Dirty Magic – Jaye Wells [Review]

Book Details for Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells


Blurb for Dirty Magic

The first in an all-new urban fantasy series by USA Todaybestseller Jaye Wells.

The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn’t expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.

The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she’s convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she’s been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she’d never use dirty magic again.

Kate Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should be never say never.

 Jen’s Review of Dirty Magic

This review first appeared on our old site, booksthathook.com. I have edited and (hopefully) improved it.

The Story

In Kate’s world, covens are the gangs. Potions are the drugs. This underlying concept is awesome. I wish I had thought of it myself.

Kate refuses to ‘cook’ or use potions. She used to work for her uncle, who is now in prison, and her ‘cooking’ led to the death of her mother. Kate dedicates herself now to getting rid of the dirty magic.

When an opportunity comes up for her to join a task force to go after the person(s) who created a new deadly potion that turns the user into a werewolf, she jumps at the chance. Not only is it an opportunity for career advancement, it is a way for her to help clean up the city.

The Characters

Kate Prospero is my kind of urban fantasy heroine. She’s a take-no-crap woman with enough emotional baggage to make her interesting, but not so much emotional baggage to make her annoying. Although she struggles with an addiction to potions, she’s intent on doing the right thing.

Kate also has the responsibility of raising her younger brother, Danny. The dynamics between Kate and her brother are a great addition to the story. Danny is a typical moody teenager. Kate has to figure out the right way to deal with him.

When an ex-lover becomes the primary suspect in her investigation, Kate’s life becomes more complicated. I liked that she didn’t fall all over him or rekindle the relationship. Kate’s not that kind of girl. This man, John, is mysterious, and you don’t know if Kate should trust him. This adds another layer to the story that makes it even more enjoyable.

There’s also a hot guy on her team, Morales. He seems like a jerk at first, but they come to an understanding. I appreciated that Kate didn’t jump all over him either, even when she was given the opportunity.

Jaye Wells put a lot of thought into developing the characters. They felt alive to me, allowing me to become fully immersed in the story.

The Writing

The writing was easy to read and visualize. I always understood what was happening, and I could picture the world clearly.

Do I Recommend?

I absolutely loved Dirty Magic. It is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy novels. I would read it over and over. I don’t think there was a single thing that I didn’t like about it. The best part of the book, in my opinion, was the characterization, but I also liked how the subplots all tied into the main plot. Additionally, I really enjoyed Wells’ world-building.

I’ve noticed that not all readers felt the same way as I did about this book. It barely received  an average of four stars on Goodreads. I looked through the reviews to see how my opinion differs from other reviewers. It seems most of the complaints have to do with Kate herself. I guess not everyone appreciated her struggle with potion addiction and her tough personality. Also, not all reviewers felt the characters were developed enough. It’s funny that I thought they were what made the story great, but other people thought they were the weakest part of the story. I suppose every person has his or her own way at looking at this, because I found other reviews that raved about the characters like I did.

Anyway, if you like urban fantasy set in a gritty, dangerous world with a flawed, yet tough, main character who struggles to do the right thing for herself and those around her, I suggest reading Dirty Magic.

The newest book in this series, Volatile Bonds, releases today. That’s part of what made me pick this book as the review I was going to re-post from the old blog. I’ve only read the first two books, but I’m hoping to read the other two very soon. Prospero’s War is a great urban fantasy series.

My Rating for : 5 out of 5 stars (A)

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About Jen Schaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).
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  1. I hadn’t heard of this UF. Will need to check it out! 🙂

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