The second in a not-to-be-missed urban fantasy series about a freewheeling magician who slings drinks at a demon-friendly tiki bar.
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS.
After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no.
Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.
About the Author
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning visual artist. She is also the author of Kindling the Moon, Summoning the Night, Leashing the Tempest, and Binding the Shadows, the other works in her critically acclaimed series featuring irresistible heroine Arcadia Bell. She lives near Atlanta with her husband and two pugs.
Read an Excerpt
Jupe pinched himself on the arm and grinned from the passenger seat of my Volkswagen. “Yep, I definitely feel different.”
I swiped my monthly pass through the card reader at the parking garage entrance down the street from my bar. It buzzed in acceptance, and the gate’s striped barrier arm rose. “Well, you sure do look it,” I agreed, stowing the pass in a pocket on the sun visor.
“Different how?” Jupe tugged at one of the long espresso curls jutting out around his face. Like other Earthbound demons, his head and shoulders were crowned by a swirling halo of hazy light. His was an alluring spring green that matched his unusually pale eyes and gave off a lightning-bug luminescence in the shadowed interior of my car.
“You look older . . . more sophisticated,” I teased.
I rolled my eyes and pulled through the raised gate into the dark garage. “No.”
He punched me in the arm.
“Dammit, that hurt,” I complained in the middle of a laugh, rubbing my shoulder. “See if I ever give you anything again, you ungrateful punk.”
Jupe snickered as he stretched out long, wiry legs and examined the savings deposit receipt perched on his knee, thoughtfully tracing his finger along the indented ink. The deposit was for $15,000, originally in the form of a check, made payable to me from Caliph Superior, the leader of my esoteric organization back in Florida. The money was payment for the black-market glass talon Jupe’s father, Lon, had bought to help me out a few weeks ago. My magical order was rolling in dough, so I didn’t feel guilty that they had offered to reimburse Lon. But when he refused their check, I couldn’t keep the money for myself, so the only logical solution was give it to his son . . . while Lon was away in Mexico on a three-day photo shoot. Sneaky? Sure. But if you’re going to lie to Lon, you have to do it while he’s away on business. Otherwise he’ll just sense it before you can make it out the door. Jupe taught me that trick. He should write a book, How to Outsmart an Empath. The boy has skills.
But who knew giving money to an underage kid would be so hard? Jupe and I spent almost an hour arguing with tellers inside my credit union: no, I did not want to put it in some giftable trust fund that Jupe couldn’t touch until he was twenty-one. He already had a fat college fund and enough bonds and CDs to start a third-world country.
Problem was, the credit union didn’t allow minors on a joint savings account without a parent or legal guardian cosigning, and I was neither. Girlfriend of the Boy’s Father didn’t qualify, apparently. The branch manager couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t wait until Lon was back in town to get his signature. I wasn’t about to tell the manager that Lon would refuse—which he would. After a blue-faced argument, the manager finally, inexplicably, gave in.
“By the way, I know you still don’t believe me,” Jupe said as he snooped inside the glove compartment, “but I really did do it. Me. I got the manager to make an exception and let us open the account.”
God, he really wasn’t going to give that a rest. I swatted his hand away from the glove compartment and steered the car down the ramp to the next parking level; the Metropark garage sticks the monthlies in the dregs on the bottom floor. “You’re a charmer, don’t get me wrong.” And he was. Witty, geek-smart, almost annoyingly outgoing, and well on his way to becoming drop-dead gorgeous. Just yesterday he bragged that he’d overheard some girl in his class referring to him as “totally hot.” Did I mention he was cocky?
“I’m serious, Cady. I concentrated with my mind and twisted his thoughts around. I think it’s my”—he leaned over the armrest and spoke in a lower voice, as if someone could hear us outside the car—“knack.”
Knack. Slang for a preternatural ability possessed by an Earthbound demon. Most Earthbounds have one, but many knacks fall short of spectacular. A little foresight here, a little nighttime vision there. A whole hell of a lot of psychokinetics, most of them no more than bland party entertainment, unable to lift anything heavier than a freaking spoon a couple inches off the table. Don’t get me wrong: the occasional impressive ability does exist. I’ve met Earthbounds who could pick a lock with a touch, and others who could curse your unborn child. Those weren’t exactly commonplace, though.
