Werewolves Be Damned (Magic & Mayhem #1)
Published: April 15, 2013 (Entangled)
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Nexi Jones is hell bent on revenge after witnessing the savage werewolf attack that killed her parents. Saved from the same fate by sword-wielding, kilt-wearing warriors, she learns two things. Firstly, there are two worlds: The Earthworld and The Otherworld. Secondly, she was adopted and isn’t exactly human. Traveling to the Otherworld, Nexi discovers her heritage: she is half witch and half Guardian. The Guardians are warrior races, sworn to protect and uphold the law of the Otherworld Council.
Guardians are born with preternatural strength and reactions, and Nexi sees her latent abilities as her ticket to revenge (her witch abilities, on the other hand, are going nowhere fast). Before she can kick some ass though, she has to train. She may not be able to stand Kyden, the Guardian she’s assigned to, but he’s a means to an end. As she shadows him, investigating various murders in the supernatural community, links begin to appear and it seems the past is about to catch up with Nexi. She’ll need all the help she can get if she has any hope of surviving in this new world.
Featuring a rich mixture of witches, shifters and vampires (and hot men in kilts) Werewolves Be Damned shows potential for a really interesting series. It blends paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The main romance is a definite driving force, but an equally strong focus is put on Nexi’s journey as a warrior and the bonds she forges along the way.
The mystery and plot are woven throughout the world building and there is a wide array of supernatural beings, each bringing something different to the table. I enjoyed the contrast between our urban Earthworld and the more mythical Otherworld. I would have liked to explore the Otherworld more though, as at times it felt constricted to the place the supernatural Council resided. There’s plenty of fantastically written action, particularly in the last quarter.
Nexi was where the majority of my frustrations lay. I loved her aggressive approach to her newly found heritage; she’s strong willed and not looking for a savior. She takes to guardian abilities like a duck to water and is throwing punches like a pro in no time. What bothered me was very little of her backstory is given and without knowing how she lived her life before I couldn’t appreciate if her character was growing or changing. I wanted to take this journey with her but never really felt like I knew her past the grief and revenge-fueled anger.
I liked the uncomplicated nature of Kyden’s attraction. He acknowledges it early on but recognized that Nexi might not respond well to the more direct approach typical to Guardians. That doesn’t mean he is going to stay silent about it though and is more than happy to tell (and show) Nexi just how serious he is. I also liked that while he does struggle with his protective instinct toward her, he treats her like an equal, training her hard so she can take care of herself.
While I had some issue, Werewolves Be Damned paves the way for a series featuring strong female leads, a large cast of supernatural characters (including uber alpha men) and great action. I’m not sure if the next in the series will continue to follow Nexi or feature a different couple but I’m pretty sure I’ll be picking it up.
Sexual content: Sex