Review: Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells
Narrator: Morgan Hallet
Series: Prospero's War #1
Also by this author: Cursed Moon
Published by Orbit on January 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Crime, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban
Length: 11 hours 52 minutes
Also in this series: Cursed Moon
MAGIC IS A DRUG. CAREFUL HOW YOU USE IT.The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there's a new blend out there that's as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she's brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA task force. Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier - on the same day she swore she'd given up dirty magic for good. 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 never say never.
Be aware that if you tend to get offended or bothered by swearing or crude language, you might want to pass on this book as it has more than its fair share. That said, I this book was just a ton of fun.
The world is vivid, it’s an urban fantasy where magic comes in two forms: clean and dirty. Clean magic is good, wholesome magic. People can use it in the open, you can purchase clean magic potions and items readily.Clean magic can be used to make lives easier, treat symptoms and a whole world of things.
Dirty magic on the other hand, that is something much more nefarious. Dirty magic items are sold underground, handled in the same ways as one would expect illegal drug trade. And with this dirty magic, also comes addiction and crime.
Kate Prospero grew up cooking dirty magic. She was being groomed to lead her coven, but something tragic happens to make her open her eyes and shun not just dirty magic, but all magic. She then takes it a step further to become a cop, working to bust dirty magic users and practitioners. There is definitely a crime/investigative edge to this book as Kate works to solve where a new and dangerous dirty magic potion has come from. Her investigation introduces us to some interesting characters (to say the least).
What I really find interesting in this book is Kate’s attitude of complete abstention from magic. I felt like clean magic was very comparable to technology in our world. And her refusal of all types of magic reminded me of the Amish, but even they will selectively use technology. She won’t even do that, no clean magic for any reason. I think there are some good themes in there about being aware of the impact of magic (or technology), and that there could be very rational reasons to abstain or cut back. Pretty much, it is something that should be used responsibly with an oversight on what potential impacts the magic (technology) may have beyond just immediate effects.
Lastly, there are definitely some romantic undertones in her relationship with not just one, but two guys in the book. However, these stay as undertones, they just add an interesting element to her relationships with them and it never steals focus from the main plot.
Dirty Magic also made a great audiobook, the narration was done very well and the story was easy to follow. As soon as I finished listening to this one, I downloaded the next in the series, so I think that says I liked it!