“You’re crazy,” I said, waiting for another car to back out. A large, sparkling jack-o’-lantern clung to the top of its antenna—less than two weeks to Halloween. “For starters, you’ve got a couple more years before your demonic ability will start expressing. And second, you’ll inherit it from your mom or dad. It’s genetic, you know—you don’t just get a new ability out of thin air.”
“I know all that,” Jupe complained. “Who’s the demon here, me or you?”
“You are. I’m mere human.” Well, human magician with a few extra skills, but still human.
“Yeah, and I got the stupid ‘knack’ speech with the ‘birds and the bees’ from my dad when I was eight.”
“Poor, poor Lon,” I murmured. The car windows were fogging up; it was going to rain. I turned the defroster on and cranked up the compressor fan.
“All I’m saying is that I know about what’s supposed to happen. But I’m telling you, Cady, I can make people do things. I can get inside their minds and change their thoughts.”
“Pfft. I’ve never even heard of a knack like that.” Well, Lon could influence thoughts when he was amped up into his transmutated demon state, but that’s nothing Jupe knew about, or would ever know. Not from me, anyway. Besides, Lon’s influence was temporary, and he had to be touching the person. Plus, it was more common for the inherited knack to be weaker than the parents’, not stronger.
“I think my knack is like”—he paused, as if he knew what he was about to say was going to sound ridiculous, but he just couldn’t stop himself—“a Jedi mind trick.”
“Dream on.” I shot him a sidelong glance as he snuck a couple fingers just beneath the waistband of his jeans and scratched—vigorously, with a teeth-gritting, pained look on his face. That was the third time today I’d caught him scratching. “What the hell is wrong with you? You have ants in your pants?”
He scratched harder and groaned. “I’ve got an injury.”
Dear God, have mercy. I held up my hand to stop him from saying more, waving away any mental images before they had a chance to pop into my head. “I don’t even want to know.”
Affronted, he made a face at me. “Not there. It’s . . . nothing. Never mind.”
No need to tell me twice. He could discuss it with the school nurse or his dad. Not my job description. I promptly changed the subject. “So, what was all that jibber-jabber earlier about you wanting an Eldorado?”
He’d talked the branch manager’s ear off, telling him what he was going to do with the savings account. Jupe swore to the guy—who couldn’t have a given a rat’s ass—that he wouldn’t touch his new money until he turned fifteen and could apply for a driver’s learning permit, and buy a car. That’s right: a year from now this ADHD mess of a boy would be plowing down the same roads I drove on. Heaven help us all.
“Umm, Super Fly, duh. The Cadillac Eldorado is only one of the greatest cars in movie history—the original pimpmobile.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Driven by Youngblood Priest, played by Ron motherfucking O’Neal.”
I didn’t even bother to curtail his obscenity-rich language anymore. Getting honey out of a hornet would be easier. When I was his age, my parents would’ve slapped me for talking like that. Then again, my parents turned out to be evil, power-hungry serial killers, so what did they know? I mean, these were the people accused of murdering the leaders of rival occult organizations when I was seventeen. They swore they were innocent, and because I believed them, they were able to persuade me to assume a fake identity, separate from them, and hide from the FBI for seven years. When they resurfaced a couple of months ago, Lon tried to help me prove their innocence, but we discovered that they actually had murdered several people and were planning to kill one more: me. They’d conceived me during some crazy sex ritual that granted me the title of Moonchild and enhanced magical abilities that lay dormant inside me until I turned twenty-five—and they wanted to steal those abilities through ritual sacrifice. But I escaped and they were spirited away by a demon into the Æthyr, where, I hope, karma bit them both in the ass.
So, yeah, compared to them, Lon was parent of the year. That’s why I just stuck to the Butler house rule: no swearing around strangers. Unless Jupe was making an ass of himself in public, he could knock himself out.
“Yuck,” I complained. “Didn’t Boss Hog drive an Eldorado in the Dukes of Hazzard?”
His wince told me that I was right.
“Anyway, I seriously doubt your dad’s going to go for a pimpmobile.”
