Kindling the Moon, (Arcadia Bell 1) ,Jenn Bennett Review from jeannie zelos book reviews I love a good paranormal mystery, especially when there's a romantic angle to it. I'd had this one on my list of To Be Read for a while – you know, that list of books you want to read at some point...when there's time..and money! Then the fourth one came up on Netgalley for review and I had that and loved it. I knew from the quality ot the writing and plots that this would be a long time favourite series for my keepers file, and when I was offered the earlier novels for review I jumped at the chance.
So, the story starts with us being introduced to the major character Aracdia ( Cady) busy at work in her part owned Tiki bar...busy as always, serving drinks and keeping the peace between humans and earthbounds. Earthbounds being descendants of demons from generations back. To humans they look like humans, and many marry and never let their demon side be known – but its there, and Cady's bar is one of the few where all are welcome. Cady herself doesn't have demon blood but does have some special magical abilities. Then comes the shocking news her parents aren't dead after all, and the FBI – among others – are looking for them in connection with a gruesome series of murders. Cady knows they're not dead, for the past seven years she's been in hiding too, under a false name and background and had little to no contact with them. Now she needs to prove their innocence to one of the main magical societies or face giving her own life up. She teams up with Lon, an earthbound. He seems surly when they first meet but when we learn more about him, and his teen son Jupe, we see he's not like that at all. He and Cady dance around their attraction for a while but then...sparks fly and they're a great team. Lots of “first” novels suffer from trying too hard to introduce characters and plots, and it gets overcomplicated and difficult to follow the story, but Jenn has done this perfectly – the characters are fairly limited – just the main ones focussed on, and the secondary ones there but kept back, and that allowed me to really get to know Cady, Lon and Jupe. I feel they're a great trio, and work really well together. The plots were perfect, one major one but lots of minor detours along the way keeping the story fresh and interesting, and allowing Lon and Cady to showcase their talents. So many books have just one simplistic plot and then fluff out the story with irrelevancies just to add content, but this one – it's one of those that has so much detail, keeps the reader rivetted to the page ( or screen!) and doesn't need to add superfluous padding. Every plot and little incident is relevant, and I love the challenge of trying to spot when things will turn out to be of major importance even though at first sight they seem innocous. It's a great read, a terrific first in series and I'm really looking forward to the rest, even though I've already read the final ( fourth) book. I'm one of those readers who love to re read favourite books, and especially when I've a whole series to go through. Stars: Five – a fabulous book.
Cady has spent 7 years in hiding since her parents were accused of murder and they faked their own deaths. Alone and on the run Cady has to keep her identity a secret so although she has friends she always keeps part of herself back from others. When her parents are caught on camera and the world realises they are not dead Cady is faced with a difficult task, she must prove their innocence or she will be forced to pay for their alleged crimes herself. With the only witness an ancient demon that Cady has no idea how to find she is going to have to trust demonologist Lon with her secrets and hope that he can help her. Can they track the demon down in time to save her parents?
Kindling the Moon is an impressive debut novel and one of the best starts to an urban fantasy series that I've read in a long time. It kept me up until gone 3am two nights in a row and I could easily have read the book in a day if I'd had more time. Author Jenn Bennett has created an interesting world where demons live amongst us, only identifiable by a coloured halo that most humans are unable to see. She smoothly tells us about this world through Cady's eyes and manages to do this in a way that hooks you without sending you into overload with massive info dumps that can sometimes be a downfall in first books of a new series.
Cady is a great character and one I'm looking forward to seeing more of. She is a trained magician and part owner of a demon friendly tiki bar where she works as a bartender come bouncer. Cady isn't the kind of heroine who goes looking for trouble, she is happy with her quiet life and although she keeps her secrets close to her chest she obviously cares about her friends. She is aware of her own strengths and weaknesses and isn't afraid to admit when she has made a mistake. While she doesn't ask for trouble she is capable enough of dealing with things when they are thrown at her and she will do whatever it takes to keep the people she cares about safe.
Lon was an interesting character, again not the standard male lead in urban fantasy but very likable all the same. He is shy, reclusive and not very good at expressing his feelings but was still someone you'd like to spend time with. I have to admit that Lon's son Jupe was one of my favourite characters in the book, he is a very realistic teenager and one you can't help but love. The family dynamics were great and I enjoyed watching Cady as she gets to know them both better. It has been so long since she has had people who she can trust with her secrets so it is good for her to have someone to rely on.
Kindling the Moon had everything I look for in a good story - characters I like and can relate to, a believable romance, plenty of action, good world building, laugh out loud moments and some pretty evil bad guys. Jenn Bennett is definitely an author to watch out for and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future. I can't wait for the next installment!
New authors have a lot to prove with their debut, after all you never get a second chance to make a first impression so they tend to come out swinging. Some are heavy hitters, some are all bravado and some punch well above their weight. Of the three, Jenn Bennett definitely fits into the last category as this debut is one of the most spectacular of the year to date. There's a lead character who has emotional as well as literal demons to deal with in this fast paced action packed outing.
