Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Dead Spots Olson

Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

Jared loved trees.

Plot

Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused—vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can’t get out so much as a “hocus pocus.” This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles’s three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.

But one night Scarlett’s late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD’s Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he’ll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn’t sit well with Dash, the city’s chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it’ll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.

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Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful by Paula Guran

Witches Wicked Wild and Wonderful Anthology

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

 

1. Walpurgis AfternoonDelia Sherman

2 Stars

A couple wake up in the morning to find that a Victorian townhouse has sprung up on the empty plot next door. But that is not the only strange thing about their new neighbours.

A horticolutralist and an AI researcher who are also a witches? Sounds cool, but the story was all over the place and didn’t work for me.

 

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Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Back in the summer I’d made the mistake of telling my mum what I did for a living.



Plot

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.


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Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

It’s a sad fact of modern life that if you drive long enough, sooner or later you must leave London behind.



Plot

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.


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The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

Rating 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

“Not in this lifetime.” Tazir snatched two of the pebbles off of the pile for the equipment budget. “Or at least not after what you pulled coming into Hanshi.”



Plot

When the Dragon Ships began to tear through the trade lanes and ravage coastal towns, the hopes of the arichipelago turned to the Windspeakers on Tash. The solemn weather-shapers with their eyes of stone can steal the breeze from raiders’ sails and save the islands from their wrath. But the Windspeakers’ magic has been stolen, and only their young apprentice Shina can bring their power back and save her people.

Tazir has seen more than her share of storms and pirates in her many years as captain, and she’s not much interested in getting involved in the affairs of Windspeakers and Dragon Ships. Shina’s caught her eye, but that might not be enough to convince the grizzled sailor to risk her ship, her crew, and her neck.


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Storm Front by Jim Butcher

storm-front-dresden-files

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual.

Plot

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out that ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in.

Harry is the best at what he does – and not just because he’s the only one who does it. So whenever the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they look to him for answers. But business isn’t just slow, it stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get . . . interesting.

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White Cat by Holly Black

white-cat-holly-black

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles.



Plot

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers – people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, so he’s an outsider; the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail – he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things to, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.

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