Author: Jenn Bennett
Date of Publication: April 24, 2012
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: 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.
After reading the first book the series I had been expecting much of the same in this novel, an interesting enough read but nothing that would make me really excited. However, I was thrilled to find myself really enjoying the action and excitement this book offered and liking this novel much more than I had the first book. I'm beginning to see a lot of potential in this series and I'm excited to see where it goes, in terms of both the plot and the characters themselves. This book made leaps and bounds in both areas and I have a feeling the next book will be even better!
What really stood about to me about this novel was the fantastic plot. Bennett did a fantastic job creating a paranormal mystery that really pulled me in and was full of action and adventure. I really loved the action in this novel, the first book had been a little slow on the excitement front but this one made up for it in every way. Between the gristly mystery of the missing children and the fascinating use of magic I was glued to this novel until the last page. The elaborate and life threatening spells provided plenty of action and when there wasn't any action the overlying mystery was enough to keep me turning pages, eager to find out what happened next.
I was also much more impressed by the characters this time around. I really started to like Cady and watching her relationships with both Lon and Jupe become more sturdy and complex was fun to read. In the first book I felt a little distant from the characters, but in this book I felt a lot more connected to them and what they were going through. I was especially excited by the developing relationship between Cady and Jupe, his bubbly personality brings out the softer side of Cady and tones down her badass attitude. I also really loved the secondary characters in this novel, Bob and Hajo were both fantastic and I'm excited for them to make an appearance in upcoming novels!
The only thing about this novel that left me a little confused was Cady's Moonchild powers. I know that Bennett covered some of it in the first book but I'm still not exactly sure what they are and how they help Cady. They're still a bit of a mystery to even Cady herself so maybe more about the powers will be revealed as the series goes on, but I'm still eager to figure out exactly how they work and how it sets her apart from the rest of the magicians in the series.
Fans of urban fantasy and the paranormal will no doubt find themselves warming up to this series in this novel. After the huge improvement of this novel over the last I'm excited to see where the next book will go!