Review: Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells
Series: Prospero's War #3
Also by this author: Dirty Magic
Published by Orbit on February 10, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Urban
Source: NetGalley, Publisher, Purchased
Also in this series: Dirty Magic
MAGIC IS A DRUG. ADDICTIVE AND DEADLY. 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. When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero's past in the covens, old ghosts resurface.As the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon..Deadly Spells is the third novel in the Prospero's War series that started with Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon!
Deadly Spells regains what I felt was a bit lost in Cursed Moon. This is a stronger and more enjoyable book and I never felt the pace slow down or my interest waiver. There is a murder in the beginning of the book (this is hardly surprising, I mean Kate is a detective). But this turns out to be a member of her former Coven, someone she was quite familiar with. And it seems there is an emerging Coven war. As one might expect, Volos (Kate’s ex, current mayor, and someone that has been known to be enmeshed in Coven politics) if somehow involved as well. I’m not complaining, honestly, Volos seems to make things in Kate’s life a bit more interesting. So, I was actually glad to see how he was also some how pulled into this case.
The love triangle is always a small subplot, never coming close to taking over the story. I appreciate that. We get a small taste of the underlying desires between the characters, but none of them are driven by the relationships, and they certainly don’t allow those desires (repressed or not) to overshadow the real threat and concern of solving this case. There just always seems to be a bit of sexual tension between Kate and Volos and Kate and Morales. And this time, she gets the excitement of a new guy as well (this potential romance is also never a major component of the story).
In my last review I complained about Morales calling her “Cupcake”. Hopefully people don’t consider this a spoiler, but I was quite happy to see her call him out on that in this book. Won’t say more, but it made me happy even if she still has more tolerance for it than I do. Yay for Kate finally saying something to her partner for his demeaning nickname!? Yes, better late than never in my opinion!
One of the things I find interesting in this series is how Kate has to manage not just her career and her romantic interests, but relationships and duties beyond that. Things that normal people contend with in the normal everyday real lives. I think it just makes her a bit more real and relatable. On top of her high pressure job, she has to also juggle in caring for and raising Danny, her teenage brother. And this book, he definitely tests her abilities to handle everything. Danny has girlfriend, and she is struggling to deal with something that happens to her. Danny also has been drawn into trouble at school, causing Kate to have to prioritize and juggle putting out multiple fires at once.
Ultimately, what I enjoy about these books is they are just fresh and fun for me. I enjoy reading an empowered female protagonist that is not defined by her romantic conquests and also is not defined by a single role in her life. She has to deal with both her professional and personal life, both of which are impacted by previous and current relationships. Definetely recommend the series, and for anyone that may have been unsure to continue after book two, I urge you to read on.