Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#Review - No Sleep till Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton #Urban #Fantasy

Series: DRU JASPER (#3)
Format: E-Galley, 287 pages
Release Date: October 23,2018
Publisher: PYR
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Genre: Fantasy / Urban

An inexperienced sorceress must retrieve a priceless artifact from the enchantress who stole it, break the curse on her half-demon boyfriend, and stop her friends from turning on each other before the enchantress calls down doomsday.

When a wicked enchantress steals a cursed doomsday amulet, crystal sorceress Dru Jasper has only twenty-four hours to get it back before the world will come to a fiery end. With this supernatural amulet in hand, the enchantress intends to break the sixth seal of the apocalypse scroll—making the seas boil, the stars fall from the sky, and the earth itself split apart. Overall, bad news.

Dru must hit the road to get the amulet back. But she suspects her half-demon boyfriend, Greyson, and his demon-possessed muscle car, Hellbringer, are hiding a dark secret. Can she trust them to help her stop doomsday? Worse, tracking down the enchantress runs Dru smack up against a pack of killer shape-shifters, the grim mystery of a radioactive ghost town, and a dangerous speed demon even more powerful than Hellbringer.

As the clock runs out, Dru is locked in a high-speed chase with the enchantress, fighting a fierce, magical duel she can never win alone. Can Dru and her sorcerer friends unravel Hellbringer’s secrets, outwit the shape-shifters, and retrieve the stolen amulet before the dawn of doomsday?

No Sleep till Doomsday is the third installment in author Laurence MacNaughton's Dru Jasper series. The story is set in present-day Denver, in & around Dru’s home and crystal shop, in a world where sorcerers and magic lurk beneath everyday life, unbeknownst to most people. Dru doesn’t have strong magical ability, but what she does have she uses to help people with magical problems. 

In the beginning, Dru stumbled across a man (Greyson) who was close to turning into a demon and a plot to bring about the end of the world was uncovered. Since then, she has scrambled to save the world, reconciled her growing magical abilities to her everyday life while also being surrounded by her friends Rane, Opal, and of course, Greyson who drives a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona called Hellbringer which was summoned from the Otherworld to help with the apocalypse.

This story surrounds events that happen rather quickly. As Dru is attempting to find a way to break Greyson's curse which makes him one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, she gets a very unwelcome visitor in the form of a really powerful crystal sorceress who steals a very powerful artifact that shouldn't be allowed any where in public. Said object is powerful enough to break the 6th seal of the apocalypse seal. But, that is just the beginning. Dru's troubles are just beginning.

Her friends, Rane and Salem, are attacked by a giant Bat which apparently means the return of a group called protean sorcerers who are able to shape-shift. In the process, Salem loses one of his own favorite amulet's. Shortly thereafter, Opal's car is broken into, and she too loses an amulet. For Dru, this can only mean one thing. The apocalypse she has already stopped twice is once again on the horizon. 

It means that Dru and her Scooby gang must put personal issues aside, especially Salem and Opal with Greyson and their belief that he is one of the triggers for the apocalypse, and use their skills to figure a way to stop the crystal sorceress and her shape-shifting nightmares from opening the games of hell itself and unleashing the end of the world. 

I really like this story. I love Dru, the girl who finds out she is a crystal sorceress who never believed she could actually save the world. Dru hasn't exactly accepted her role as a sorceress, but she does believe it is her responsibility to try to save the world from evil. I love the way that Dru sticks with Greyson no matter how much her friends have issues with him or his car. I loved Greyson and his demon possessed car. 

I loved the fact that Hellbringer has a bit of competition in this story which leads to plenty of chase scenes and face-paced action. Opal is pretty much the entertainment aspect of the story with her weird sense of style, but don't count her knowledge of crystals out. Rane has the amazing ability to turn into metal or steel which really comes in handy when helping Dru save the world. The loose cannon of the group? Salem. Salem and I have a love hate relationship. I hate him but love that there is an outsider among Dru's group to keep her on her toes.

This book actually gives each character a brief chance to shine on their own without the author having to let Dru tell their stories. I love this series because the stories are a mixed up genre mash-up between Urban Fantasy and a quirky mystery with some pretty interesting characters. I would say that if you are looking for something different from the same old vampires, Fae, and Werewolves, you should definitely check out this series from the beginnin.

**Note** I received word from the publisher that there will be a fourth installment in this series which is absolutely fantastic news. Thank you, Lisa for the 411!**


For some reason, Dru had always assumed doomsday would fall on
a Monday. Not on a nice, easy summer Friday night. The universe
just didn’t seem to be that cruel. Then again, Dru had been wrong about doomsday before.

When the energetic knock sounded at her door, she opened it to find Greyson standing on her threshold. He held a lush bouquet of red peonies in one hand, and an expensive-looking bottle of wine in the other. He had replaced his usual white T-shirt and black leather biker jacket with a pressed button-down gray shirt and designer jacket. For once, he was freshly shaved, and he smelled great.

Dru’s jaw dropped open in surprise, and she quickly shut it.
His eyebrows crept upward. “Am I early?”

She folded her arms across her ragged sweatshirt and turned to look at the shambles of her apartment, feeling her cheeks redden. For the last few days, she had locked herself inside with her ancient books of magical knowledge, determined once and for all to discover a way to break Greyson’s curse. Every flat surface was covered with tall stacks of smelly, old texts and multicolored crystals. The floor was dominated by a shimmering seven-pointed star made of copper wire. The stubby dregs of candles burned at each point.

Greyson gestured with the bouquet of flowers. “When I called, you
said you were lighting candles, so…”

Ohh! Candles, yes, but…” Dru chewed on her upper lip, struggling
to explain all of this in a way that wasn’t completely awkward.

