Tuesday, April 28, 2015

*Book Review* Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells (Speculative Fiction)

Series: Prospero's War # 2
Published by: Orbit
Released: August 12, 2014
Source: Library
Format: Paperback, 370 pages
Genre: Speculative Fantasy

When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone's emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon's impact is especially strong for Kate who's wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.

Featuring protagonist Kate Prospero, Cursed Moon is the second installment in Prospero's War series by Jaye Wells. Kate is a former coven member who walked away from magic 10 years ago after her mother died. She's come a long way since. 5 years as one of the only Adept (magic) cops; was deeply involved in events of Dirty Magic in stopping Ramses Bane; received a promotion to the rank of detective in the Babylon PD. She's now part of the task force known as the Magical Enforcement Agency which has taken up home in Babylon.

Cursed Moon introduces readers to Aphrodite, the Hierophant and leader of the Sacred O Coven which specializes in sex magic. Aphrodite is a character who has both sexes which are present at all time. S/he was also friends with Kate's mother Margaret. S/he also has a deadly revenge garden where every single plant can kill you instantly. Thanks to the nasty villains theft of a very potent potion that causes the person sexual lust and the desire to rape another person, all hands are on deck to return the potion before it's too late.

Cursed Moon is a story that is ripe with interesting characters from Baba the elderly witch who chases eligible bachelors around, to the Lake Erie Monster, to bizarre events surrounding Dionysus and the Blue Moon. It follows a heroine who continues to deeply regret her use of dirty magic in order to save her 16 year old brother Danny. She's tried to walk a path to the straight and narrow by rallying against the use of bad magic, but when Dionysus targets Babylon with something explosive and deadly, Kate will need to use everything in her disposal in order to stop him.

I do like this series but there are lots of head scratching moments. I like it because nobody is perfect. Not even the members of MEA. Everyone has crosses to bear with, and the line between black and white is blurred to the point of being grey. However, I do understand the struggles that Kate has to deal with. Not only with Danny not getting into dirty magic, but also her uncle Abe who she walked away from when she could have been leading the Votary coven. She also walked away from John Volos, her former boyfriend, but he refuses to stay out of her life.

The negative about Kate is that she keeps secrets from her best friend Pen, and has picked up drinking heavily which in turn leads to hurting the only real people who only want the best for her with her ugly outbursts. I don't want to undercut the sincerity of Kate's own crosses she continues to bear. Imagine thinking that you were responsible for killing your own mother? Imagine that there are those around you who know the truth about what really happened, but keep their mouths closed instead?

I also have a huge complaint over the use of a particularly vile scene which included a massive rape/orgy with women raping men en mass. Yeah, no thanks. Moving on. The other eye rolling moments are with Volos and Kate. Kate has no desire to be around him, he refuses to let her go, he continues to put his nose in her business, she becomes punchy..literally. Of course, how can we ever forget about Kate and Morales dancing around each other? Morales also has his own deep secrets that are exposed. Will this change anything between the partners? Wait and see!

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  1. oOOh nice review! I still need to read this one and the final book. I fell behind apparently! Glad it was still an enjoyable read for you if not perfect. Sounds like I'll be having some head scratching moments when I do start because I read the first one when it first released and that was ages and oh so too many books ago! Lol. Again, great review!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! Deadly Spells review should be up Wednesday!