CHALLENGE: MONTH THREE
DIME STORE MAGIC BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG
Series: Women of the Otherworld #3
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fictions, Urban Fantasy Fiction
Elements: Werewolves, Witches, Demons, Sorcerers, Necromancers, Ghosts
Publisher: Bantam Books, Random House Inc.
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 414 Pages
Release Date: April 27, 2004
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Summary: Paige Winterbourne was always either too young or too rebellious to succeed her mother as leader of one of the world's most powerful elite organizations--the American Coven of Witches. Now that she is twenty-three and her mother is dead, the Elders can no longer deny her. But even Paige's wildest antics can't hold a candle to those of her new charge--an orphan who is all too willing to use her budding powers for evil...and evil is all too willing to claim her. For this girl is being pursued by a dark faction of the supernatural underground. They are a vicious group who will do anything to woo the young, malleable, and extremely powerful neophyte, including commit murder--and frame Paige for the crime. It's an initiation into adulthood, womanhood, and the brutal side of magic that Paige will have to do everything within her power to make sure they both survive.
Kelley Armstrong introduces a new heroine in Dime Store Magic. Paige Winterbourne is the 23-year-old leader of the American Coven of Witches. We first met her in the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series, Stolen. Due to events in Stolen, Paige also gained custody of 13-year-old neophyte witch, Savannah Levine. Paige has a lot on her plate with an extremely talented ward, an unsupportive coven, old and new enemies surfacing, protestors in her front yard (and naked Wiccans in her back yard), and a sorcerer with good intentions; how can such a young leader come out on top?
Leah is back--and she's brought the Nast Cabal with her. Determined to gain custody of Savannah, Leah has gone to Savannah's biological father, Kristof Nast. What the cabals value most is money and power, and with Savannah's raw talent they can gain A LOT of power over the other cabals. And they will do anything to get what they want--ANYTHING.
But Paige and Savannah don't have to combat these forces alone. Help has shown up in the form of 25-year-old Lucas Cortez. He's young for a lawyer, just out of school, and he just happens to be a sorcerer. But not just any sorcerer--the illegitimate son and heir of the Cortez Cabal. The cabal world sees Lucas's idealism as rebellion--a rebellion that he'll eventually grow out of and take his place as heir. But no one, no matter what they say, can deny his noble intentions. The fact that Lucas wants to fight the evils of the cabal world and his inside knowledge on how they operate makes him a valuable ally.
I wasn't sure how I would like Dime Store Magic because I really liked Elena as the heroine of the first two books, Bitten and Stolen. I'm always wary when the main character changes, and to be honest, I didn't like Paige in the beginning of Dime Store Magic. But as the story went along Paige really grew on me and I came to like her in the end. Savannah is just really fun. She's spunky and confident. I liked her moments of maturity. Her level of maturity is certain situations is uncommon in someone her age. I think it would be really interesting to read from her POV. I absolutely loved Lucas. He's kind of nerdy and speaks way too formally, but I liked how genuine he was--in both his intentions and his sorcery. I also liked that he's trying to improve the world he was born into.
In Dime Store Magic we are introduced to the cabal world and it's operation. The cabals are like the mob or yakuza of the supernatural world, but more like a corporation with the main family of sorcerers leading the cabal. And below the sorcerer family are half-demons, necromancers, shamans, and any other paranormal; except werewolves and vampire--they won't hire anyone who could possibly eat them. There is a lot more to the cabals and how they work, but it gets kind of complicated, so it would be better for you to read the book for yourself to get the gist.
Not only do we learn about the intricacies of the cabals, but we also learn more about half-demons and a little of the history of the Salem Witch Trials.
One of my favorite moments was when Lucas came to tell Paige of the Wiccans in her back yard--the naked ("skyclad") Wiccans. Just Lucas and Paige's reactions to the situation were hilarious. It was a great tension-breaker that was really needed, and really entertaining to boot.
I also liked that Paige and Lucas's relationship happened in a natural way (as natural as you can get with a witch and sorcerer who are supposed to be mortal enemies, anyway). It wasn't rushed and at times it seemed like nothing was ever going to happen. The fact the Paige is a witch and Lucas is a sorcerer put a wedge between them in the beginning. But once Paige decided to trust Lucas, him being a sorcerer ceased to matter. It was fragile and genuine, and that made it beautiful.
I can't wait to read more of the Women of the Otherworld series. Industrial Magic brings us Paige and Lucas trying to stop a serial killer from killing cabal teenagers.
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