Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Industrial Magic
Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 1-84149-340-6
Pages: 528
Series: Otherworld #4
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Paige Winterbourne is trying to find a new purpose in life now she has been stripped of her role as leader of the American Coven of Witches, but when her boyfriend's father Benicio Cortez appears on her doorstep she isn't sure what to think. Benicio has come to request Paige and Lucas's help as Cabal members children are being attacked and the Cabals can't seem to work together to find the killer. Using an external investigator may help, but working for the Cabals is something Lucas has always fought against and Paige has always feared.

This is the fourth book in the Otherworld series (after Bitten, Stolen and Dime Store Magic) and, like the previous installment, is narrated by Paige. This is the first real view into how Cabals work, building on their introduction in the last book and developing them further in both their business and magical aspects. The book is well paced, starting by throwing the reader in the deep end with the latest attack and building the tension from there. There are lots of plot twists and developments, some of which are completely unpredictable.

Paige and Lucas have a lot to deal with so I was happy to see their romance continue developing alongside the action. Lucas is forced to deal with some of his family issues and Paige begins to see how strange his family is compared to hers. As it is Cabal children being attacked, Savannah is away for most of the book for her own protection but this does allow Paige and Lucas more time together, both romantically and practically.

Benicio Cortez is an imposing figure and Lucas is very much the prodigal son although their relationship takes a backseat to the investigation into the attacks. However, the relationship does manage to be explored in the background alongside the concept of Cabals managing to present them as a mob-style gang crossed with an international business conglomerate and an old-boys high society club.

Once again the world building continues, picking up some supernatural races introduced previously and exploring them further. Paige is forced to work with Jaime Vegas (who she dissed in the previous book) a stage medium who is in fact a necromancer allowing a closer look at how they work, whilst the Cabal staff show a few new half-demon varieties. The werewolves reappear, allowing Elena and Paige to continue their friendship and Jaime to develop a crush on Jeremy that looks set to continue throughout the series.

Vampires also receive some focus and further refinement as Cassandra returns and a younger vampire Aaron is introduced. Cassandra's character is explored a lot more as she is starting to withdraw from the world, a sign that a vampire doesn't have much longer to live, which contrasts starkly with Aaron's more energetic people-friendly approach to life.

All in all, this was another great read and I'm looking forward to Haunted.

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

Overall: 48/50

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