Here is the official blurb from Goodreads:
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.
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS. After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no.
Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.
These urban fantasy novels are targeted to an adult audience, but I think teens would eat them up.
ADMISSION: I had KINDLING THE MOON on my Kindle forevah. I don’t know what kept me from reading it, but once I picked it up, I read it straight through. Then I bought the sequel and read that straight through, too. Seriously. I was up until 4 AM reading these books because they were that good. (There’s also a novella that I read, though I’m not discussing that here.)
Cady is a brilliant heroine. She’s a magician – a special, rare one at that – but she is flawed and dealing with extremely dangerous situations. No “Mary Sue” type of character here. Her voice is snarky and fun to read. Her smart observations about the magical world and the demons that surround her had me laughing out loud. And her take-charge attitude was so refreshing. Quite often, the love interest took a backseat to Cady’s efforts in sleuthing.
Which brings me to the love interest. Lon is quite a bit older than Cady. I thought this would bug me, but somehow their chemistry lights up the page. I love their scenes and the way they interact. And then there’s Lon’s teenage son who curses like a sailor and is precocious as all get out. I was cracking up every time he dropped into a scene.
The world-building is fantastic. Magicians and demons. Halos that only demons (and Cady) can see. Magicians who can bind demons. Rival magician organizations. I was so in. Bennett offered up an original take on a mythology that I considered beat to death, proving that you can make something new with a lot of imagination. I can’t remember the last time I smiled so much through a book.
I’ve already pre-ordered the next book in the series, BINDING THE SHADOWS (pub date May 2013). I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!
Mature fans of Cassandra Clare’s MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series would love these!
Find the series on Goodreads.
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