BANISHING THE DARK
Acadia Bell #4
Pocket/Simon and Schuster
May 27, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and E-Book, 384 pages
Galley provided by publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own unless noted.
In Book Four of the beloved urban fantasy series Romantic Times calls one “for your keeper shelf,” the ultimate mother-daughter fight is about to go down.
Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell’s life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who’s not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady’s body. Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, she must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. Fast. As Cady and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon’s teenage son Jupe sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list. Simon & Schuster Digital Catalog
Jenn Bennett doesn’t pull any punches in this book, especially at the end where something that I have never seen a heroine do, or an author write, happens and *Blerg!* I can’t talk about and spoil it! But, I honestly cannot say I have ever read that particular event as a solution to an issue, and not as a criminal action.
Okay, now that I have your attention.
The above is true but there is more to the story than the last page. You’ll wonder after if the story is really, really over or if the malignancy that was Cady’s mother will pop back up like some alien baby breaking free from it’s host-mother’s womb.
There’s an immediate honesty in Jenn’s writing. It’s not sophisticated, nor is it jejune. It’s written in a sort of multiple personality POV – first person for Cady and for her boyfriend Lon’s son, it gets the third person treatment. While that seems strange, it helps identify the through which POV we’re looking at the moment. I almost feel as if it’s YA all the way through except I know it is not.
I had missed the last book in the series, I am still trying to figure out how that happened, but what I think that did was make the new critter Cady is becoming seem a little silly – juvenile, because I didn’t get where it was coming from and couldn’t remember she had had this ability before. I found the magic a little naif: moon-child, earthbound, etc. I liked how she had abilities that came and went; not an unpopular device in the genre. Sometimes they could seem a little convenient to the situation.
I still enjoyed the story; the twists and turns and the California landscape where it takes place. And I enjoyed the series with all its strangeness. Ultimately it’s about not allowing your past, and the intentions of others define your future; it’s about building a loving family with what you have at hand if what you got in the lottery of life wasn’t good or is missing. It’s about putting bad demons to rest, and recognizing that not all demons are bad; we all have a little demon inside. And, those are valuable themes. I recommend the Acadia Bell series and BANISHING THE DARK.
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Simon and Scuster sent me an extra Paperback copy of BANISHING THE DARK to give to a lucky winner! THANKS S & S !
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