He clicked the release on his seat belt several times. “Then how about a 1977 Firebird Trans-Am?”
The boy was obsessed. He knew the make and model of every car produced in the last fifty years—at least the ones featured in movies or on TV.
“Oh, hell no,” I said. “Not a Trans-Am.”
“That’s the Bandit’s car. What’s wrong with that?”
I puffed my cheeks out and made a puking noise.
“Hey, you’re talking about Burt—”
“Yes, I know. Burt motherfucking Reynolds. Put your seat belt on, Snowman—we’ve still got two more levels to go.”
He refastened the buckle. “Holy shit! I’ve never been this far down underground. There’d better be an elevator. This looks like the kind of place where you get stabbed and left for dead.”
Ugh. Tell me about it. Parking here was the worst part of owning my bar, but it was better than leaving my car on the street. I once had my window broken and my car stereo stolen while parked in front of the bar. At least the garage had cameras and a guard on-premises 24/7.
“If I had to choose, I guess I’d go for the Eldorado,” I said, trying to distract both of us from the sight of a homeless guy sleeping in a dark corner by one of the stairwells. “But I’m kinda doubting that fifteen thou is going to buy you one.”
“My dad knows a ton of car collectors. He’ll get me a deal.”
Mmm-hmm. Sure he would. We headed down the final ramp onto the monthlies’ level. I spotted a tight corner space, not too far from the elevator.
“We’re parking here?” Jupe asked, wiping away fog to peer out the window. “Gross.”
“Welcome to glamorous big-city life.”
“I bet the Snatcher would have a field day down in this dump.”
“The Sandpiper Park Snatcher,” he repeated, as if I were the dumbest person in the world. When I shook my head in confusion, he explained. “Some kid went missing in La Sirena a couple of days ago. Everyone at school says the Snatcher’s back.”
I grunted and warily glanced out the window. Leave it to me to get spooked by a teenager inside my own parking garage. “Look, you said you wanted to see my bar before it opens today.”
“I do, I do!” he confirmed, throwing off his seat belt.
“Then help me haul this shit out of the car and let’s get going before the rain starts.”
I popped the trunk as Jupe slammed his door shut and jogged around to meet me. The restaurant supply guy had screwed up our delivery yesterday, so that meant I had to take care of this weekend’s garnish supplies by tracking down mondo sacks of lemons, limes, oranges, and pineapples. Jupe and I made a quick trip to the wholesaler’s warehouse before the whole savings account fiasco earlier in the day. Along with the fruit, I let him pick out Halloween candy both for home and the bar, so we also had enough Tootsie Rolls, Pixy Stix, and severed gummy body parts to feed an army of demons.
While we unloaded the trunk, Jupe started in again about the Snatcher. In the oceanside Northern California town where he and Lon lived, this was apparently a local urban legend: a bogeyman whom no one had ever seen. When I pressed Jupe for details, all he could give me was a tangle of motley stories about young teenage Earthbounds who were picked off one by one at Halloween in the early ’80s.
Great. That was the last thing I wanted to think about. Several weeks had passed since Jupe had been held hostage and his arm broken, but those memories continued to send a familiar pang of guilt through my gut. And from the worry shading his eyes right now, I guessed he wasn’t all that keen on pondering the possibility of getting kidnapped again, either. Best not to talk about it.
“Smells like someone’s been pissing all over the walls,” Jupe complained, wrinkling his nose in disgust as we toted the bags of fruit and candy to the elevator.
“Someone probably has. Lots of someones.” I glanced over my shoulder and scanned the dirty garage. The concrete floor shook with the dull boom of a car on the level above us driving over speed bumps. Otherwise it was quiet. Usually was during the daytime on weekends. “Inhale through your mouth,” I suggested. “And stay sharp.”
He followed my instruction as I stopped in front of the elevator and used a knuckle to press the cracked plastic button to go up. I started to ask Jupe a question but was interrupted when something hit me in the shoulder, knocking me sideways. My cheek smacked into the concrete above the elevator button panel. Pain flared. A bag of limes fell out of my hand as Jupe yelled behind me.
