by Tessa Adams
Wow! What a great start to a dark and difficult world of witches and wizards living in secret in our normal society. It is dark because there is a murderer on the loose and our poor heroine feels everything that happens to the women during their murder. Things are violent and twisted and horrible. They are all sexually assaulted and it is disturbing.
Anyway, Xandra hasn’t come into her powers, even though there are all sorts of reasons she should be the most powerful of them all. So she runs a coffee shop in Austen and tries to keep clear of her mother who meddles in interesting ways in the hopes that it will help make her powers manifest. It sounds all light and goofy, and in a way, it is a little bit. But then it isn’t and it is really hard to figure out who is doing what and why. Red herrings, weird people, crazy family, wizards and sexy detectives round out the cast of characters.
The only thing that threw me for a loop was that a couple of times it felt like information was added in at weird times. There is a hallucination scene that was really trippy but hard to follow and I just wonder if I missed some hints about things, or if they weren’t there. Or if I flew through the beginning so quickly I missed a sort of big thing from childhood. But I didn’t reread the beginning, it just stuck in my craw for a bit and I know me, I focus on strange things other people could care less about. Also, Xandra, our heroine can be a little codependent and whiny. There were times you wanted to shake her, but she is young and she is trying, when either trying to retaliate and push back or to make her roommate happy.
So, even with my information fixation and wanting to shake Xandra, I really got into this book. But I just need to say, it is violent and we do get some fairly graphic murder/rape scenes. So, not a nice light little urban fantasy. We get a couple of love interests but nothing is acted upon, maybe a little kissing. Though I am excited to see where we start in book 2. We have an answer to the immediate issues in book one, but it opens a whole new storyline for future books. Yay! So, while this book isn’t perfect, I enjoyed it a lot and give it 4 stars wearing purple cowboy boots and orange beehives. They remind me a lot of the lady who fixed everything at the end of Poltergeist (she was the piano player in Sixteen Candles too).