Ok, let's start off with the blurb shall we?
In the heart of Ohio, Jessie Shimmer is caught up in hot, magic-drenched passion with her roguish lover, Cooper Marron, who is teaching her how to tap her supernatural powers. When they try to break a drought by calling down a rainstorm, a hellish portal opens and Cooper is ripped from this world, leaving Jessie fighting for her life against a vicious demon that's been unleashed.
In the aftermath, Jessie, who knows so little about her own true nature, is branded an outlaw. She must survive by her wits and with the help of her familiar, a ferret named Palimpsest. Stalked by malevolent enemies, Jessie is determined to find out what happened to Cooper. But when she moves heaven and earth to find her man, she'll be shocked by what she discovers—and by what she must ultimately do to save them all.
The best way I can describe this book is: gritty. Not just, oh a few people die kind of gritty, I mean losing limbs, poss human sacrifice, abuse, blood guts and gore and most of all: jizz kids. That kind of gritty.
One of the things that I didn't like about the main character was that she tended to get preachy and morally superior. If you had money, you were bad. Considering what her beef was and the fact that she was basically a willfully ignorant person who skated through life right up until the shit hit the fan and that approach wasn't going to work anymore, I found the social commentary a bit ironic.
Now what I did like about Jessie was that she dug deep and cowgirled up. She got the holy hell beat out of her in this book and she didn't let it break her. She got a lil bitchy at times, but honestly so would I, but she didn't curl into a ball and go to her happy place never to emerge again. I dug that about her. She sometimes started to veer into TSTL land, but her familiar, Pal, would talk her down and she would listen. I appreciated that too. Too often we get a tough female lead and she doesn't believe in common sense or taking advise from people who know, cuz she's tough female hear her roar. So, someone who was open to guidance was a nice change of pace.
Speaking of Pal, her ferret familiar, he stole the show. Honestly there would be no adventure without him. Like I mentioned before, Jessie was ignorant of her heritage, of a lot of basic magic and of the ruling body of the magic society so if it wasn't for her being blessed with a familiar that was smart, had been around the block a few times and was willing to break rules for her, she would have been up the creek without a paddle. Or even a boat. He was funny and smart and had a very rigid sense of personal honor that made him a great character. They don't know each other long before everything goes down, so their bond is pretty fast in the making, but it felt solid and I enjoyed their interaction.
The story itself is dark and a bit heavy on social commentary that I felt was a bit forced, but otherwise it had almost a Harry Potter on crack feel to it. There were things I didn't like and the book felt longer than it was, but on the plus side there was lots of action and the focus on magic was very fascinating.
As a warning, let me just say that there were things in this book that grossed me out and disturbed me a bit and I've been around the paranormal and UF block a few times. So if you don't like dark and gritty stories, you probably won't like this, but if you do enjoy lots of action, magic and a more raw sort of story, this should be right up your alley.
My final grade is a C+. This is a debut book, so I'm hoping that the more Ms. Snyder writes the more she'll have smoothed out some of the rough patches in her stories.
You can order this book here
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