Review: Justice Calling by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

Woo! I found a new urban fantasy kick to binge on. My happy face is engaged and I’m hunkering down.

This is the story of Jade Crow. She lives in the small town of Wylde among shapeshifters, a leprechaun neighbor and a few other odd magic types. Native American Jade is part of this secret magic side of the neighborhood, but she keeps her true ID under wraps – she’s a sorceress and a powerful one at that. Except because she’s on the run, she’s entirely unpracticed as she has to keep her power signature hidden.

By day Jade runs a comic book store, occasionally helping her neighbor to identify magic objects, and by night she’s all about gaming with her friends. They battle with orc models, play Fall Out and geek out big time. Her life sounds pretty cool. Until one day, Justice comes to call.

“He looked roughly thirty years old and somewhat like a Hollywood version of a Norse God. About six foot six with shaggy white-blond hair, features that a romance novel would call chiseled, and more lean muscle than a CrossFit junkie.”

He’s there to challenge Jade on a vision he had – of her standing over a pile of shifter corpses. Working for the shifter Gods, he is assigned to make sure Jade takes the right path to avoid the deaths. Otherwise he’s judge, jury and executioner.

Except he’s not that scary. Cos he’s all alpha and hot.

In the leprechaun’s curiosity shop, Jade takes a look at a new consignment he has in, when her friend Harper, a fox shifter, suddenly yells. There’s a stuffed fox in the shipment. Worse – it’s Harper’s mother. Somehow she got caught in her fox form and is now being sold as a curio.

Jade, Justice (real name – Aleksei) and their friends have to work out just what happened to foxy mom, and who was behind it.

This is a relatively short tale, with just enough plot, scene and character detail to make it work. The story was fast paced and there was no lingering or reflecting. Jade is funny and kick ass, and her being in hiding (from an evil ex who wants to eat her heart) goes out the window when she has her friends to protect. A magical sorceress friend must be very useful to have in times of need.

Where the world building was sufficient, I wish a little more time had been spent building up the complexities of both the plot, and of the emotional picture. Action happened and there wasn’t quite enough of the hell-that’s-bad for me. There was a blink and you miss it response to big events.

There are parallels I can draw to the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, or the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs, except so far this has been much less complex and not quite as absorbing.

Overall though, the story satisfied and I’m jumping onto the next. Jade’s exposed now she’s used her magic, so that’s exciting, plus Alek is hanging around and that pleased me no end.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Justice Calling
by Annie Bellet
Release Date: July 23, 2014

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