Monday, 3 September 2012

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Dime Store Magic
Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 1-84149-323-6
Pages: 462
Series: Otherworld #3
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Paige Winterbourne is not only a witch, but the new leader of the American Coven. At twenty-three she hadn't expected to take over the role for years to come, nor had she expected to end up adopting a young witch named Savannah. Both Savannah and Paige's mothers died about a year previously, and they're slowly learning to be family. But when Savannah's father appears and demands custody, along with the half-demon responsible for the deaths, they find themselves thrown into a world of backstabbing warring magical groups.

This is the third book in the awesome Otherworld series (after Bitten and Stolen) and sees the role of the narrator taken over by Paige. Paige is totally different to Elena. Where Elena is definitely an kick-butt heroine, Paige is quieter and less experienced. The references to Paige's youth bugged me a little in the previous book, but thankfully they are less annoying here and focus more on the ten-year age gap between Paige and Savannah.

One of the things I love about this series is the depth of character and plot. While Paige and Savannah don't get quite as much backstory as they both featured in the previous installment, the other characters are really well developed. Lucas is brilliantly written with his internal Cabal issues dealt with realistically. The introduction of Cabals (sorcerer-run mob-type companies) develops the world further and adds a Godfather-esque aspect to the storyline.

As usual, the plot was fast moving and well thought-out, but unlike the previous books this is less action-focused. While there is still some action this is an understandable change of pace, given that neither Paige nor Lucas are really brawlers. Some of the plot twists were easy to spot, but others were really unexpected and the book builds to a shocking finale.

I liked how magic was portrayed and the differences between the more mental sorcerors and more emotional witches. This also introduced the concept of good-versus-bad magic, with a complexity that relates to the individual spellcaster as opposed to witches = good, sorcerers = bad. Without info-dumping there is a lot of exploration of magic here.

I loved the romance between Paige and Lucas as it gradually develops from mistrust to friendship to something more. It is beautifully written and the mix of magic and romance creates an unputdownable read.

All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Industrial Magic.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 48/50

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