The Jaye Wells Methadone List

No new details have been released about the new forthcoming series by Jaye Wells, except that it’s called Dirty Magic and to “imagine The Wire with Wizards”. We can assume this means to expect an urban setting, maybe a police detective, and lots of magic.

So if you’re missing the Sabina Kane series, here’s a list of a few titles to help get you through the withdrawal:

The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod

Genevieve Taylor is a sidhe – one of the noble fae – and she’s unusual even in a London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with humanity…

Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the “M” in magic – which can mean anything from mischief to malice to murder. The spellcrackers are run by the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. And that’s just fine with Genny, who wants as little to do with the bloodsuckers as possible.

But when a sinfully sexy vamp is accused of killing his lover, an old debt forces Genny to help prove his innocence, risking her job, her safety – and the exposure of her own dark secrets. Genny soon realizes that she and her client are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle. And it’s not just her own neck at stake but the lives of all of London’s supernatural beings.

The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay

Atlanta: it’s the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil….

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She’s recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.’s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim — but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

Bitten & Smitten by Michelle Rowen

Dear Mom,

I might be a wee bit late for Cousin Mary’s wedding. It’s been a tough week. Turns out, my blind date from hell was literally from hell. Guy bit me. Next thing I know, I’m being chased all over the city by vampire hunters. And did I mention that I got fired, too?

Bright side– I met a man. Thierry de Bennicoeur. How great is that name? Anyway, he’s sexy, six hundred years old, and a tad suicidal, but no one’s perfect, right? And we have a deal– he’s gonna show me the ropes of the vampire world, and I’m supposed to help him end his existence. Or maybe I’ll just try to convince him life is worth living– no small challenge with the mostly immortal, let me tell you. I’ll admit it’s a complicated relationship. But with my luck, I just might have a date for that wedding after all.

Hugs and kisses,
Sarah

The Stubborn Dead by Natasha Hoar

Rachel Miller thought her next job was a run-of-the-mill haunting. As a member of the Order of Rescue Mediums it’s her duty to release trapped spirits from the earthly realm. But when called to client Sylvia Elkeles’s house, she finds a wraith who doesn’t act like he should.

The Order considers the wraith an extreme threat and Rachel may be forced to use a barbaric ritual to free him—a ritual that comes with a heavy personal price. If she fails to humanely release the wraith, she’ll have her supernatural abilities bound.

When Janus Ostara—local supernatural mob boss—shows up demanding her attention, and Sylvia keeps secrets that may place Rachel in mortal danger, she doesn’t need her abilities to know something darkly sinister is at play.

Between uncovering Sylvia’s disturbing motives, and avoiding Janus, Rachel has enough on her hands without dealing with a wraith who may not realize he’s supposed to be dead…

20,000 words

Blooded: A Jessica Cain Novella by Amanda Carlson

Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she’s no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring.
When she’s brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .
Word Count 19,400

Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

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[Review] The Ravenous Dead by Natasha Hoar

The Ravenous Dead
Natasha Hoar

Cover Copy: This time the dead are hungry…

Rachel Miller doesn’t just see dead people, she rescues them. As a member of The Order of Rescue Mediums, she spends most of her time helping stubborn spirits move on from the world. But after she learns the details of three brutal murders, she knows the culprit can only be a reaper, an undead monster that relentlessly stalks its victims to feed on their souls.

A reaper once consumed the soul of Rachel’s mentor as she watched frozen in fear. Now, Rachel is in the role of teacher to Kit Elkeles, a rodach just learning to control his wraithlike powers. After Kit and Rachel rescue a half-vampire, they work to protect him while searching for a way to stop the reaper. But when Rachel realizes who the monster is really after—and just what kind of dark magic she’ll need to stop it—will she be able to do what is necessary before it devours one of her friends…or even herself?

27,000 words

My Thoughts: This is the first book published by Carina Press that I’ve read, so I was surprised by the length of The Ravenous Dead. Not unhappily surprised.

I love the concept of Rachel being a Rescue Medium and having to fight a Reaper-monster. It’s what made me pick up the book. I was pleased to find the worldbuilding is filled with innovative ideas. In the opening scene we meet Rachel mid-sword fight, and the action doesn’t stop there.

I was disappointed when the writing turned out to be very info-dumpy with page after page of telling, even in the dialogue. Take the following paragraph for example:

“When a reaper ingests a soul, it feeds off the energy that makes up its layers– sort of like an onion. We’re not sure why, but when it gets to the ‘bones’ of the soul, the absolute core essence, it’s unable to digest or voluntarily expel what’s left. So the soul remains trapped inside the reaper until it can be forcibly exorcised.”