“You see, the candles are for work…” She gestured toward the copper star, painfully aware of the essential oil stains on her sleeve. She tried to hide them by pretending to fix her hair, which was a hopeless disaster. With a nervous laugh, she said, “I thought you were coming over on Friday night.”

His  rugged face showed utter confusion. “It is Friday.”

“What? Nooo.” She checked her phone. “Oh, fudge buckets. Look,
um, just give me a few minutes to straighten up and—”

“It’s okay. It’s work. I should probably just go.” He hesitated, as if he wanted to say more, then held out the flowers. “These are for you.”

“No! No, you don’t have to go. Come in, come in.” She took the
flowers and wine, and quickly set them aside. Racing around like mad, she picked up stacks of dusty medieval manuscripts and a couple of creatively
misplaced yoga pants, staggering under the combined weight of it
all. “Sorry. I’ve been doing all this research. Obviously. And I’m so close.
So close. I found this thing in one of the padlocked Stanislaus journals
where he made kind of a poetic reference to Tristram banishing a ‘demon
of the horse,’ which isn’t precisely the problem you have, but let me
just—whoa!” She accidentally kicked over a lit candle with her bare foot,
spilling hot wax across the hopelessly scarred wood floor.

“Got it.” Moving quickly, Greyson steadied her and stooped to right
the candle. The flame guttered and went out, releasing a curl of smoke.

“Oh, good. Nothing’s on fire.” Dru set the books down on top of another
stack, pausing a moment to make sure the whole thing didn’t topple over.
When she turned around again, Greyson was smiling down at her.

“Looks like I need to get you out of this apartment,” he said. “How
about a fancy dinner to shake things up?”

“Oh, shoot.” She adjusted her glasses and squinted at the microwave.
“I heated up that burrito like…Wait, was that lunchtime?” The
grumble in her belly told her that she hadn’t eaten it. “I’m sorry, everything
is such a mess. It’s just that I’m putting everything else on hold
until I find a way to break your curse. So you can be normal again, and
not one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

At that, Greyson’s smile vanished. Though he didn’t move, he suddenly
seemed miles away from her, as if her words had driven an invisible
gulf between them.

Her empty stomach clenched up with worry. “What? What did I say?”

He just shook his head and walked over to the window. In the evening
sky beyond, the distant sparkling lights of downtown Denver glowed
peacefully. Dru’s apartment was on the upstairs floor over her shop, the
Crystal Connection. Outside the window, metal stairs ran down to the
parking space behind her store. It wasn’t the most glamorous place to live,
and she certainly hadn’t meant Greyson to see it like this for the first time.
But that didn’t seem to be what was bugging him. “You really want
to make me normal again?”

“For sure. Yes. Absolutely.” She studied the tension in his shoulders,
wondering at the sudden change in him. “Why, what am I missing?”

He let out a long breath and hung his head, then looked at her. The light
of the candles reflected in his blue eyes. “Everything that exists between me
and you, everything, it’s all because there’s something wrong with me.”

At first, she thought he was joking, and she started to laugh. But the
hard look in his eyes made the laughter dry up instantly.

She cleared her throat. “Well, that’s just not true. We have plenty of
things in common besides, you know, doomsday problems.”

His gaze didn’t waver. “Name one thing.”

She opened her mouth to reply, but nothing sprang to mind. Her
entire life revolved around musty books, dusty rocks, and an encyclopedia’s
worth of knowledge about healing herbs and potions. His life, on
the other hand, involved old cars, engines, wrenches, tires—and being
cursed with the destructive powers of a Horseman of the Apocalypse.

His gaze softened. “The strange powers I have, that’s the whole reason
we met. That’s why we’ve been so close. Because you’re worried that at
any moment, I could crack. I could become a monster again.”

For a moment, Dru visualized the creature he’d once been. Looming
horns, vicious fangs, rippling leathery skin as black as midnight, and eyes
fiery red as hot coals. With an effort, she pushed that unsettling memory
aside and focused on the handsome man standing before her.

“Let’s not jump to the worst-case scenario just yet, okay? Things are
under control. There was a time, not too long ago, when you were running
around with horns growing out of your head.” With both index fingers,
she pointed at her own temples for emphasis. “And right now, you look
great, okay? More than great. Fantastic. Amazing.” She looked him up
and down, drinking in the sight of him, then shook her head, trying not
to get distracted. “The point is, we’re making progress, and that’s what
counts. I’m not giving up. Somewhere inside all of these books, there’s a
cure. And I will find it.”

“And then what?”

“Then you’ll be normal again. Isn’t that what you want?” She stepped
closer to him, acutely aware that on a deeper level, he was asking a
question she didn’t quite comprehend. “How could that possibly be a

His lips pressed into a thin line. “If you fix me, if you get rid of my
Horseman powers, then what am I? Just some mechanic with an old car.”

The anguish in his voice cut through her. She laid a hand on his
strong arm. “Greyson, no. It’s not like that at all.”

“Before I met you, I never believed in magic. Or monsters. Or any of
this.” His voice grew husky. “And now I’ve seen what you can do. I know
the world needs you and your friends. People like you, born with powers
that can save lives, fight the bad guys, keep everyone safe.” His forehead
creased with worry. “But once my powers are gone, I won’t fit into your
world anymore.”

“That’s not true,” she said softly. But obviously he believed it. Her
eyes stung with tears. “Is this…?” Her voice cracked. “Is this you
breaking up with me?”

How could she make him understand that they were meant to be
together? They had a connection that went deeper than just their day-today
interests. There was something about his very presence that affected
her on a fundamental level. Being near him made her feel like everything
was right with the world.

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