Book Review: Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Industrial Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld, Book 4
Publisher: Spectra Books
Paperback: 528 pages
Source: Chicago OverDrive
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

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Paige Winterbourne, a headstrong young woman haunted by a dark legacy, is now put to the ultimate test as she fights to save innocents from the most insidious evil of all…

In the aftermath of her mother’s murder, Paige broke with the elite, ultraconservative American Coven of Witches. Now her goal is to start a new Coven for a new generation. But while Paige pitches her vision to uptight thirty-something witches in business suits, a more urgent matter commands her attention.

Someone is murdering the teenage offspring of the underworld’s most influential Cabals—a circle of families that makes the mob look like amateurs. And none is more powerful than the Cortez Cabal, a faction Paige is intimately acquainted with. Lucas Cortez, the rebel son and unwilling heir, is none other than her boyfriend. But love isn’t blind, and Paige has her eyes wide open as she is drawn into a hunt for an unnatural-born killer. Pitted against shamans, demons, and goons, it’s a battle chilling enough to make a wild young woman grow up in a hurry. If she gets the chance.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

While I am usually very strict about only reading series in order, for some reason, I’ve skipped around in this one a lot. Maybe because different books are from different perspectives? Anyway, I picked this up after being away from this series for a while, so it took me a bit to figure out exactly where I was in each character’s storylines. Having already read sequels, I must say it was way too much fun meeting Jaime the necromancer for the first time. Her first impression is as ridiculous and wonderful as I wanted it.

This book is a fun mystery/thriller with supernatural aspects involved, and of course, it includes all of our favorite characters from the Otherworld series; I love that the werewolves make an appearance in this novel. (Since the series started with Elena, I have a feeling that she and Clay will always be my ultimate favorites.) But I really would recommend this book for thriller lovers, I kept referring to it as the “supernatural serial killer” novel I was reading, and it fits so perfectly. Basically, Paige and Lucas agree to help the Cabals (supernatural mafia-like groups) to help find the person who’s been killing teenagers of Cabal employees. It follows the typical thriller-style of stories where they think they have the whole thing solved, but it turns out that they were missing a couple pieces of the puzzle, which makes for an interesting, surprising read.

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Book Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Awakening
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins
Paperback: 360 pages
Series Order: Darkest Powers, Book 2
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Awakening is definitely better than the first book of the series. There’s more of a focused conflict, there’s more action and adventure, and the characters are rapidly evolving. As always, Armstrong’s writing is suspenseful and makes for a quick read (I don’t know how she does it!)

I like that more and more is being revealed about their powers and about the Edison Group, but we’re definitely still not getting the full story. In any case, Chloe is learning a bit more about her powers and is practicing more often. We get to see more of Derek, who is awesome, and Victoria, who I’m actually starting to feel bad for.

The one thing I didn’t like about this novel was how stupid Victoria could be sometimes. I know she’s spoiled, I know there should be conflict between the characters, but really? Sometimes, I just wanted to jump through the book and give her a good slap. I also got tired of Chloe continually comparing her life to the movies. I know, she’s a movie buff and that’s probably what a movie buff would do, but it did get overwhelming. I don’t like it in general when authors use the whole “in movies/novels, it works like this, but this is real life” for when their characters are thinking. This just draws my attention to the fact that I am reading a book and it isn’t real life.

However, other than those two things, The Awakening was perfect. Armstrong does not make it easy on her characters, which makes for a suspenseful, exciting read. There are also some really cool (horribly frightening?) zombie scenes when Chloe’s power gets a little out of control. 🙂 I love the weird stuff.

I am very excited to read The Reckoning. If you haven’t started this series yet and you’re a paranormal young adult fan, run, don’t walk, to the nearest library or bookstore and pick these books up!