Friday, July 26, 2013

Book 92: Industrial Magic

Picking up a few months after Dime Store Magic, Paige, Lucas and Savannah are living in Portland, Oregon.  Lucas continues to do pro-bono lawyer work in defiance of his father, the CEO of the Cortez Cabal (think head of the most important mob but run by sorcerers and employing supernaturals), while Paige attempts to start a coven of her own.  However, she is rather lacking in success, and part of it is due to her boyfriend being a sorcerer (sorcerers and witches are portrayed as enemies in this series) and her ward being the daughter of a witch with a reputation for practicing dark magic.
While Lucas has been trying to protect Paige from family politics, she gets pulled in when his father Benicio visits their apartment in Portland.  Someone is targeting the children of Cabal employees, and Benicio would like to hire Paige or Lucas to investigate, and is also concerned for their safety.  Despite initial hesitations, Paige and Lucas are drawn into the investigation, and spend a large part of the book in Miami, the Cortez headquarters.  Cortez is not the only Cabal that has been targeted, and working with the other Cabals raises some issues, especially since one of them played such a prominent role in the previous novel, and Savannah's custody case.
After Dime Store Magic, this one is very much action packed, and very quickly paced.  So far Armstrong has done a very good job in the series balancing between new and old characters without distracting from the plot.  Of course, I don't think this was an issue for Charlaine Harris, either, until further into the Stackhouse series, but I hope that Armstrong can keep up that balance.  As a result, Elena and Clay make small appearances as babysitters and back-up, the book gives more insight into Cassandra, the vampire rep on the interracial council, and introduces the readers to Jamie Vegas (who actually was already mentioned in an earlier novel) and Lucas's family.  Even better, while there is a lot of flirting between Lucas and Paige and implications of sex, the awkward scene from their last novel is not repeated.
I'm having a lot of fun with this series so far, and would definitely recommend reading the books.  Dime Store Magic was the slowest one so far, but they have all been good, fun reads and Armstrong does a very good job of expanding her universe and building on previous story lines without making it overwhelming.  The next one up is Haunted, and I think after that, there may be another Elena focused novel so I'm looking forward to that.  However, I have warmed to Paige as she has developed and matured over the last three novels, and her character just continues to improve.

No comments: