If the plot sounds similar, it kind of is. There’s a very Kate Daniels feel to the way magic ended up ruining the world as humans knew it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, I love Ilona Andrews/Kate Daniels. But the been-there-done-that feel of it did leave me a tiny bit underwhelmed overall.
Kayla is the heroine. When she...transformed, shall we say, when magic hit, she had trouble adjusting and left her job as a detective, and her partner, Ray. Ray was pretty bitter about the whole thing. He was fairly mean to her in the beginning of the book, which got old quick for me. The whole I-care-about-you-but-I’m-too-alpha-to-tell-you-so-and-now-I’m-going-to-be-a-dick-to-you-because-of-it thing has never been my cuppa. I wanted Kayla to nut-punch Ray at a few points in the story and tell him to get the hell over himself.
Kayla’s self-loathing about her magical abilities bugged me a little, too. Why, in paranormal romance, can’t more heroines embrace their otherness and be happy about it? Why all the negativity?
The only other female character with a decent amount of page time is pretty awful. I’m not a fan of that, either. I prefer reads where women support each other instead of trying to tear each other down.
All the world-building info-dump material is right up front, too, which makes it hard to really get into this story.
Once you’ve overlooked all that, this really isn’t a bad read. The pacing (after the slow beginning) is good, the characters are flawed and fairly interesting, and the action scenes are sufficiently...action-y. Kayla’s a good heroine. Once Ray stops being a dick to Kayla, he’s a pretty decent hero, too.
All-in-all, it’s decent, which is more than I can say for most of the paranormal romance and urban fantasy I’ve read from new-to-me authors lately. If you’re a fan of the genre, this one is probably worth your time.
Full disclosure: I received an ARC from Netgalley, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
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