Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells

Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War, #1)Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells
Series: Prospero’s War, #2

Paperback, 381 pg.
Orbit, 2014
Read: February 15-17, 2014

Kate Prospero is a tough cop, scraping by, raising her kid brother with the help of her best bud and a kindly senior citizen neighbor. Her troubled past has so far blocked her from progressing out of uniform and the detective ranks — but she’s got grit, determination, and hope — not to mention an unreliable automobile and a healthy tuition bill for her brother’s private high school.

I know I’ve read and/or seen this a couple dozen times. So does Jaye Wells do something to freshen this up? And does her take on this work? Yes, and pretty much.

Wells’ twist on this is introducing magic into the mix. It’s our world, but instead of Big Tobacco and the Pharmaceutical Industry exploding in the last few decades, while their less than legal counterparts were finding similar success — “clean” (read: legal) and “dirty” (read: illegal) magic came into economic ascendancy. There’s a Magic Enforcement Agency running the war on dirty drugs on the federal level, while Prospero and her brethren in blue take the battle to the streets.

That pretty much tells you all you need to know. The book plays out pretty much how you’d imagine it would. Well-told and decently-paced, there’s nothing to object to here (well, some of Prospero’s emotional reactions seem a bit over-wrought, though your results may vary) — but there’s nothing to get terribly excited about either.

It’s an entertaining enough read, and I’m curious about where Wells will take things. But I don’t know that I’ll run for the bookstore come August when the sequel, Cursed Moon comes out.

—–

3 Stars

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