“Against the wall! Move!” A man in a bright blue hoodie towered in front of us, his face shrouded in sharp slices of shadow under the dim garage lights. No halo, so he was human, not Earthbound. His blond hair was shaggily cropped. He carried a curved hunting knife in one hand and stood with his legs apart, bouncing on the toes of his tennis shoes, ready for a fight.
I dropped the other bag I was holding and backed into Jupe. The scrape on my cheek was on fire. My heart galloped frantically inside my chest.
“Money. Now!” the man shouted. As he did, his head shifted out of the shadows to reveal a mouthful of yellow, rotting teeth. Meth head, I assumed, pairing his dental issues with the twitchy way he moved. Not exactly a man in his prime, that’s for sure. On one hand, I might be able to take him down with a swift kick to his balls. Then again, I might get stuck with that dirty-ass knife.
“Credit cardth too,” the man added with a lisp, looking me over with nervous eyes. He turned the knife over in his hand and blinked rapidly. His erratic, drug-primed pulse was probably a few pumps away from causing his heart to explode. I wished I could will it along a little faster.
Jupe made a mewing noise behind me as his hands gripped the back of my jacket. I thought of the magical seals on my inner forearm, white ink tattoos etched into my skin. I could charge one of them to make Jupe and me seem to disappear, then we could run to the car and escape. But most of the seals require blood or saliva to activate—both rich with Heka, the magical energy needed to power spells—and my jacket sleeves were stiff. The meth addict could easily shiv me in the gut while I fumbled to get to the seals.
What else? Not enough time to break out a hunk of red ochre chalk and scribble out a spell, and I couldn’t very well knock the guy out with a sack of limes. There was my new ability, the so-called Moonchild power. The last time I’d used it, I’d given up my serial-killer parents to an ancient Æthyric demon in payment for their crimes. Not exactly something I wanted to dwell on . . . or remember at all, frankly. Regardless, the ability only worked on demons, and the man standing in front of us was human. So what the hell was I going to do?
“You got a wallet, boy?” the mugger asked.
“No way,” Jupe whispered in my ear. “I’m not giving him my money.”
“What did you say? You got money?” The man twisted his head around, scanning the garage as another car drove through the level above us.
I didn’t answer. Like Jupe said, no way.
“I don’t mind hurtin’ either one of you,” the man warned. “Eat or be eaten. A big, bad thtorm’s a-comin’. Can’t you feel it in the air?”
From the psychotic glint in his eyes, I didn’t think he was talking about the afternoon rain forecast. Stupid bastard was out of his ever-loving mind. Dirty, diseased, high, and crazy.
A fluorescent light shone above the elevator. I was going to have to shock him. Why was my last resort always my only option? Best not to kick a gift horse in the mouth, I supposed. Most mages would probably give their right arm to be able to kindle Heka like I could. My sensitivity threshold to electrical shock was pretty high. “Stay away,” I threatened, “or whatever god you pray to better help you, because I’m going to fry you to hell and back.”
“Say what?” He narrowed his eyes and visually searched me for a weapon.
I tapped into the electrical current. My skin tingled with the familiar flow of foreign energy as I spooled electricity into myself. No time to be gentle about it, so I pulled fast. Lights flickered. The descending elevator groaned in protest. Within a couple of seconds, my body hummed with enough charged Heka to shock the guy pretty badly. But I’d have to get close enough to touch him. The concrete floor was a poor conductor.
“Let go,” I growled through gritted teeth, trying to shake Jupe off. He was gripping my jacket like death and if he didn’t let go, I couldn’t do this. Without a caduceus staff to even out the release, it was going to hurt all of us when I let go of the kindled Heka.
The garage elevator dinged.
The mugger yelped and swiveled wildly, searching for the source of the sound.
The elevator doors parted.
“Police are coming! Run!” Jupe shouted near my ear. I jumped in surprise, nearly losing control of the Heka.
Spooked, the mugger cried out incoherently, turned on his heels, and fled from Jupe’s nonexistent police in the empty elevator car. We watched in disbelief as he raced his own heartbeat up the parking garage ramp toward the next level. As he barreled around the corner, a large blue minivan sped down the ramp and slammed on squealing brakes when Methbrain ran out in front of it. The disconcerting thump of metal on flesh echoed through the garage. Then the man’s body jerked and he crumpled on top of the minivan’s hood.