Don’t tell me the reaper has indigestion, show me. Give me a scene with the reaper swallowing down a soul, with Rachel powerless to stop it, with the soul crying out to Rachel for help. Give me visible stakes. Don’t leave me to infer the stakes from a description of what the monster can do. Instead, we get the above paragraph in an exchange of dialogue. This makes for some dense reading.

When the dialogue is not dumping info, it can be quippy. The characters have chemistry that I would like to see developed a little more. I think Kit needed a goal. He seems to be just there as a complication for Rachel.

Despite the short length of the story, Hoar was able to create a sympathetic, complicated antagonist. One that challenged Rachel and caused deeper complications in the worldbuilding, but still was brought to a satisfying conclusion.

Love the cover of The Ravenous Dead and the cover of the first book in the Lost Souls series, The Stubborn Dead.

Despite the heavy wading through the info dumping, I liked this one enough to buy The Stubborn Dead, and I plan to check out the next in the series. I love the concepts Hoar has created and I want to see what she does with them. Plus, they’re short books (20,000-27,000 words) at a good price ($2-$3).

Rating: C+
Series: Lost Souls #2
Publisher: Carina Press, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Get it– Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Kobo | Sony

At this time, The Ravenous Dead is not available through Canadian booksellers or at the Sony eBook store.

[Review] The Stubborn Dead by Natasha Hoar

The Stubborn Dead
Natasha Hoar

Cover Copy: Rachel Miller thought her next job was a run-of-the-mill haunting. As a member of the Order of Rescue Mediums it’s her duty to release trapped spirits from the earthly realm. But when called to client Sylvia Elkeles’s house, she finds a wraith who doesn’t act like he should.

The Order considers the wraith an extreme threat and Rachel may be forced to use a barbaric ritual to free him—a ritual that comes with a heavy personal price. If she fails to humanely release the wraith, she’ll have her supernatural abilities bound.

When Janus Ostara—local supernatural mob boss—shows up demanding her attention, and Sylvia keeps secrets that may place Rachel in mortal danger, she doesn’t need her abilities to know something darkly sinister is at play.

Between uncovering Sylvia’s disturbing motives, and avoiding Janus, Rachel has enough on her hands without dealing with a wraith who may not realize he’s supposed to be dead…

20,000 words

My Thoughts: I bought this book after reading The Ravenous Dead. Natasha Hoar somehow sucked me into this world of wraiths and reapers where her heroine, Rachel Miller, must kick ass to save everyone from the monsters.

Rachel Miller is a Rescue Medium. That means she can see ghosts, talk to them, fight them, and send them to the other side. She has a handy-dandy weapon for dealing with ghostly monsters– her tattoo. It charges with energy, and once fully charged, snaps the ghost’s connection to earth and sends it home. In doing so, the tattoo activates four beings that can hear Rachel, but don’t speak to her. Once they are released from the tattoo, they do the heavy work and then disappear. It’s kinda cool. The action and worldbuilding are what made me pick up the book.

Rachel finds herself fighting a kind of wraith she’s never encountered before, an ancient species called the rodach, long thought to be extinct. There’s something odd about the woman who called her into the case, and for some reason, the fae leader of a mob-like organization wants Rachel to join their ranks. Everthing goes to crap when Rachel is ordered to free the human from the rodach or kill him trying. She has forty-eight hours or she’ll be stripped of her powers. Rachel can’t bring herself to kill him, so it’s a fight for his life.

I read the first two books of the series out of order, but I was pleased to find the first wasn’t as info dumpy as the second. I like The Stubborn Dead much better.

The dialogue can at times be almost of the “As you know, Bob” variety with its dispensing of information. I would still like to be shown a lot of this information or have kept to a bare minimum. We don’t really need to know the history of every creature. We just need to know enough for this story. The rest can be tucked away for another story.

I kind of like the short length. I feel like I’m getting a whole story in something I can read in an afternoon.  Plus, they’re short books (20,000-27,000 words) at a good price ($2-$3).

Love the cover art. Well done, Carina Press!

Rating: B
Series: Lost Souls #1
Publisher: Carina Press, 2012
Acquired: Purchased

Get it– Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Kobo | Sony

At this time, The Stubborn Dead is not available at Amazon or Chapters/Indigo.