Add to this a lead character who whilst not the all action girl that many authors like to go for, certain knows how to protect herself to a certain degree but isn't above asking others for help as dark secrets from her own past emerge to be dealt with in the cold light of day. Finally add to this some wonderful prose, great dialogue and a good helping of sleight of hand which overall makes for a very pleasing title, especially when you consider this a debut, it's going to be a very interesting ride for this new author and I'll await the next book with eager anticipation.
I understand that this ebook is the debut novel from this author - well I now have an author that I will follow through the series like The Rachel Morgan and October Daye series. Again the other reviewers have given a very good synopsis of the story, it has romance, magic, betrayal which all blend into this story that flows along at a steady pace. This is a book that I shall certainly read again at a later date.
It’s always great to find a new series of books to devour – especially when the British summer hasn’t lived up to it’s promise, and curling up with a good book on the sofa is not so much a choice, but a requirement.
The world building was superb, although a few of the names/words were hard to remember at times and were quite similar – maybe a key at the back would have helped for those of us with short attention spans.
From a writer’s perspective, the plot was sharp and the pacing great. It was just the right size of a book to get a great story in, without feeling like you’re tackling a tome. Arcadia was a great protagonist but I found myself not really wanting to her to get with the male lead , Lon. I’m not sure why I didn’t like him, but I just couldn’t warm to him and really felt she could do better. One of my biggest gripes of an urban fantasy series is when the main character latches onto to a romantic partner early on in the books and stays with them, as this then takes the question of romance out of all the books to come – so I’ll have to wait and see if that happens here…
The front cover is lovely, nice colours and has a certain vitality about it – although the lady on the front doesn’t quite match the description of Arcadia – in the book she’s describe as big hips and kind of ordinary.
Overall, I’d give Kindling the Moon 4 out of 5 stars, a fantastic start – if you’re looking for a new urban fantasy series to get your hands on, look no further.
Cady Bell is living under an assumed name working as a bartender is a bar she co-owns and practising magic. 7 years previously her parents were suspected of committing a series of murders. They and Cady went into hiding separately. Now her parents have been sighted and belonging to one of the 2 principal magical societies, both are negotiating over whether her parents should be tracked down and handed over to face judgment. Cady is trying to prove their innocence and avoid a magical war. Assistance is provided by Lon Butler an Earthbound demon with an empathetic gift. This is a world inhabited by magicians and demons, the latter are human in appearance and character but usually with some handy talent. And they have a halo but only other demons and Cady can see those. I really enjoyed this book and read it far too quickly. The writing flows easily and the main protagonists are entertaining and real. You root for Cady and Lon and for their relationship. Just a shame the next in the series isn't out for a while. I recommend. Reminded me of rachel Morgan series though this is a simpler structure and read.
I've been reading Urban fantasy for a little over a year now, and what an enjoyable year. But this is hands down the best 1st book in a series I've read. I love series but I admit that 1st books can sometimes lack a little because of the amount of world building which has to be done, and thats fine as usually they get better and better. But this starts off fabulous and I think it just about sits up there in my top 3 series now.
Arcadia, or Cady as we get to know her is a bar owner although not an ordinary one by any means! She lives in a world where some demons are a lot like humans, just with a something little extra, different for each one. Her bar caters to demons. That on its own is entertaining enough but Cady is something else, something that we get to discover more about as time goes on. We get to meet a few other characters, most notably Lon and his son Jupiter, or Jupe. How I loved these two! I can close my eyes and picture them all and its just so real! I believed every single word of it. The story is so incredibly well written you don't have to read it, you breath it in.
If you've not tried urban fantasy before then this is an excellent starter point and if you have then get reading! I promise you you won't be disappointed.
I love Arcadia, Lon and Jupe. I would class Jenn Bennett up there with Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison in writing skills. Now I want all the following books. The magic is a bit different and the demons more believable. The twists and turns in the story were good. All good characters need a few chapters to get to know them but I knew within the first chapter I knew and would grow to love Arcadia.
This was a bit different to the usual paranormal (you know, vampires and werewolves). This was demons and magicians - and I found it a nice change. The world is well created and the whole book was well written and free of stacks of typo's and other errors (which is a real gripe to me normally). I found myself liking Arcadia and Lon and I liked the third main character Jupe, who adds that extra something to the story. I liked the way the relationship between the characters developed. I enjoyed it so much that I read it obsessively for hours until I finished it. I've already downloaded the next one and am looking forward to seeing what happens next
What an amazing first book. I read a lot of urban fantasy and I can honestly say this is one of the best. The setting and characters are wonderful and its unusual to have a teenager as one of the main characters, don't let this put you off he's great .Plenty of action and the dialogue is great. Can't wait for the next one.