I thoroughly enjoy Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, which is why I comfort read the four of these books while ill from a combination of a particularly nasty stomach bug, and the continued effect of the (still burning, now even closer!) bushfires. I know I’ve claimed I’ll review books quickly before, but I’m still recovering, so these reviews are genuinely short. Enjoy the below reviews of books three, four, seven and eight of Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series.
Dime Store Magic
The cover is fine, nothing terrible, nothing great. Better than the weird leg shot of other editions
This book was a little slow to start, but I enjoyed the realism of small-town life and the slowly building relationship between Savannah and Paige, Paige and Lucas, and the drawn-out degradation of the relationship between Paige and the Coven.
What I loved most about this book is the set-up. There was so much potential for drama inherent in the various main characters and their roles in the supernatural world, that the plot and various complications of Dime Store Magic flowed naturally from that. I should mention that there are threats of sexual assault made in this book, so if that’s something you prefer to avoid, steer clear.
The ‘safety vs morals’ set-up in this book made for a classic, but well-executed plot with a satisfying ending. The way the plot concluded was a little melodramatic, and I wish Kristoff’s actions were a little better foreshadowed, but the finale was suitably emotionally charged for me to forgive that.
The personal relationships are also brilliant, though I wish Savannah was written a little more believably, and less ‘hormone monster’, but overall, Dime Store Magic was a fun, well-written book with plenty of lead-ins to future works in the series.
This cover I actually like, the cheesy line at the top makes me chuckle, and the buildings worked into an occult symbol look cool. I’m sick, so ‘buildings look cool’ is all the analysis you’re getting out of me, folks
Speaking of lead-ins to future works, eh? So, book four was also really great. There’s a lot of violence aimed at children/teens in this novel, if that’s a sticking point for you, Industrial Magic might not be a book that you’re interested in.
I loved the look into cabal life, and the effect Lucas’s upbringing had on him as a person. Lucas’s complicated relationship with his family continues to fascinate, and I’m glad that Benicio didn’t get reduced to a stereotype. The family dynamics in this series are truly fantastic, by which I am referring not just to the Cortez’s, but also to the manner in which Paige and Lucas are raising Savannah.
Jaime is an interesting foil for page—just as involved in the supernatural world, but in an entirely different role. After Dime Store Magic, I’m glad necromancers got explored in a slightly more positive way, and the toll Jaime’s talent takes on her was explored in a little more depth, building interest in book seven (for me at least, hence my jumping directly to that book once I finished Industrial Magic).
Industrial Magic is a solid entry in the Otherworld series that doesn’t take itself too seriously—see ‘the various jabs taken at vampire stereotypes in this book’. A fun, quick read, that nonetheless explores classic ethical and moral dilemmas in an entertaining way. An odd thing to look for in a comfort read, maybe! But I am consistently entertained.
These reviews ran a little long, so I might split the four min-reviews into two posts. My reviews of books seven and eight will come later in the week.