Review: Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell #2)
April 24 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Kick Ass Chick – Arcadia Bell
From Goodreads –
After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no. Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.
Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett was my second most favorite read of 2011. Seriously people, it is amazing. It is a debut book by a new author and it’s written so well you can’t believe you are reading a first book. (And if you haven’t read it yet, then I haven’t been loud enough about how incredible the book is!). Seeing how much I loved LOVED book one, you can only imagine how high my hopes were for book two. Remember, book one was my number two favorite read last year so ideally book two would, if not surpass it, at least meet book one’s awesomness. No pressure there. Well guys let me tell you, Summoning the Night is tremendous phenomenal fantastic! I read it in one day and followers of my blog will know that that is unheard of for me and urban fantasy books. Yes, I did basically ignore my family, my kids, my everything just to read this book. And when I finished, I was equal parts giddy and shaking. And yes, I hugged it too. It left me even more in awe of this author and I now feel as though it is my job, the reason I started book blogging, to tell everyone to read this book and to read this series.
Am I being a bit dramatic here? Oh yes, probably. But it’s only because I want you to read this book! If just taking my word for it doesn’t work, then let me tell you a bit about what to expect in this installment.
Actually, I won’t do that because the Goodreads blurb is quite thorough. So I’ll just talk about what I liked about the book.
Arcadia (Cady) is our main heroine and the story is told from her perspective. She is an incredibly well written character. Her life has been pretty crappy up until recently but you never really hear her complain. Does her past haunt her? Absolutely. But she doesn’t dwell on it and goes with the flow. She is also awfully quick and incredibly smart. She is a very compassionate and loyal character too and I find those are very important traits in an urban fantasy lead. Her snark is pretty awesome too. She is a witch and the witches in the world that Jenn has built are very different from any witches I’ve read before. I love how witchcraft is described – how visual it is. One of my favorite things about Cady in this installment is how she grows as a character. You see quite a difference from the first book to now and she grows even more in this book. She is more sure of herself and more comfortable in her skin. I wanted to make a sign that said “Go Cady, Go” and put it out on my front lawn, but the neighbors then might think I was a little odd…so I decided to silently chant that mantra over and over while reading.
Lon is part demon but just as with the witches, the demons are very different in this series. They have halos and some have knacks that are pretty cool. I’m not talking Jesus halos here so don’t go ‘huh?’ – it’s like a colored glow around their head that most can’t see. It’s neat. Lon is in his early forties, self assured and just absolutely yummy. I totally used to picture him looking like Johnny Depp but now that I’ve seen the image that Jenn painted and posted on her site, I see him as Jenn sees him. And even though the idea of Johnny Depp’s image being gone from my mind may not seem like a good thing, it really is because I think this ‘new’ Lon is even yummier. I love that he’s mature and, you know, a grown up. He is perfect with Cady. He loves her and she him and they are a perfect match and really need to live happily-ever-after *glares at Jenn*. I love how real he is too. He is a father and is not written with infinite patience like the dads in old tv sitcoms – he’s a great dad but he’s realistic. As with Cady, he’s loving and kind but not over the top. In case I’m not making myself clear here, he’s a fantastic character.
Teenagers in books can often be annoying. Yes, I said it. Cocky or full of snot, they just aren’t pleasant to read. Jupe (Lon’s son) is 13, almost 14, and yes he is cocky but he is also something many teens in literature aren’t: he is endearing. It is impossible not to love this character. Jenn writes him so well, he doesn’t take away from the story, he adds to it. In fact, in this installment, he pretty much steals the show. He is growing quite attached to Cady and I love to see this tender side to Jupe. And he makes Cady’s tender side come out too which is charming to watch. He is so innocent yet wise. I can’t wait to watch his character grow.
Hajo is an intriguing character that we meet in this book and I would not mind seeing again. Really, I wouldn’t want his ‘gift’…ever…but I can see big things in this series for him. And now that I’ve said that just watch Jenn cackle at her computer and make that this is the only time we will ever see him.
And Dare is an a** hole, pardon my French. That is all.
As with the first book, there is a bit of creepy in Summoning the Night. There is an almost film-noir feel to these books and Jenn brings that feeling into her mystery plot-lines. And since she is a very visual writer, the creepy level is cranked in this series. It fits the characters perfectly. The mystery itself this time around was great. In book one, we didn’t see the twists and turns coming. Well, Jenn does the exact same thing in this installment. The twists, the turns… And when you’re finally sure you know who is behind it all and what will happen next, you realize that you are wrong. And I mean really wrong. Basically you get a ride from beginning to end and when you reach the end you are delighted with the turn out. Creeped out by it all, but delighted.
Jenn Bennett proved that she can write with Kindling the Moon and with Summoning the Night, she proved that she has staying power. This newest installment is an Amazing follow up.
Now, even if after all that, I still haven’t convinced you to give this book and this series a try, just don’t pay any attention to what I am doing here…
*takes old pocket watch out of pocket* *starts slowly swinging it in front of your eyes* Now look at the screen. You want to read Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series. You need to read Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series…
Is it working? Good. 😉
Giggle worthy quotes
Jupe was wary when we entered, remembering the last time we were in a city parking structure together, but I pointed out that the Starry Market garage contained only half the amount of hobo urine of the Metropark, which I have found to be a surprisingly accurate indicator of lower crime statistics.
“I’ve talked to you on the phone a couple of times when I’ve called here for Cady,” Jupe pointed out. “You were kinda mean, but I didn’t mind. I don’t like weak women. I like warriors.”
Kar Yee leaned against the bar, hand on hip. “Is that so?”
“Yep. My dad says that if you want to be a warrior, you should be able to take care of business and not be afraid to speak the truth.”
“Oh, really? Is that why he’s hot and bothered for Arcadia here?” Kar Yee tossed an accusatory glance my way. She was well aware that honesty wasn’t one of my strong suits.
“Probably,” Jupe confirmed. “My dad says he likes her so much that if she kicked him in the balls, he’d just thank her.”
Psst… Jenn will be here with a “scandalous tell-all” interview this coming Thursday, April 19th. Be sure to come by and check it out!