Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Note: This review will be spoiler free, but will reference events from the previous book in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Dirty Magic.
Kate Prospero should be in a good place emotionally. After helping to take the drug Grey Wolf off the streets and saving her little brother in the process, she’s now made detective and is officially part of the MEA team. Things are looking up, well, except for the fact that Kate is still struggling with the reality that she cooked again. That she’s been keeping this a secret from everyone weighs on her conscience. Her already precarious situation isn’t helped by the fact that the Blue Moon is coming, an event that upsets the magical balance in the world and causes Kate to work twice as hard to keep people in line. To top everything off, a problem with one of the covens forces Kate to have face-to-face time with Uncle Abe. All she has to do is survive the Blue Moon with her secrets intact. Easy.
Dirty Magic has probably been one of my favorite new series releases this year so far. So, no pressure or expectations for Cursed Moon to live up to right? Well, fortunately Jaye Wells delivers yet again, although not necessarily in the way I was expecting. While Kate’s detective work involving the coven’s potion thief and how that all ties together with the impending Blue Moon is the driving force of the book, it was Kate’s own personal journey that kept me turning the pages.
Kate is balancing on a precipice of indecision. The secrets inside her are welling up, but she fears what will happen once she tells the truth of her actions. What was truly great about Cursed Moon was the fact that Kate made such strides towards aligning who she is as an Adept (essentially her past) and who she wants to be as a Detective (her present/future). I’m a little surprised that Wells decided to address this issue in only the second book of the series, as opposed to extending Kate’s journey, or self-discovery, over the course of the series, but I’m happy she did. I will enjoy reading about the after-effects of Kate’s decisions in future books.
All the players from Dirty Magic are back again. John Volos, along with whatever scheme he’s working up, as well as the blackmail he holds over Kate, is still a concern, but he’s relegated to hovering in the background biding his time. The tension between Kate and her partner Drew Morales gets upped a notch causing co-workers to plead with them to “get it over with already.” I think this will be something Wells teases us with for a little while longer though, sigh.
For me, the standout was Uncle Abe. When he gets himself situated in Kate’s investigation, she’s forced to go visit him in the penitentiary. He’s one of those characters where his power just jumps off the page. You know from one bit of conversation that he’s not someone to cross. When Kate does, you wonder when/how he will get his revenge upon her. His knowledge of Kate’s past, especially information she doesn’t have or doesn’t know the truth of, will be something he holds over her in the future. I think he makes an excellent foe.
Cursed Moon is a great second book in what looks to be another great series from Jaye Wells. Highly recommended.
Sexual content: graphic references to sex