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Dirty Magic: Prospero's War: Book One [Kindle Edition]

Jaye Wells
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    "Jaye Wells has created a fresh, magical world full of potion junkies and alchemists that promises to break new ground in paranormal thrillers." (Laurell K. Hamilton)

    "Kate Prospero is my new favorite heroine-imperfect, haunted, driven, and dangerous." (New York Times bestseller Kevin Hearne)

    "Dirty Magic is like nothing else currently happening in urban fantasy. Grim, gritty, and great." (Seanan McGuire)

    "Jaye Wells raises the urban fantasy bar with DIRTY MAGIC, a hard-boiled series debut as unique and surprising as the creatures and characters peopling it. Kate Prospero is charged with policing the Cauldron, a magical world so fully realized, and so gritty, it gets under your nails. Wells is known for deftly weaving non-stop action with no-holds barred humor, but the unique and deeply drawn relationships are the real alchemy here. DIRTY MAGIC showcases seasoned pro, Wells, at the top of her game, and establishes newcomer Kate Prospero as the urban fantasy heroine to beat." (New York Times Bestseller Vicki Pettersson)

    "Hold on tight -- a gritty new heroine has joined the pantheon of shoot-first, ask-questions-later protagonists." (RT Book Reviews on Red-Headed Stepchild)

    "The next coming of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison." ( on The Mage in Black)

    "A fast-paced fun book" (New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris on Red-Headed Stepchild)

    "Last year, I wrote that Jaye Wells had the potential to be the next coming of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison. This year, I'll amend that slightly: Jaye Wells is the next coming of LKH and Kim Harrison." ( on Green-Eyed Demon)



    The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there's a new blend out there that's as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she's brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realises she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.

    Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier - on the same day she swore she'd given up dirty magic for good.


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    3.0 von 5 Sternen The MC is annoying 27. Juli 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I guess you could just say the MC is flawed but she is basically a anti magic bigot because she messed up when she was younger and it had bad consequences. Understandable but she still annoys me, if at least she would restrict that to herself instead of limiting her poor brother too... Also I prefer more magic in my magic, they are more like super drugs.
    Though the book is not bad, decent writing and some interesting supporting characters.
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    Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  143 Rezensionen
    24 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Decent urban fantasy and a solid start to a new world 22. Januar 2014
    Von Karissa Eckert - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
    I got this book to review through NetGalley, so thanks to NetGalley and Orbit for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Jaye Wells also writes the Sabina Kane urban fantasy series, which I have been wanting to read but haven’t had the chance to read. Dirty Magic is the first book in a new series by Wells set in a new world. It was a decent start to a new urban fantasy. I wasn’t enthralled with the characters, but as the story progressed I got more and more interested. I definitely think this has potential to become a great urban fantasy series.

    Kate Prospero is on her standard nightly rounds in the city of Babylon when she runs across a woman being mauled by a werewolf-like creature. She shoots him in self-defense...but doing so draws the attention of the MEA (Magic Enforcement Agency). Suddenly Kate finds herself deeply involved in a case with the MEA that involves a deadly new dirty potion that is plaguing the Cauldron (rundown part of Babylon). To further complicate things Kate’s rich ex-boyfriend (John Volos) is one of the prime suspects.

    This was a decent urban fantasy. I thought the setting was interesting, but never really was all that engaged with the main heroine. Things did get more interesting towards the end of the book, as our heroine started to get more involved in using her Adept magic. Up to that point though, this book was mostly a police procedural with some supernatural potion stuff thrown in.

    Kate is a cop who has a sordid history as an Adept who made dirty potions for the Cauldron underground. She worked hard to free herself from the clutches of her mobster-like family. She is eager to help out the MEA, it will be a promotion for her and help her to really make a difference in stamping out dirty magic. However Kate’s life is a bit complicated. Because of both of her parents being dead, she is left to raise her teenage brother herself. Also as things progress she finds out that her ex-boyfriend from her Dirty Magic days is now an influential and rich man in the Babylon political scene...and he is the prime suspect in the creation of a new dirty potion that is causing havoc on the streets.