The doors to the elevator closed.
Unable to hold the Heka any longer, I shoved a shaking hand into my inner jacket pocket until my fingers wrapped around a pencil. I pushed Jupe away forcefully, then thrust the pencil into the concrete wall, releasing a substantial volt of charged Heka through the small graphite point. The wooden caduceus staves I normally used for magical work contained fat graphite cores that allow smooth releases of kindled energy. This puny pencil? Not so much. It immediately overloaded and shattered, wedging a yellow wooden splinter into my skin.
“Shit!” I stuck my injured finger in my mouth as a wave of post-magick nausea hit me and I swayed on my feet. The sound of car doors opening drew my attention to the minivan. Three people were running to help the meth head—but he popped up from the hood like an unkillable video game character, briefly shook himself, and tore off, further up the ramp and out of sight.
Jupe’s eyes were two brilliant circles of leafy green surrounded by white moons. “You okay?” I asked, putting my hands all over him like an overanxious soccer mom. Panicked thoughts of his needing another cast ran through my head.
“Whoa . . .” He was just shaken, but otherwise fine. His eyes darted between me and the minivan. “We almost got mugged.”
“Oh, God, Jupe. I’m so sorry.” I wrapped my arms around him. A dark laugh vibrated his shoulders. I released him to study his face. He wasn’t smiling.
“Do you believe me now?” he said. “I did that, Cady. Like I convinced the manager at the credit union.”
He shook his head, dismissing my lack of belief, then said firmly, “I just made that mugger believe the cops were coming.”
What People are Saying About This
"Jenn Bennett has created another amazing novel filled with strong characters, magical surprises, and quirky humor.
“Debut author Jenn Bennett takes the familiar ideas of magic, demons, and mythology, and she gives us something sexy, fun, and genuinely unique in Kindling the Moon. Arcadia Bell is a sassy, whip-smart addition to the growing pantheon of urban fantasy heroines, and Bennett an author to watch!”
“Kindling the Moon rocks like AC/DC on Saturday night. This book has it all: great writing, action, romance, a strong heroine, a unique hero, and the best teenager ever. I can’t wait for the next one.”
“A great off-beat debut novel with a likeable heroine and a fun, original storyline.”
“Kindling the Moon engaged me from page one. I loved it! I immediately adored the heroine, Arcadia Bell. This book is packed from cover to cover with unpredictable twists, heart-pounding action, and heated sexual tension.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First of all, if you haven't checked out Kindling the Moon.. you should. The world building is solid, the cast of characters are engaging, and the story moves at a good pace. I am a huge fan of the fact that I think the story is pretty visual. I can *see* the world the author is describing, or rather, I don't have problems conjuring up an image in my head. Bennett does a fantastic job with making Cady very believable and realistic. She has issues and insecurities with her relationship with the sexy demon, Lon Butler. With all the supernatural elements that take place within an urban fantasy, imo, having something that grounds the book with issues that are commonplace make it all the more remarkable. Summoning the Night begins with a mystery that opens up more avenues in Arcadia Bell's world. This second novel is better than the first, when you think you have the villain, D'oh, try again! Though the novel also introduces a very unlikable character and I absolutely cannot wait to see where that particular interaction may head. I will just mention the teenage element briefly. Jupiter Butler, by far, is one of my favorite characters in urban fantasy that I've read in a long while. Funny, but with smart ass tendencies and the vulnerabilities of a teenager. The writing moves quickly, yet is easy to follow. Imaginative and visual.. Jenn Bennett creates a hell of a world and I absolutely cannot wait to see what's in store for Arcadia Bell!!
