A review of “Wild Spark: Dark Magic Enforcer book 8” by Al K. Line

Full disclosure, I was provided an advance copy of this book by the author as part of his “A-Team” in exchange for an honest review.

New Beginnings Come Full Circle

Wild Spark picks up some time after the close of Dead Spark. Faz Pound has dealt with Amber’s treachery in a way that will most likely leave him scarred for years to come and just wants to heal and move on with his life. What better way to start afresh and leave the past behind? Getting married to Kate sounds like just the thing. The couple jets off to Paris for a week of bliss leaving Mithnite in charge of their home and ready to forget the hidden world for a short while.

Yeah, right.

After being greeted at the airport by a troll and upon checking into a hotel teeming with all manner of hidden, Faz and Kate decide that while they may not be able to leave the world behind, they will still make the best of their honeymoon.

All 12 hours of it.

Then all hell starts to break loose. First with a strange party invite hurtled through the window of their hotel room. This is less of an invite and more of a totally gruesome “come or else”. Initially Faz and Kate attempt to ignore the foreboding request but when Kate is whisked away suddenly, Spark realizes that there is nothing to do but attend the birthday party of “Queen Morag”.  Once at the soirée, Faz and Kate meet privately with the old witch and are given an intriguing proposition: Rescue Morag’s soul from the person who snatched it and she will give them the secret to Kate becoming fertile again. So there seems to be no rest for our favorite enforcer as he sets out to retrieve Morag’s soul. The deeper he gets into his international quest, the more he realizes that (as usual) things are not what they seem and all parties involved haven’t been entirely truthful. Will the ultimate price of Morag’s “help” be something that Spark will be willing to pay?

 

For as short as this installment in the Dark Magic Enforcer series was, there was still so much packed into it. I loved the idea of Kate and Spark getting some “alone” time with no distractions, especially after the events that transpired in Dead Spark. It was nice to see Faz travel out of the confines of Cardiff for something other than murder and mayhem (at least initially). I also liked how we got to see a new side to Madge. It makes you wonder what else the gruff old lady has up her sleeve other than the most amazing fry ups on the planet. Mithnite is also starting to come into his own. From the novice fan boy of a few books ago to one of Spark’s closest allies now, Mithnite is evolving. I was also impressed with Mithnite’s “new” abilities. I mean, are they new or has he been holding out on Spark along with most his friends and family?  The ending brings us practically full circle to the “Black Spark” that we were introduced to in Dark Magic Enforcer book 1. Powerful and dangerous, yet vulnerable and afflicted. I hope that the sacrifice for Spark was not in vain and am looking forward to the next installment to see what happens next.

 

 A review of “End Play” by Iain Rob Wright

 

Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the Author as part of his Advanced Reader’s group.

 

London Falling

 

End Play is the third and final novel in the Major Crimes Unit trilogy of books by Iain Rob Wright. Still reeling from the events of Hot Zone – the kidnapping at the hands of her father and the sudden reappearance of her deceased husband – Sarah Stone finds herself in pursuit of the most prolific serial killer London has seen since Jack the Ripper. The Flower Man, as he is called, takes his victims and turns them into living gardens, and Sarah will stop at nothing to bring him down. When a terrorist attack on a major London landmark interrupts her pursuit, Sarah comes face to face with her own personal “Boogeyman”. With more prominent London landmarks in the cross hairs, Sarah must choose what is more important – saving a life or saving her country.

 

Iain Rob Wright proves once again that he can write just about anything. While the MCU and Sarah Stone are departures from many of his other novels, this does not mean that they are in any way inferior. Stone is a strong female protagonist that faces the scars and demons of her past with a strength that most people only wished they had. The pace of this book can only be described as “breakneck”. From the first chapter to the last word, Wright conveys an urgency that is palpable as a country is thrown into chaos with no end in sight. I understand that this is to be the finale of the Sara Stone novels but with all good crime stores Wright leaves us with the knowledge that all is never well. The ending is brilliant, and a perfect tidbit to leave the reader with a cold tingle down their spine and a hope for a revisit in the future.

 

 

A review of “Blood Moon (Wildcat Wizard Book 1)” by Al K Line

Full disclosure – I received a free copy of this book from the author as part of his “A-Team” in exchange for an honest review.

 

Bad Moon Rising

 

Meet Arthur “The Hat” Salzman. A well-known wizard both within the magical and non-magical communities. When not obtaining obscure items of an arcane nature, The Hat is an insomniac single father of a teenager. After Arthur accepts a job to retrieve an unknown object stored inside a bag, complete with magic wards and a warning not to look inside, things start to go sideways.

Very sideways.

It appears that Nigel isn’t the only one wanting to get his hands on the item, some are even willing to kill for it. The more Arthur tries to off load the package and collect his payment, the deeper he gets and the more he learns that this bag houses an ancient evil that may better be left undisturbed. When his private and professional lives become intertwined with almost disastrous certainty, Arthur must rely on more than his wand and Faerie Godmother to deal with the contents and fall out of the mystery package.

Blood Moon is the first book in the “Wildcat Wizard” series by author Al K. Line and it is definitely one wild ride. From the opening scene where we meet Arthur practically hogtied to a speeding car in an attempt to evade what will be a seemingly never ending stream of baddies of all shapes, sizes and persuasions to the closing lines, the story starts fast and hardly lets up for a second. Arthur is the perfect “good” bad guy; a gangster with a heart and a sense of justice. A doting father who will stop at nothing to protect his daughter, George.

Arthur quickly grew on me because of his humanness which is a bit of a departure from the wizards and witches of Line’s other Urban Fantasy novels. Being a 40 -something with a teenage daughter, if you take away the magic, Faerie Godmother and the gift she bestowed upon him, Arthur could be your next-door neighbor. Just a regular guy trying to get on in the world, with friends and enemies; and like some of us, he finds it hard to tell the difference at times.  Vicky the spastic hacker was a great bit of comic relief. One of Arthur’s closest friends, Vicky knows almost all of Arthur’s secrets, including Sasha and longs to be a part of his magical exploits. I would have to say that most of my loudest chuckles were at the expense of the sidekick fan-girl. The usual suspects are also present regarding magical, mythical and undead things, however they have been slightly re-imagined in such a way that will take your ideas about vampires and other beings and turn them upside down.

A great start with a brilliant new cast of characters. I look forward to delving further into The Hat’s world and meeting more friends, enemies and otherwise in the upcoming stories.