Series: Prospero's War #2
Published by Orbit on August 12, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone's emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon's impact is especially strong for Kate who's wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.
After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.
The second in The Prospero’s War series, Cursed Moon finds good Detective Kate up to her eyeballs in satyrs, leprechauns and dirty magic. She’s now working with the Magic Enforcement Agency, leaving her beat cop shoes and bunions behind. Life should be good. But the massive guilt Kate feels over the forbidden dirty magic she cooked up in the first book is haunting her. The rush she got from cooking, the lying and shame she feels as she deals with the aftermath — it taints everything she does and every interaction she has, especially with the ones she loves.
One of the things I enjoy the most about this series is that, at its heart, it’s a police procedural. Kate and her partner, Morales, have a crime to solve and there’s no simple, magical way to solve it. They’ve got to hit the streets, to talk to the people, to investigate. Kate can’t just whip up a dirty potion and make everything better. In fact, doing that would make things worse.
There’s a lot of self-recrimination in this story. Kate hides her guilt under a gruff, sarcastic exterior, pushing everyone including her BFF Pen away, though they just want what’s best for her and to help. The fact that Kate’s brother, Danny, the kid she’s raised for years, has hit those jackass years and he’s doing his utmost to hit pretty much every button Kate has (he kind of bugged the crap out of me and I wanted to smack him upside the head on multiple occasions in this story). The overwhelming sense of guilt Kate feels throughout most of this story is, well, overwhelming. She’s constantly beating herself up over what she did — even though it *had* to be done to save her brother, her ex-lover and the city. But she doesn’t see that. She just sees that she fell off the dirty magic wagon and cooked. It gets a bit tedious, actually, but it does get resolved (thank goodness) and everyone gets to move forward.
I really like how the magic and mythology is woven into the very fabric of this world. Magic is accepted but also vilified. Dirty magic is bad but people still use the potions brewed up using it, much like drug and alcohol use in our mundane world. While I liked the first book in this series better, this story still cooked right along and kept me up late, reading. What I’m looking for in the next book is a little more Kate and John “Fucking” Volos time (or Morales…of course, Morales, for all his suave moves, might not be quite ready for Ms. Kate). Those two have wicked chemistry…and a lot of history.
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