    I didn’t really like Kate all that much. She is very much a cop running from a dirty past. She does a lot of stupid things. She doesn’t handle her brother Danny well at all, she has a spot of blind fear and hatred where magic is concerned, and she seems a bit too willing to forgive the man that she used to date. She makes a lot of the same mistakes over and over again throughout the book. She does get a bit more interesting as she starts to reveal more of her Adept magic side, but this doesn’t happen into much further into the book.

    Kate’s two potential love interests are, of course John, and her MEA partner Morales. John has the whole “slightly evil rich guy but occasionally sensitive and caring guy” thing going on. I don’t like him and I have read about too many other characters like him in urban fantasies. Morales just comes off as a bit of a sex fiend, he is constantly trying to get Kate to have casual sexual relations with him.

    Even though I didn’t like Kate or either of her love interests, there are some interesting characters in here. Kate’s brother Danny is an interesting kid and I liked reading about him. Mez is the MEA’s resident magic wizard and he’s pretty unique and awesome. Kate also has an informant that is half baby, half creepy lady named Little Man (LM) that is crazy creepy but also really intriguing.

    The surroundings are gritty and this is definitely dark urban fantasy. Babylon is a city plagued by additive dirty magic potions and the addicts that are desperate for them. The seedier parts of the city are run by Clans of Adepts. We have yet to meet all of these Clans.

    I guess part of my problem with this book is that it is mainly a police procedural type of story, the magic is there but not incredibly prevalent until later on in the book. After Kate starts getting more involved with the magic, things get more interesting but this doesn’t happen until pretty late in the book.

    Overall this was an okay start to a new series, it was easy to read and decently written. I just wasn't all that drawn into the story or the world. I also didn’t like the characters all that much. I think it has potential but right now I am on the fence as to whether or not I will read the next book in the series.
    11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Didn't fall for the magic 4. März 2014
    Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
    I guess that sums up how I feel after finishing this book. The magic wasn't real enough or believable enough to convince me. I got that it was addictive. I got that it had a high profit margin and people were making money off it. the magic in this book was far more understandable as drugs than magic. I couldn't feel magic at all, I just felt the tawdry drug world and all that it encompasses.

    I felt her character was true to who she was. I liked her and I liked the signs of someone still struggling to figure it out every day and just trying to do the right thing. She was faced with a lot of hard choices and put in a bunch of rough spots. She stayed true to who she was throughout. That's not to say I always liked her decisions but I never doubted her or felt she was wishy washy.

    The sign of a really strong book for me was whether I had to keep churning thru it to find out how it ends. This one didn't meet that Mark for me. I stopped half way thru and honestly didn't care if I finished it or not. After finally getting back and completing it, I find I still don't care how it turned out.
    6 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent preview 10. Dezember 2013
    Von Cindy DeGraaff - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
    I blew through these eight chapters in one sitting. The author does an excellent job of world building and sets the tone for action and fear in the first chapter. Kate Prospero is a magical adept who walked away from the most powerful coven in her city to become a beat cop and raise her brother, now 16. She faces prejudices and passovers for promotion due to who she is and she's beginning to get frustrated. Suddenly, a powerful new potion shows up on the streets that makes the user crave human flesh and blood and renders them immune to anti-magic weapons. Kate is finally chosen to assist the federal agents in finding out where the potion is coming from and who's behind the money. It's her break, if she doesn't kill the others on the team.....and she may have to face some old and deadly lovers and enemies to get answers.
    I cannot wait to get the rest of this book.
    12 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    5.0 von 5 Sternen Imagine your favorite gritty cop show with magic 11. Dezember 2013
    Von Ghoulish Gretl - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
    This review is based on the full version of the book, but it shouldn't spoil anything if you're reading the preview.

    Kate Prospero is a beat cop in the fictional Rust Belt city of Babylon, patrolling a run-down area called The Cauldron. Instead of gangs selling drugs, Babylon has covens selling magic potions. Each coven practices a different kind of magic (blood, sex, etc.) and controls a different territory. Despite the supernatural elements, Babylon is a pretty realistic depiction of a Midwestern city struggling through a recession.

