The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

The Ballad of Black Tom Victor LaValle

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

People who move to New York always make the same mistake.

Plot

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?

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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon Dresden Files

Rating: 2.5 Stars ★★☆☆☆

I never used to keep close track of the phases of the moon.

Plot

Business has been slow lately for Harry Dresden. Okay, business has been dead. Not undead – just dead. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work – magical or mundane. But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses. And the first two don’t count . . .

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Let It Snow by Erica Ridley

Let it Snow Erica Ridley

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

After another spell of swashbuckling and bounty hunting, Lance Desmond could barely wait to hang up his sword.

Plot

Adventurer Lance Desmond needs to produce a fortune before his arch-rival collects the bounty on his head. He risks an ancient curse to retrieve treasure hidden within icebound Castle Cavanaugh, only to become trapped inside. Not with the gold he so desperately needs, but with medieval Princess Marigold who’s been cooling her heels since… well, medieval times.

The lonely princess refuses to acknowledge the blossoming attraction between them. Not just because she deserves a better future than a penniless rogue. But because at midnight, he’ll vanish like all her other would-be heroes. And the evergreen in the parlor will have one more figurine hanging from its boughs…

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.

Plot

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.

When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea.

Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red Jackson Pearce

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Strangers never walk down this road, the sisters thought in unison as the man trudged towards them.

Plot

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris — the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend — but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

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Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove Holly Black

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

I don’t know whether it’s day or night when the girl gets up to leave.

Plot

CURSES AND CONS.
MAGIC AND THE MOB.

In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always though he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth – he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything – or anyone – into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue – crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too – they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone – least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

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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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