I adore Arcadia Bell. Full stop. With this book, author Jenn Bennett creates a wonderful follow-up to her debut novel, Kindling the Moon. This series is a unique, complex, and fun addition to the urban fantasy genre. And it is a definite auto-buy for me.My favorite part of the Arcadia Bell series is the cast of main characters. Arcadia is smart, funny, and multilayered. On one hand she is a tough and independent woman, a powerful magician that is just starting to understand her newfound and profound powers. One the other hand, she is wounded and vulnerable, just coming off a dramatic and hurtful realization about her parents, and starting to find her footing in her newly adopted family of her boyfriend Lon Butler, and his son, Jupe. Lon is a forty-something single father, almost 20 years older than Arcadia, and with a complicated past. Jupe is biracial and motherless. He and Arcadia share a common bond in that their mothers weren¿t, well, very motherly (understatement alert). These are complicated characters that continue to develop in this second book. And their conflicts are real. Not manufactured. The May-September romance between Lon and Arcadia produces very real doubts for her about the future of their relationship. She also feels a certain amount of fear about her new family. Having come from one that was not close, she starts to feel the weight of responsibility that comes with being a part of Lon and Jupe¿s lives. These are issues that are based in the real world and that are relatable. They are not supernatural problems, but problems that can be complicated by the supernatural. And I appreciate the primary focus on character development as we see Arcadia and friends grow, and their futures together become more complex.And speaking of futures, I do hope Lon and Arcadia are in it for the long haul. With the introduction of a new character, Hajo, I feel a further complication surfacing. But Lon and Arcadia are officially my favorite UF couple. Their chemistry is palpable and sexy. And it makes me smile. Here is just one example of the wonderfully flirtatious banter between the two after Arcadia has found a picture of Lon when he was a teenager: ¿There¿s several photo albums¿ worth of the same thing at home,¿ he said.¿You promise?¿He nodded and gave up the fight, returning his attention to the pile of papers in front of him. ¿I can¿t believe Jupe hasn¿t forced them on you already.¿¿Any from the time you were in the seminary?¿ I asked.¿That sexy Jesus thing again?¿ he teased without looking up. ¿You¿re a filthy girl, you know that?¿ I think it¿s this kind of humor that makes the Arcadia Bell world fun. There are also fantastic pop cultural references that make me laugh: ¿It¿s just that getting someone¿s name tattooed on you is like a death sentence,¿ I finally said. ¿There¿s a good chance you¿re going to end up with a tattoo that you¿ve got to get changed from Winona to Wino.¿ And Jupe. I really think Bennett channeled her inner teenage boy to hit the right note with him. And he is fantastic. The relationship with his father is a unique one and I love moments like these when discussing a Halloween ride: ¿Is it scary?¿ I asked. ¿I¿m not a fan of people jumping out at me.¿¿Nah, it¿s kind of lame.¿ His eyes darted to the side.¿That¿s not what you said three years ago,¿ Lon said.¿I was just a kid, and thanks for bringing that up, assbag.¿¿Father Assbag,¿ Lon calmly corrected. There is also a solid mystery here. Children of Hellfire Club members are being abducted which is similar to a series of abductions and murders that happened years earlier. Arcadia is called on to use her powerful skills to help track down the killer before more children lose their lives. While the killer definitely pinged my radar, the accomplices and the reason behind the kidnappings were a surprise. Finally, Bennett sets up a good premise for the third book with the tempting Hajo, Arcadia¿s past coming back to haunt h
I greatly enjoyed the first book, but I have to say I think this second book is even better.Arcadia (Cady) Bell¿no this isn¿t her real name, but she¿s still hiding her identity from most¿is a little taken back when Ambrose Dare, the head of the Hellfire Club, tells her she has to find The Snatcher, the name given to an individual who kidnapped seven children thirty years ago and the kids were never found. Kids belonging to members of the Hellfire Club are once again disappearing and it¿s believed they are needed for some ritual that will take place on Halloween. Cady wants nothing to do with the Hellfire Club which caters to Earthbound demons after what she witnessed in the last book, but she can¿t deny the kids, especially since Lon¿s son, Jupe, could be a target.Lon Butler, an expert in demonology and an Earthbound demon himself, of course helps in the investigation to discover who the Snatcher is. He and Cady have gotten very close and it finally hits home for Cady that with Jupe and Lon, she¿s part of a family.There¿s plenty of action, suspense, magic, humor, morals and emotions in this story. The magical situations they find themselves in are interesting. The world and character building are well-done and this series can easily rival some of the more well known series in the Urban Fantasy genre.Fourteen year-old Jupe adds a lot to the story. Not just his very likeable character, but the very dangerous ¿knack¿ it turns out that he has, all the while teetering back and forth emotionally between teen and child. His ¿knack¿ or gift is something that could easily be abused, and he¿s at least a year younger than most Earthbounds to learn what his knack is, adding to the fear that it¿s too much for someone so young.Cady doesn¿t yet know the extent of her abilities and doesn¿t really want to find out. It scares her, but when they¿re in danger, will use what she can while not understanding what she can do. Again, it sounds like the Moonchild Magic, which makes her the most powerful magician she knows of, could easily be misused if Cady didn¿t have the morals she does. Still, there¿s a lot to learn.This author and series has been added to my watch-for-the-next-book list.