    One night, Kate kills a potion junkie, who turns out to be a federal informant, and gets drawn into the investigation of a new potion that turns users into werewolf-like killing machines. Kate is ideal for the job because of her intimate knowledge of the covens. Her uncle ruled the Votary Coven, the alchemists, until his recent imprisonment, and Kate was once his protege. She left the coven and swore off all magic use, but her past has kept her from advancing in the police department. The Feds don't seem to have the same issues and allow her to work on their task force. Her new co-workers include hunky Agent Morales who has love-interest potential, and forensics wizard Mez, whose comfort level with his magic provides an interesting contrast to Kate's aversion.

    The investigation also brings John Volos, her ex from her time in the coven, who is now a real estate mogul, back into her life. He reminds me of Trent Kalamack from early in The Hollows series: he's wealthy and well-connected and probably secretly up to no good, but there's no real proof of it. It's not really clear at this point in the series if either of them still have feelings for the other or if they can even trust each other. Needless to say, their shared history causes some tension throughout the investigation. Kate's trip down memory lane also contributes to her family drama with her teenaged brother Danny. Kate's best friend Pen serves as a voice of reason for both Kate and Danny, who lack any other parental figures, but I wish that she were more interesting.

    Fans of the Sabina Kane series have come to expect fun and freaky secondary characters from Jaye Wells. This supporting cast delivers them: Kate's neighbor Baba is basically a dirty old woman (and if that's not a real expression it should be) and her top informant is a mashup of Baby Herman from Roger Rabbit and Sloth from Goonies. I expect we'll get to see more of those two in the rest of the series and some fun new characters as well. (The side effects of potion use create a lot of potential for bizarre characters in the future.)

    The world these characters inhabit is dark and gritty. The police procedures are realistic and well-researched and provide some great action scenes. Although the magic is well thought out, the supernatural elements are secondary to solving the mystery. The plot strikes a good balance between solving the case and setting up the next book. I'm really looking forward to Cursed Moon in June of 2014.

    This review is based on an ARC I won in an online contest.
    1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Promising start to a new series 3. Februar 2014
    Von Kris - Veröffentlicht auf
    Kate reminds me of an older version of Beka Cooper (from Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper trilogy). One that is also more prone to profanity. They both come from the slums, and both joined the justice system to take down crime in the area where they once lived. However, whereas the Beka Cooper trilogy really delves into Beka's character and who she is, Kate feels disconnected from the reader. She spends a lot of time responding to the situation without really letting readers get into her mind. It reflects her take-charge, I-don't-take-any-BS attitude, but at the same time there's lost potential in making her character more complex, as it doesn't really delve into how her past has shaped her into the woman she is today. Still, she is a likable character, and I actually like her habit to spit out profanity like it's no big deal. It reflects the harsh life she's led and is integral to her character.

    There's also the teenage brother she's bringing up. It's clear that Kate's past clouds her judgment in raising her brother, as she tries to shelter him from their heritage. This is a good chance to develop her family life and show another facet to her character, and the story does to a certain extent. It just feels one-dimensional, more like a script played by good actors than something real and in your face. I also wish that we got to see more of the other characters. The members of the MEA seem really cool, and I feel like they could be very compelling characters, especially Morales and Volos. However, the side cast is fairly one-dimensional in this novel. Hopefully they'll be developed more in the next book.

    What really makes the story come to life are the heart-pounding action scenes that really immersed me in Kate's world. It's what pulled me into the first pages and really sucked me in the latter parts of the story. It also features a unique world where magic is part talent and part science. It's really interesting and made out to be the it's-part-of-every-day-life no-big-deal that it is through the minimal world building. Those who like writing that introduces enough of the world without getting bogged down in the details will appreciate this. The world is so interesting, however, that I actually would have liked to see more of the magical world that Kate comes from. Still, I can understand the lack of a magical focus because of Kate's aversion to it. Besides, because of the way the plot is moving, it looks like she'll be forced to confront her roots, and I expect magic to play a more prominent role in the future.

    Overall, this is a promising start to a new series, and I'm looking forward to seeing the world and politics more intricately developed in Cursed Moon, the second installment in the series!
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