Author: Jenn Bennet
Date of Publication: June 28, 2011
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
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.
Despite starting off a little rough I was surprised how much I ended up enjoying Kindling the Moon. As with most urban fantasies I was expecting another stereotypical badass heroine and a run of the mill action filled plot. However, even though this novel had both of those to an extent, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Bennett had a original take on magic and demons and that both of those things came together to make a novel that was just a little bit more than I was expecting.
What made me really enjoy Kindling the Moon was the interesting integration of demons and magic, called Heka. Bennett presented a very original take on magic and demons and I really enjoyed the world that she had created. The plot, more than the characters, was what really kept me interested in this novel. The story about Cady's parents and the murders held my interest until the very end and with all the magic and demon hunting in between there was hardly a dull moment. Not to mention the ending that completely blew me away; unexpected and surprising the ending was what really pulled everything together and made this novel worth reading.
The characters weren't bad but I wasn't particularly impressed by them. It's not that I disliked Cady, I liked her fine, but there just wasn't anything about her personality that made me really love her. One of the most annoying things about urban fantasy is that almost all of the heroines act like they have something to prove, and even though Cady started off with a bit of a chip on her shoulder, she evened out as the novel went on and I really appreciated that. Lon, the love interest, was a tad more interesting than Cady just because of his gruff personality but he honestly didn't really strike a chord with me either. The one character I did end up adoring was Jupe, Lon's son. Jupe was hilarious and his boisterous personality always made me smile; I'm definitely looking forward to seeing him in the next book!
Overall while Kindling the Moon was an enjoyable enough read there wasn't really anything about it that really jumped out at me. I am definitely interested enough in the series to continue reading but this novel was just missing that little something that would have made it memorable. First books in a series are always a little rough so I'm willing to give Bennett another shot, because there really were a lot of great ideas in this novel it was just lacking the characters to make the plot really shine.
Those looking for an urban fantasy with a bit of an original twist on magic may want to check this series out but I haven't quite made up my mind about it yet. Hopefully the next book will have stronger character development and have that little spark the series needs!