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyLook out Mercy, Rachel, and Sookie, the urban fantasy genre has a fierce new heroine in Arcadia Bell! Bartender and magician Cady made her mark on the genre with 2011¿s KINDLING THE MOON and with SUMMONING THE NIGHT she is rightly taking her place alongside some of the big names. The worldbuilding full of magic and Earthbound demons is refreshing and exciting, the pace relentless, the romance subdued and sizzling in turn, and the characters engaging and oh so likeable.Speaking of likeable, yes, Cady is an amazing protagonist who is smart and brave but not at the expense of common sense, and yes, her love interest Lon is a stone cold fox who looks like a rakish pirate and can transform into full on Hellboy mode when the need arises (and happily it does plenty of times in SUMMONING THE NIGHT), but the character who most completely stole my heart is the one I expected to like the least: Lon¿s fourteen year old son Jupe.I¿m generally not a fan of kids (especially teenagers) in urban fantasy, mostly because in my experience they tend to be little more than annoying, wannabe comedy relief characters who cause more problems then they solve. Adam¿s daughter in the Mercy Thompson series and Charlie¿s daughter in the Charlie Madigan series are two exceptions, and I¿m thrilled to add Jupe to the top of that list. The kid is funny and smart and a little bit of a punk in a truly endearing way. Far from hindering the scenes he was in, he made them better.My love for Jupe carried over the debut, and my only tiny criticism is that once again I thought the identity of the villain was a tad too obvious as soon as they were introduced. I do wish there had been a few less hints until later on so that the revelation could have had more impact. But unlike the debut, I was genuinely afraid while reading this time. The stakes were sky high and suitably dire. I¿ve become so invested in the main character trio that I was completely invested in their fate. There was some groundwork set up for the next Arcadia Bell book (BINDING THE SHADOWS due out in Spring 2013) that I¿m equal parts apprehensive and excited to find out what happens next.Sexual Content: One sex scene
Summoning the Night, An Arcadia Bell Novel , Jenn Bennet Review from jeannie zelos book reviews Well, I'm loving this series, its got everything that ticks my boxes. Paranormal, magic, supernatural creatures, and a cracking story. The opening series was a five star for me, and to be honest this one is even better if that's possible...I'm settled in Cady's world now, understand her background more, love Lon and his dry wit and humour, and as for Jupe :-) that boy makes so much of the series,he's a real star performer. Grandson number one is 15 – similar age to Jupe – and just the same motormouth, he has no filters and you're never sure whats coming out. Jupe to a T! Recently had his phone stolen while swimming with friends ( next to a “ danger no swimming sign” - see – he's a real life Jupe!) Police asked him for info as the kids had an encounter with some characters driving by at same time – did he give make and model of car? No. desciption of men? No. All he came out with was one of them had a small c ock....mum was mortified. Can you imagine the ID parade?? Anway, back to the book – poor Cady, life is never normal for her. She's still got to keep her background undercover from the Law, even though her parents who were the guilty ones are now banished to demon realm...how can you tell police that? So she's trying to get on with life, run her bar and then...she gets caught up in the search for missing children, a repeat of a 30 year old crime locally. Of course it's one prolonged ride of adventure and danger....and I love the way seemingly innocuous things turn out to be important later. It's that clever setting up of clues and hints of what's going to happen that make this book so special. Great writing, a real treat to read and of course one to keep for re reading. Stars: 5 – another fabulous adventure. NB: I was supplied with paperback for review but...eye problems mean the text is too small fopr me to read and it's such a great series that I bought the kindle version ( adjustable text size) myself knowing its one I want to keep for re reading.
