stumbled through the dark underbrush again crying out as I plunged through a thick spiderweb. My arms frantically brushed away the clinging web as irrational fear made me batshit-crazy for a moment. Scared of a damn spider when a bloodthirsty demon was chasing me down. Ridiculous.”

Arcadia is also a talented magician. She is the product of two famous magicians who conceived her during some sort of ritual to help her become extra powerful. Unfortunately, they were later accused of being serial killers and have fled the country leaving Arcadia to live and work under an assumed identity for fear of being found. She has always wanted the opportunity to clear their names, and such an opportunity presents itself when her magical order's rival order decides that they are going to take her life as punishment for her parent's sins if they cannot be found soon.

Enter Lon - over 40 with a pirate mustache and oh yeah, he's a demon. Sounds like a hottie, right? RIGHT! Stay with me here, I can prove it I promise.  Lon's easy going nature and subtle sexiness make him most likely the most understated hot hero I've ever read. He is sleek and sexy, but he never seems to know what to say to Cady. It's a really fresh and wonderful combination that makes him a bit different than most of the other love interests out there.

“He gathered me closer, kissed my neck, then spoke in a low voice next to my ear. “I figure, see, if you find yourself getting more attached to the two of us than you planned, maybe you won’t think about picking up and leaving to start another life somewhere else.”

And wait, there's more! He's comes with a teenage son. His son, Jupe, is everything a teen boy in real life would be - energetic, excited by the dangerous, and easy to love when it really comes down to it. He's a great addition to the story. Lon and Jupe's relationship as single father and hyperactive-puppy-dog son is great, but Arcadia's budding friendship with Jupe really outshines it. Their sweet and playful relationship as Cady grows closer to Lon is realistic of a young woman dating a single dad in the real world.

So, why not the full five stars? Even though I adored the story, I wanted a little more from the mystery plot. The story moved along at a great pace with great world building, and then toward the end we experience a bit of an info dump. I also had some lingering questions about the culmination of the plot at the end of the book.

But, aside from those small hitches, I really enjoyed this book and I am SO excited to start the next one in the series!

Recommended for fans of UF, stories about magic, mustaches, and strong, clever heroines.



  1. I know Miss Vain was talking about reading the sequel to this book so I must pick this one up.

    Thanks for the awesome review, it sounds like a great story full of very interesting characters!

  2. This is a great book. Really looking forward to the follow-up! Great review!


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