Review: Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells

deadly spellsReviewed by Jen

Another very good installment in the Propero’s War series.  Jaye Wells has crafted a heroine who is easy for me to understand and to root for. She’s had a tough life and made bad choices, but she works herself to the bone every day to be something better. Her past haunts her and sometimes it comes back to bite her, but she keeps fighting the good fight… for herself, for her little brother, and for a city that teeters on the brink of total corruption. Plus, there is just enough of a hint of romance to satisfy me.

This story picks up a few months after the end of Cursed Moon, and although I think you would get maximum enjoyment from reading the earlier books, I think this book holds up individually very well. Yes, it works toward advancing a larger arc, but none of the backstory is too complicated to pick up as you go.

Anyway, someone has killed a member of Kate’s old coven and her team must work to unravel the mystery before they lose access to the case. Of course, things only get more complicated from there, because once they identify their enemy, catching him is infinitely harder. Throw in some angst at Little Brother’s school, a connection to her old flame Volos, and a partner looking for a love connection and Kate’s life is pretty full. (I still hate Volos, by the way.)

I didn’t feel as much teeth gnashing from Kate this time around. I feel like she is really growing and coming to terms with a lot… about herself and her past. Yes, she still struggles with her choices, but not nearly as much as before.  And the magic element is something she is becoming much more at peace with.  I appreciate Wells’ commitment to character growth, and that she is finally moving Kate forward with her life.

As for the atmosphere and tone, Babylon still has a Gotham-esque vibe going one. But this book didn’t feel quite as dark as the last one.

There are no huge shockwaves here, though there are some meaningful revelations. I read Wells refer to this series once as a crime procedural with supernatural elements, and I think that hits the nail on the head. At times, I wish it were a bit more true urban fantasy, with a little less crime solving focus and a little more people focus. The book is at its best when it’s about Kate and the people in her life.  Overall, I definitely enjoyed it and am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Orbit

Click to purchase: Amazon

Deadly Spells
by Jaye Wells
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Orbit

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