So I’ve finally gotten around to continuing through the world of magic Kelley Armstrong has created. Werewolves, Vampires and Half-Demons oh my! The world she has created is filled with magic and adventure, love and strife, making it feel as if you could simply step through and be there, experiencing every detail for yourself. Kelley Armstrong has not only written this amazing saga, but along with it, several short (and not so short) stories to supplement the details of the characters backgrounds. Such as how Hope and Karl met, in Chaotic, or the details about how Paige and Lucas came to have their own office to start their dream business given in El Chupacabra. Don’t stop at reading just the series, get behind the scenes and find out more about the characters you love.
Industial Magic features Paige and Lucas as they are sucked into helping the four Cabals find a serial killer murdering the teenage children of their employees. Jaime Vegas helps by contacting the deceased to find out what they remember, if anything, about how they died. In order to solve the distressing case, they have to bring in other members of the council and during the case realize that even Savannah is in danger. The Pack help out by taking Savannah in during the time Lucas and Paige are trying to find out who is tracking down and killing supernatural teens. During this novel you’ll find out more intricate details about Cabal families and their lives, how difficult it is to be in such a family for many children and how hard it truly is for Lucas when working with his father. You’ll get to see Cassandra and Aaron as well as a few other members of the council helping to find the murderer as quickly as possible. There’s quite a few adventures in this novel, including an accidental trip to the otherside - the Afterlife.
Haunted takes you into the Afterlife, a dimension where the dead continue their ‘lives’ - usually doing something they are good at. Eve Levine on the other hand, Savannah’s mother, is more concerned with finding a way to watch her daughter, and even be a part of her life, until a crazy Nix decides to induce people to start killing. This story originates in medieval times when a Nix accidentally traps itself in a human host and dies. The Nix has already trapped an angel - whom no one can find where - and driven another angel literally insane. It’s up to Eve to trap the Nix and put her back where she belongs, but she can’t do so without earning her wings. Can you imagine? Black Witch to Angelhood for Eve Levine? Using her afterlife, and even some living, contacts she gets the facts, tracks down and kicks ass. She’s heavy on the snark and the attitude, which may be off-putting to some, but when it comes to getting the job done, Eve is your witch.
Broken revisits Elena and the Pack. I normally dislike Elena, but I have gotten used to her jumping to do whatever she see’s fit to get the problem solved. I’ve even started to like her and feel bad about her having to endure a Toronto summer heavily pregnant while they try to find Jack the Ripper. You read that right. Jeremy, Clay and Elena take on a job from Xavier - a malicious half-demon who helped kidnap her previously - to steal the infamous From Hell letter. In retrieving the letter they accidentally open a portal which brings out two zombies and (possibly) Jack the Ripper. During this time Elena has been struggling with being pregnant and has been having nightmares regarding it. She’s capable of shifting into her wolf without complication, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t scared like most new mothers. Elena has even more fears. What happens if the baby is a girl and thefore not a werewolf? What happens if it’s a boy and is a werewolf? Fears most new mothers don’t need to worry about. Her nightmares continually plague her, and by extension, Clay. As overprotective and controlling as he usually is has multiplied tenfold during Elena’s pregnancy. Being as there have never been two werewolves documented in their past to have children, this is a new one for the entire Pack.
No Humans Involved features your favorite celebrity necomancer (that’s right!) Jaime Vegas! The sexy redheaded celebrity has been picked to join two other mediums on a tv-reality show called Death of Innocence and they are put into a house in L.A. to live. Jeremy Danvers takes time out of his busy Alpha schedule to visit with her and in turn help her solve the murder of 6 children who are unable to speak or otherwise communicate with Jaime. All they can do is touch her and speak in whispers that even her power cannot make out clearly. Jeremy is a great help during this novel with his werewolf skills to aid Jaime in finding out who murdered the children and how to possibly free them from their in-between state. You also get to meet Hope Adams and Karl even makes an appearance. The intriguing piece in this book is that it involved humans, despite the title. A group of humans are trying to find the link between themselves and magic and how to give it to themselves. They don’t believe the paranormal exists and some people in the group chase down and prosecute paranormal scammers. During their search to track down and put these people behind bars they find information that may lead them to bringing magic into the human world. The way they are going about it is the reason that Jaime and Jeremy have to stop them. Jaime may not be strong in physical sense but she is quite a huge help to the council in other ways and does know how to put her ‘flighty, flaky celebrity’ personality on the sidelines when working such a horrific case. If you’re someone who wants Jaime and Jeremy to get together, this is definitely the novel you don’t want to skip. You’ll find out what they decide to do about their feelings for each other and what Jaime decides to do with her insecurities and her life.
