Tuesday, 28 June 2011

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Arcadia Bell 1: Kindling the Moon - Jenn Bennett

Release Date: 28/06/11


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.


New authors have a lot to prove with their debut, after all you never get a second chance to make a first impression so they tend to come out swinging. Some are heavy hitters, some are all bravado and some punch well above their weight. Of the three, Jenn Bennett definitely fits into the last category as this debut is one of the most spectacular of the year to date. There’s a lead character who has emotional as well as literal demons to deal with in this fast paced action packed outing.

Add to this a lead character who whilst not the all action girl that many authors like to go for, certain knows how to protect herself to a certain degree but isn’t above asking others for help as dark secrets from her own past emerge to be dealt with in the cold light of day. Finally add to this some wonderful prose, great dialogue and a good helping of sleight of hand which overall makes for a very pleasing title, especially when you consider this a debut, it’s going to be a very interesting ride for this new author and I’ll await the next book with eager anticipation.

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