Tuesday, June 21, 2011
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
Note: I received a copy from the author for review
Pub Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books/Simon $ Schuster
Format: Available as e-book as well as paperback
Amazon: Kindling the Moon: An Arcadia Bell Novel
Edited to add: Contest is now closed and winner notified.
Kindling the Moon is a wonderful debut novel by author Jenn Bennett. I really enjoyed her take on demons and magicians and the mythos of the world she has created. The characters were fascinating and dynamic and very relatable considering that they tend to be anything but ordinary humans. We have a good mix of mystery, action, love, lust, betrayal and family dynamics to keep the reader turning the pages to see what happens next.
Arcadia is a good protagonist. She's powerful, smart, sassy and honest with herself about her strengths and weaknesses and she owns when she screws up. She tries to be a good person and has compassion for others, but she's also not afraid to do what has to be done to survive and to protect the people she cares about. I like that in a main character. I don't enjoy wishy-washy characters and their forced angst because you know that in most cases, it's just so the reader doesn't feel that the MC is a sociopath. For me, if you show just cause and you're billing the character as tough and a badass, I don't need a bunch of faux angst and rehashing things while we cruise the guilt trip highway. I'm good, thanks.
I really enjoyed the supporting cast of characters as well. Father Carrow was one of my faves. In my opinion, he's a great example of a subtly layered character that doesn't fit in a box and I give the author props for not trying to put him in one. All the characters had layers and depth. They all had strengths and weaknesses and flaws and so they were very intriguing to read about. At one point I wanted to smack Lon, our enigmatic love interest and father to the exuberant and lovable Jupe, but I had to give the author and Lon credit because it was worked out promptly in the next chapter where he called himself on his crap and apologized. I liked that it didn't drag into "the thing that keeps them apart until the next book" scenario. It made it more believable. Parents aren't always rational when it comes to their kids' safety and if they already blame themselves for past parental mistakes, they are likely to lash out, but at least he didn't paint himself firmly into unreasonable asshole corner by not being able to admit that he was being a bit hypocritical. I had to learn to go with the flow in this story because the characters would do something that irritated me and I was so used to those types of things not being addressed in other books/series that I wasn't expecting it to happen here. Well, for the most part I was wrong. I really enjoyed that a lot of questions that popped in my head were admitted to and possibly answered by the characters as well.
My one honest issue with this story was that for a generally smart cookie, Arcadia (or Cady) came off as almost deliberately obtuse about a few of the most obvious things in the book. If you follow my reviews at all, you'll know that that is a big pet peeve of mine. There was one part where something that I felt Cady should obviously be concerned about or at least attempt to research she was completely blase about and naturally that came back to bite her in a big way. Instances of this popped up here and there in the story, but it wasn't enough to make me want to stop reading and the characters were likable enough that I wanted to see where the story led them.
Something else that I enjoyed about Ms. Bennett's writing style is her descriptions of characters and setting. I often times have a hard time visualizing these things, but the descriptions were so concise and clear that I had absolutely no trouble getting great mental images that really enhanced the reading experience for me.
I recommend this book to fans of UF and even Paranormal Romance. A fun, fast and highly entertaining read that left me more than willing to take another ride with Arcadia in whatever new adventure awaits her.
Final Grade: B+
Now, thanks to the very gracious author I am able to offer up one signed copy of Kindling the Moon for one lucky winner. Contest is only open to the Continental United States and is going to be open until Tuesday, June 28 at 11:59 pm PST. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. That's it!
Thanks for reading and good luck!
ETA: I will announce the winner here on the blog on June 29. If I don't hear from the winner by July 2, I will redraw for a new winner.