This second book in the series made me want to read the first, so after reading Kindling the Moon I was ready for action. When you read other reviews on Goodreads and Amazon they all talk about how amazing the love between Lon and Arcadia is. I have to say they’re completely 100% right! My gosh! It’s like a match made in heaven. Both of them have each other’s backs and they act like they’ve been married for quite some time. They work as a team, not individually. Lon’s son, Jupe, is also a wonderful character. Almost all the time teenagers in books are moody, have some sort of war with their parent, and have so much angst you just want to skip those parts. In this book, it was a wonderful relief to see how nice and caring he is. No tantrums or “I hate you get away from me whaaaaa!” that makes readers roll their eyes. The plot moved at a great pace; nothing was too fast or too slow. I do have to give ONE criticism. During the book, Arcadia has some “oops” moments that make me want to take her by the shoulders and shake her. It’s not fair for me to say because the actions she takes have a back-story, but it still was annoying. Also, the mystery aspect was kind of off. The readers know who the bad guy is within a few chapters, so if you’re looking for a huge twist you’ll already know it before anyone says anything. Don’t get me wrong, there are twists, but the biggest one was a let down. What steals the book are the characters… watching them grow is exciting to see and I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Bennett is an amazing author and I became a huge fan!
An Enjoyable Read Brought to you by OBS reviewer Verushka Arcadia Bell is back! And so is Lon and Jupiter and the Hellfire Club, in this the second of the series by Jenn Bennett. The book opens with Arcadia firmly a part of Lon and Jupiter’s life, to the extent that her boyfriend has no qualms about leaving his son with her while he is away on a shoot. As a result, we are treated to some Jupiter/Arcadia time which goes a long way to showing most effectively how much a part of his life he is, and how he trusts her. One thing their relationship highlighted for me in the beginning and during the rest of the book is how effortlessly Arcadia has been adopted into Lon and Jupiter’s life. Part of me wonders if,as a reader, I’ve missed on seeing how they came to trust her and wants a little more angst, but there are too many books that can provide that. What I like about this series is that Arcadia has to learn how not to be a loner, and I confess the trials and tribulations of a supernatural couple bringing up a supernatural son in an incredibly normal surroundings is far more interesting and provides an interesting source of conflict. In this title, Jupiter develops his “knack”, his power as the child of two supernatural beings and it is the ability to make people do what he wants. Something dangerous in the hands of a teenager, no matter how hard the parents try to teach him to do better. In this book, Jupiter is still a very young teen, so I expect and hope things change for the interaction between the three as a family is far more interesting than if Arcadia was angsting over a possible love interest. The book begins with and maintains a fast pace, in keeping with the premise of this novel – children are being snatched, very much like children were thirty-something years ago in the town and the pacing emphasises the fear every adult has for the safety of their child. The HellFire Club asks Lon and Arcadia to look into the case and the action moves quickly, with tightly written prose. Suffice it to say, the case is long and winding and Arcadia is forced to use her MoonChild power, the same power her parents essentially bred her for and tried to kill her for. She begins afraid of it, but by the end of the book, she is more in tune with the power than she might care to admit. Her greatest fear is that she will turn out like her parents, and Jupiter too is a catalyst for bringing that fear out in her. The only thing I am unsure about is the speed with which Arcadia falls under the thumb of the head of the HellFire Club, Dare, the same man who hires her to search for the missing children. On the one hand, I can understand the need for an antagonist for Arcadia as she is firmly settled in her bar and her town. How often can new people come into town to give her a case to solve? But, then again, people can come into town, asking for her help. She cannot exactly build a reputation if she wants to keep her identity safe, but the way in which Dare managed to get information about her past and became a threat felt too much like a convience in what was already a packed novel. Overall, an effortless, enjoyable read. If you liked the Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay – and I love that series – you’ll enjoy Arcadia, Lon and Jupe immensely. This review and more at openbooksociety dot com