Personal Demon takes you on a thrill-ride only a Chaos Half-Demon could truly capture and enjoy. Hope Adams is featured in this novel and she’s not your normal half-demon. Most half-demons gain powers and none of the chaotic thrill that their fathers enjoy. With Hope she got the reverse. Being Lucifer’s daughter is hard enough (and he’s just another demon like Satan) but when the bliss of chaotic distress takes over you and blinds you completely as to what’s going on as you drink it in, you could not only endanger your life but the lives of those you love. Hope is trying still to learn how to control her need to feed that chaotic demon. You originally meet her in No Humans Involved trying to help Jaime and Jeremy find out who killed the children and what they need to do to keep it from happening again. In this novel Hope decides to pay her debt (If you read the short story Chaotic, you’ll read about the favor owed) to Benicio Cortez by infiltrating a gang trying to cause issues for the Cortez Cabal in Miami. Not only does Hope allow herself to enjoy the chaos thrills she’s experiencing by infiltrating the gang but she also decides to enjoy a little personal time with Jaz, one of the gang members who’s sexy smile and outgoing personality are exactly what she feels she needs to get over Karl Marsten. Eventually Karl finds out where she’s at and what’s going on and comes to Miami, which makes things all the hotter and more enjoyable to read. In this novel Hope is able to expand her control over her powers and use them to her advantage. With all the strife that happens in this thrilling page-turner Lucas and Paige have to step in and help Benicio run the Cortez Cabal. That’s right, Lucas steps in and turns to the dark side for a few moments, not because he has to but in order to help the father that he does truly love, even if he doesn’t want anything to do with the Cabal itself.
Living with the Dead features Karl and Hope back in L.A. helping Hope’s friend Robyn after losing her husband in a misunderstood shooting. Robyn is human though and has no idea what Hope and Karl really are, supernatural. This novel needs to be read slowly, as it tends to change point of view often and may cause confusion. There are other new characters introduced as well, who we’ll probably never see again, such as Finn. Finn is a detective on the LAPD who can see ghosts. He’s a very weak necromancer but has never known the term. Finn simply knows that his family line carries some strange anomaly that allows some of them to see ghosts. You’ll also get to meet several clairvoyants, who were supposedly a very rare race. I enjoyed the story because Hope and Karl were in it and I enjoy their characters because they are such a complicated pair. Karl struggles with his overprotective, controlling, oh god I have to sniff the ground behavior and Hope struggles to not be needy. I consider Hope a strong character but she does not consider herself strong. She dislikes asking Karl for his help let alone needing it. I like the fact that Karl is there, and will stand back, until she asks for his help. I’m not sure why she has an issue with that. I know they will make it as a couple if they stand back and look at how well suited they are for each other. Robyn may enter into later novels, but simply as a secondary character. I can’t quite figure out why Kelley Armstrong decided to ‘let a human in’ to the supernatural world. Perhaps this is a step to having them come out to the human population who outnumbers them exponentially? Let’s hope not, I’d see widespread extermination and genocide if that happens. I know this isn’t much of a review on this book, but you have to read it in order to continue the series, and with the constant change in view points it may be something you’ll want to read when you are waiting somewhere for something or want to get it done and over with to move onto the next novel.
Make sure you take the time to go behind the scenes and read the short stories. You can find them at Kelley Armstrong’s website for free. Some of them are (I feel anyway) long enough that they could stand as a novel. These stories are great if you’ve gone through the series and want something more about your favorite characters to read or if you’re biting your nails waiting for the next novel to come out. I am enjoying her novels more and more, even though I started out disliking Elena, even she has grown on me and I can’t wait to see her again. Enjoy!