Sunday, January 9, 2011

Review: Counterfeit Magic (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
The first rule of a supernatural fight club? Don’t kill your opponent.

When the fighters come with lethal spells, werewolf strength and half-demon powers, that can be a lot tougher than it sounds. It’s hard to attract talent if they know they might not leave the ring alive. So when fighters at a California club start dying … it’s bad for business.

Witch detectives Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine take the case. Going undercover in the power-heavy arena of the fight club is a welcome change of pace for Paige, relegated to the role of The Wife as her husband struggles to find his place in his family’s Cabal—the corporate Mafia of the supernatural world.

As Paige is drawn deeper into new and dangerous corners of her world, she quickly discovers the greatest threat isn’t the killer in her sights. It’s something much, much closer to home. And this is one fight she can’t afford to lose.
My Thoughts: Oh, guys.  Before I even attempt to do justice to Kelley Armstrong's gorgeous world I need to talk about how very, very pretty this book is.  I sprung for the signed, limited edition hardcover of this little beauty and I am so incredibly impressed by it.  The interior artwork is gorgeous, the paper is heavyweight and it feels downright decadent against my fingers.  If I could date a book, I'd date this one.  It's just that pretty.  My version even has that beautiful variant cover right up there.  *swoon*  I totally get why people COMMIT CRIMES against other people over BOOKS!  I GET IT!

So, let's talk about this book.  It's set between Frostbitten (book 10) and Waking the Witch (book 11) (Oh, yeah, here's my review of WtW - review) in the Women of the Otherworld series.  Novella length, it plunks us down into Paige and Lucas' life as they attempt to help a new client investigate her brother's death.  I loved the slice of life we were given and the interactions between Paige, Lucas, Savannah and Adam.  Whether or not those 4 are bound by blood, they are family.  They care for one another and they work well as a team.

Of course, Kelley Armstrong weaves a tight story.  Savannah is her usual exuberant self, bounding into potential danger like an overgrown (and potentially deadly) puppy.  Paige is still trying to balance her role as Savannah's guardian against her desire to allow her to spread her wings.  Teaming the two of them up is a study of contrasts.  And it works wonderfully.

In the end, though, this story is less about finding out who the bad guy is and more about Paige learning to trust in herself and those around her.  It's sweet and regardless of its length it adds depth to each of the characters in it.

Which is fabulous!

Other reviews in this series:
Novella (#9.5): Angelic
Book #11: Waking the Witch

More books by Kelley Armstrong

Read and reviewed for the Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge and The Morbid Romantica Challenge.

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