Review: Wicked and Wilde by Jenn Stark (Immortal Vegas #4)


Wicked and Wilde by Jenn Stark // VBC ReviewWicked and Wilde (Immortal Vegas #4)
Jenn Stark
Published: May 24, 2016 (Elewyn Publishing)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free it will reference previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Getting Wilde.

With the emergence of The Emperor back to the Council in Born to be Wilde, the need for balance was even more essential, seeing that The Emperor sides with Dark Magic. Because of this The Magician decides to descend into Hell in order to call The Hierophant back to the Council.

When communication with The Magician is lost, Sara Wilde is called to go after him and bring him, and The Hierophant, back. Of course Sara, trying to make the most of her time in Hell, is also commissioned to find a couple magical artifacts. What she finds upon her travels will open her eyes to her past and a potential future.

Meanwhile, in Vegas, the magical boost everyone was experiencing from The Magician’s blast of power a few weeks ago is ebbing. This is causing people to turn to less than legal means to keep their power, and the distribution of drugs, or technoceuticals, is on the rise and with it the emergence of a powerful and feared Dark Practitioner.

This one almost got a 5-star rating from me. The writing was spot on. I really found Jenn Stark’s representation of Hell to be quite interesting. It’s a place more tailored to the person (or spirit, soul, etc.) traversing it, than just being straightforward fire and brimstone. The landscape is already there but it changes depending upon the person. It shows veiled truths through illusions. Your biggest desires, your greatest regrets.

There’s a lot of big stuff that happens to Sara while she’s in Hell, particularly involving The Magician. Clearly this experience is important as throughout the rest of the story Sara keeps going back to those moments, replaying what happened, how she felt. For me, the importance just didn’t translate off the page. I didn’t connect with how Sara felt, and I really think I should have considering. I think it’s because these scenes kind of flew by page-wise. I’m not going to tell you what transpired, you can probably come to your own conclusion, but I’ll bet you’ll know when you get to the part.

This was the reason my rating was cut down a little. If there had been a bit more time spent, a little more detail, I would be singing a different tune.

As it stands everything else about Wicked and Wilde was great. The introduction of The Hierophant—aka Michael (yes the archangel)—was interesting in that he felt like such a mirror to The Magician, but he’s so full of light and wonder.

Sara’s friendship with Nikki felt stronger than ever here even though Sara admits she doesn’t know all there is to know about Nikki, but she values her companionship so much. Right now, their bond is the reliable glue of the story when there are so many other characters that Sara cannot completely trust.

We see a clear path leading to learning more about the Minor Arcana: Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles. They’ve all been intrinsic in Sara’s tarot readings but until now we haven’t heard much about them outside of said readings. I mean if the Major Arcana can consist of powerful near-immortals in a Council, what do you think the Minor Arcana will consist of? The answer is a nice lead-in to the next book.

Sexual content: kissing

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