Review: Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell #1)
June 28 2011
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Kick Ass Chick – Arcadia “Cady” Bell
A new urban fantasy series about a magician and daughter of accused serial killers who must clear their names—or pay for their crimes with her life.
Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
Kindling the Moon is the first book in Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series. There was a little bit of buzz surrounding this book a little while back. I saw the cover and thought “wow, stunning colors” and read the blurb. It sounded pretty interesting. So on a whim, I requested it. I was happy when the delivery man arrived at my door with it and was even more excited when I started reading it because it was a good read from the very beginning.
Arcadia is a very likable character. She is human, only ‘special’. She co-owns a bar that tends mostly to Earthbounds (demons that, you guessed it, live on Earth and who are essentially human except for their ‘knack’ – and they have halos, a pretty neat detail). She is also a magician with a strong talent for summoning the creepy demons that live on another plane. She has not had the easiest of life, being in hiding for most of it. But even with that, she does not act like a victim. I really liked that about her. She is clever, sassy and strong, but not without her vulnerabilities. She has a quick wit and a kind heart. She was a lot of fun to read and I am actually looking forward to reading more of her in future books.
Arcadia is very busy in Kindling the Moon. Not only does she have to work at her bar, but she also has to find evidence to prove her parents’ innocence, summon demons, send some imps back to where they came from, try some new spells, run away from crazy magicians and from rival magical societies, run away from crazy drunk demon freaks, get captured by crazy villains, get free from crazy villains *deep breath* and that’s not even all of it! Yup, she’s one busy gal. Oh, and she has to make out a few times with Lon. (Poor Arcadia – no, not really.)
When Arcadia is introduced to Lon, she quickly sees him as her only hope to clear her parents’ name and to achieve her goal of getting her family back and of having to stop hiding. Lon. He is described as being in his early forties with brown hair to his shoulders and a ‘pirate’ mustache and beard-line in the center of his chin (I totally pictured him as Johnny Depp with slightly lighter hair – YUM!) I liked him from the moment we meet him. Smart, sexy as hell, grounded, loyal…and an Earthbound. I won’t tell you what his knack is (you’ll have to read this book to find out) but I will tell you it adds to his and Arcadia’s relationship. It tests it and ultimately, I found, it made it stronger. It upped the amount of trust she had to give him.
I want to quickly talk about Jupe. Jupe is Lon’s thirteen year old son and he is a fun read. Always talking, really sweet and hyper to the max, he’s easy to like. Again, he adds an extra element to Arcadia and Lon’s relationship. And all of these things help make their coming-together more exciting and more believable.
The story in this book was really good. Very well told. Twists and turns you are in for a ride. It’s action but not exhausting to read action. It’s the good kind – the kind where just when you think things are figured out, you find out they aren’t and that there is another step to take care of. It never gets annoying though, it just makes it fun! And the magic in this book is cool. It’s well explained and very visually described.
Kindling the Moon is an excellent Urban Fantasy tale. A debut book that doesn’t have that ‘debut feel’. The pace is fantastic, the lead characters are charming, the villains are unexpected and cre-epy, the world is neat and the chemistry between Arcadia and Lon is off the charts! I am very excited about this series and I hope you will give this book a try. I really enjoyed it – all of it. It’s definitely worth a read.
Giggle worthy quotes
“’Come on Jupe,’ he said, ‘where are your manners?’
‘Huh? Oh, come inside. You’re letting flies in.’
‘Jupe,’ Lon chastised.
‘What? That’s what you always say.’
“’Are you on birth control?’
I froze, kneeling in front of the hearth. Several seconds ticked by before I answered.
‘I am. Is that your idea of seduction? Because if it is…’ I turned in place to face him.
He rose up on his knees and waited for me to finish, a merry glint in his eye.
‘Because if it is, ‘I repeated in a softer voice, ‘you kinda suck.’”
Books in the Arcadia Bell series
Kindling the Moon
Summoning the Night (summer 2012)
Oh, and p.s. Read. This. Book.