Review: Death Magic by Eileen Wilks

death magicReviewed by Jen

I struggled a little with this installment. It’s not bad. There is a lot happening to advance the main story arc. The problem I had was with a noticable lack of feels. The last few books really struck a fantastic balance between action and its character focus. This time around, I really missed the character and emotional elements. I missed the romance. And I felt the pacing was uneven. But the ending is big, so no way you can skip it.

As the story begins, Lily and Rule are back in Washington DC to testify in front of a senate committee about the events of the last book.  Lily knows it’s a witch hunt and it becomes even more apparent, after one of the most vocal senators ends up dead and Ruben is fingered as the killer. Lily is assigned to the case, but it’s clear that her team doesn’t trust her. She has to figure out who set up Ruben –who really killed the senator– and how they may target her next.

To make matters more complicated, that mantle she is carrying is messing with her health –AND she learns that Ruben and Rule have launched a secret shadow organization they want her to join. There are secrets and mysteries and murders… and yet, the first half moved like molasses. I was bored.

In the second half, things begin to move. There is at least one really interesting surprise and obviously, Eileen Wilks has set the stage for the next arc in the series. But Benedict and his new mate are absent. Cullen’s baby: absent. Toby: nope. You see where I am going with this? It felt like one of the purely procedural episodes of an ongoing tv show that takes no time to focus on the characters’ personal lives.  It felt …detached. The biggest internal conflict was whether Lily could betray her sense of duty to the law to serve with the “ghost” agents. (*snooze*)

I know I sound like I am bashing this book to the moon and back, which isn’t fair. It’s absolutely not bad; it’s just nowhere near as good as I know it can be. This series, this author, and these characters are capable of reeling me in and giving me real emotional engagement. Hopefully, we’ll return to that with book 9. And while we’re at it, someone can explain WTF happened to launch that missile.

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Death Magic
by Eileen Wilks
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Berkley


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