Cursed Moon: Prospero's War: Book Two by Jaye Wells

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Cursed Moon: Prospero's War: Book Two by Jaye Wells

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ani Johnson
Reviewed by Ani Johnson
Summary: Prospero's War Book 2 is just as much The Wire mixed with NCIS mixed with good urban fantasy as Book 1 was but more explosively so. Kate Prospero develops as a person but Jaye still doesn't stint on excitement and suspense. Great stuff!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: August 2014
Publisher: Orbit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0356503028

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It's now six weeks since Kate Prospero saved her brother Danny's life by cooking the illegal dirty magic antidote to her Uncle Abe's poisonous recipe. Abe is safely in prison but Kate, as an MEA cop trained to track and punish practitioners of dirty magic, now has a secret. There are also other matters clawing at her mind. A series of thefts and murders is disrupting Babylon, causing it to become more dangerous by the day - and that's saying something! Indeed as the Halloween new moon approaches the murder and mayhem will increase. Meanwhile Kate is discovering even older secrets than hers which cause her to question everything she's been brought up to believe.

Once again acclaimed American fantasy author Jaye Wells translates research from her local police department into another Kate Prospero novel. Indeed the care Jaye takes is almost tangible in this second of her urban fantasy police procedurals after the equally gritty Dirty Magic. This time not only are we entranced by the MEA at work, we also realised just how layered Kate herself actually is.

Although Kate is Danny's sister, their age difference leads to a virtual mother/son relationship. Kate therefore carries all the guilt that a non-9-till-5-job imposes on a parent, along with the guilt she feels for embracing illegality, albeit in a good cause. In that case we also add a layer of guilt for her not revealing it to her dirty magic recovery group and this is without even accounting for her feelings on being blackmailed by her former lover/society pillar John Volos. (Yes, read the first book first!) All we can do is watch vicariously as Jaye peels the psychological layers back to demonstrate a woman on the edge.

Meanwhile in the day job we have the opportunity to see her police partnership with Morales mature. He still expects Kate to romantically crumble at his feet someday (careful what you wish for Morales!) while developing a respect for her abilities. Baba, neighbour and surrogate grandparent/factotum also develops as Kate has to learn what true friendship is and what it isn't.

Baddie-wise, as well as the chap who strews the streets of Babylon with passion and gore by turns (very much gore), we also spend more time with nasty hermaphrodite Aphrodite Johnson. He's no relation but I can't help liking her/him. Come on, who at some time in their life hasn't wanted a poison-filled revenge garden? It could sort out a lot more than just the slugs!

Jaye manages to leave us with some interesting things to muse over while we await Book 3. Not only are we surprised by Kate's ultimate discoveries, John Volos' may not be all he appears… or is he? Whatever the resulting revelations turn out to be, I hope he survives them. This is a consistently good series and he's just one of the ingredients that ensure I'm counting the days till Deadly Spells, Book 3 in the saga. Indeed, right now February 2015 seems so far away!

(Thank you so much to the good people at Orbit for providing us with a copy for review.)

Further Reading: Goes without saying that Dirty Magic is top of the list but I'll say it anyway. If you've read this, meet another urban fantasy denizen, Felix Castor.

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Buy Cursed Moon: Prospero's War: Book Two by Jaye Wells at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cursed Moon: Prospero's War: Book Two by Jaye Wells at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Cursed Moon: Prospero's War: Book Two by Jaye Wells at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cursed Moon: Prospero's War: Book Two by Jaye Wells at


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