Genre: urban fantasy
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS.
After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She's gearing up for the busiest day of the year - Halloween - when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she's dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club's wayward son, she can hardly say no.
Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members' children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady's loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers - and she'd better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.
Cady and Lon are close to living together, spending most of the nights in his or her house. Even Cady’s pet hedgehog lives in Jupe’s room most of the time (Lon’s teenage son). Cady is a magician, and Lon is an Earthbound demon, something a normal person would never notice. But Cady can see demon auras. They have settled in a nice rhythm, getting to know each other better and better. Jupe would love to have Cady move in, he really likes her. But when Cady takes Jupe with her to the Tiki bar called Tambuku, which she owns and runs with her best friend Kar Yee, they run into trouble. And later, Jupe instantly is in love with Kar Yee. Which is fun of course, especially as she tells him to come back in a few years ;)
As an Earthbound demon, Jupe will someday have one of the psychic powers one of his parents has. But his seem to have come a bit earlier than normal. He can influence people’s thoughts, make them do things they normally would not do. Of course Cady and Lon are sceptical about it, and take him to a psychiatrist. But it all seems true, and they will have to teach Jupe the ethics of using his knack. And of course teach him control.
It all makes Lon tell Cady more about his former marriage and his ex wife and her knack.
But then history repeats itself and, like thirty years ago, children are being abducted. And this time, it are the children of the local Hellfire Club members, who are enhanced like Lon is.
Then Dare, the club’s president and a good friend of Lon, asks Cady to look into things, or else he will find out the truth about her past and tell Lon. Of course Lon knows all about Cady, but Cady is still wanted by the FBI, so she needs to keep herself a secret. Meaning, she has no choice but to comply and do whatever she can to solve this. Thirty years ago, seven other kids went missing, and they never found a trace of them. And now it is all happening again. Luckily, Dare has a suspect in mind, so they know where to start investigating.
To find this man, Cady needs a death dowser, an earthbound demon with the ability to find dead bodies. As this is not a very common knack, she asks one of her regular customers for his help. Bob knows everyone in the demon community in town. But when he finds her one, Cady is not happy, as Bob neglected to tell her that Hajo is a sømna addict. Still, the man is good in his work, even though he asks an outrageous price in exchange for his services. Cady has no other option, especially when another kid has disappeared.
Unfortunately, the suspect they have is the one they find death, so someone else has to be behind it all. Time is of the essence, as Halloween is around the corner, when the veil between earth and the realm where the demons live, is thin.
Lots of readers have told me, this second book would be even better than the first, and I am not that certain about it. I think I like them both equally. The first book had all the great revelations, and how can you top the ending with her parents? So yes, I liked this book a lot, but to say it is better? You know the main characters, and the story builds on that.
I really liked Cady, she doesn’t back down from a challenge, and she really loves Lon and Jupe. She doesn’t like her new moonchild powers, but also does not hesitate too long in using them when necessary. I do think, we will be in for some lovely surprises at what she can do, along with Cady herself.
What is not to like about Lon, who is an empath, and is better in doing stuff for Cady than telling her about his feelings. He is also a great father for Jupe, which is always a major asset in a hero. He is very protective of Cady, and I loved it when he “avenged her honor” on Hajo and Bob. He sure can fight.
And then there is of course the plot, the story itself. And that was a great one again, creepy at times too. I am so curious what Cady will have to do to get Dare of her back. I have learned a lot more about demons, and I have added Jenn Bennett to my autobuy author list. Here is hoping for many more great books in this series.
If you like urban fantasy, I heartily recommend this author and this series. Jenn Bennett has a great writing voice. The story is nicely paced, it has humor (which is a must for me), great characters, both the main and the secondary, a plot you cannot possibly predict, and some nice lovescenes. And almost lovescenes.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian