Title: Dirty Magic
Author: Jaye Wells
Series: The Prospero’s War, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher
“The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn't expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.
The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she's convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she's been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she'd never use dirty magic again.
Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.”
Dirty Magic is the first book in the new The Prospero’s War series by Jaye Wells.
For the last ten years Kate Prospero has dedicated her life as a cop for the city of Babylon to fight dirty magic. Despite her stellar dedication she hasn’t been able to progress much in her career thanks to her past and heritage. Being the niece of the biggest Wizard crime lord has only helped her to hinder her future. It doesn’t matter that her uncle is in jail; her past follows her wherever she goes.
The last thing Kate wanted was to get the Magic Enforcement Agency’s attention, but after been forced to kill a man in self-defense MAE has her sights on her, not only the man Kate killed was one of MEA’s informers, he was also under the effects of Grey Wolf, a very dangerous magic potion, MEA has been investigating for the last couple of weeks.
MEA knows that because of her upbringing Kate has inside knowledge about the Cauldrons, knowledge they need to crack the Gray Wolf’s case open. They need Kate and invite her to work for them. This is the break Kate has been waiting for to advance in her career, she knows if she wants to have a permanent position within MEA she has to do anything in her power to help them find the source of the new potion, even if that is going against her ex-boyfriend and everybody she once considered family.
I loved Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series and was very excited about reading Dirty Magic. I have so much faith in Wells’ writing that I saved Dirty Magic for days, waiting to read it in January 1st as my first book of 2014. I don’t have many New Year rituals, but starting the year with a really great book is something I always do. I couldn’t be happier because Dirty Magic was everything I was expecting it to be and more, a perfect book to start the year.
Kate was a great heroine. She has a torrid past that left her scarred inside. She used to “cook” magic and loved doing it. Everything in her life revolved around magic, until one day, when something unexpected happened, something that left her changed forever. Now, working for the police she knows and sees the damage magic does. Stopping dealers and dirty magic is a way she found to give something back to society after what she and her family did for many years (dirty potions).
Kate not only left magic and her family behind, she also became her little brother’s guardian. For the last 10 years she has been taking care of him. Now that Danny is an adolescent she’s also dealing with the teenage angst that entails.
I really liked Kate, she strong, smart and witty. I liked her as a person and I liked her as a sister/mother. Her life hasn’t been easy and her future looks bleak, still she prowls forward working hard for a better future for her and her brother.
There is not a clear romance in this book, there are two possible love interests, but nothing is yet clear.
One of them is another member of MEA, Agent Morales. The other is Kate’s ex-boyfriend and real estate mogul, John Volos.
I’m still on the fence about them. I didn’t like Morales on the beginning, but I liked him more throughout the end of the book. I don’t know what to think about Volos, I liked him some pages to then disliked him in the next and so on.
I will wait for future books to give my final verdict about them, but right now I’m more inclined towards Morales. The only thing I don’t like about Kate picking Morales instead of Volos is that it’ll be a too similar choice to Sabina Kane and Adam Lazarus from the Sabina Kane series.
The secondary characters Wells gives us in this new series are diverse, multidimensional and very easy to like. From them the ones I liked the most were Kate’s brother Danny, Kate’s best friend Pen, MEA’s wizard Mez, and Kate’s informant, Little Man.
The world Wells gives us in this new series is very realistic and easy to picture. Her detailing brings it to life along the pages, so much that the city of Babylon and its residents become another character in the story.
The plot is well-paced, intriguing and with enough mystery and twist and turns in the story to keep us glued to the pages.
Jaye Well has given us a great book, a start to a series I’m sure will become a favorite among urban fantasy fans.
I can’t wait to see what Wells has planned for Kate and her gang in the next installment of this series, Cursed Moon, to be released on August 12th.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Cursed Moon (August 12th)
Other reviews Goodreads