Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Review: Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett
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. ~ goodreads
Summoning the Night continues to bring on the action and emotional punch that was delivered in Kindling the Moon. This is definitely a must read urban fantasy series for me. That's kind of a big deal because there are only a few left that I still feel invested in.
This time around Cady is settling in with her boyfriend, the sexy demon Lon Butler, along with forming a stronger bond with his son Jupe.
Cady and Lon are persuaded by an old family friend of Lon’s and leader of the Hellfire Club to investigate the disappearance of the Hellfire members’ Earthbound children.
The mystery isn't as personal for Cady as in Kindling the Moon and I didn’t feel quite as invested in the outcome but the long term ramifications for Lon and Cady are a little scary to ponder. In order to solve the case Cady has to make several deals that leave her indebted to two very shady characters; Hajo - a death dowser and the creeptastic Mr. Dare.
Once again Bennett does the unexpected and gives us mature characters that actually talk to each other and deal with their relationship issues head on. I am aware that conflict makes for great storytelling. I'm also sure Cady & Lon are in for stormy seas ahead but I have always believed there is a way to write conflict that leaves the couple striving towards each other rather than acting like immature teenagers in their first relationship. I'm really over that type of storytelling. I have so much love and respect for how they all deal with everything as a family and Jenn Bennett’s writing skills for being able to achieve that balance.
Which brings me to Jupe. Jupe - the only kid I have ever loved and wanted even more of in a book. Although Cady (& Lon to an extent) are the main characters in this series, it's all about Jupe IMHO. He's the catalyst for almost everything that Cady or Lon do. Their love for him makes them better people. If he wasn't around I could see all kinds of miscommunications and double speak tying up things for several books but with Jupe present he either blurts out the thing that must be said to get things moving or Cady & Lon think about him first and do what's right for Jupe's well being, Not necessarily what's easier.
I'm here to tell you that responsibility can be sexy people! Lon the responsible yet smoking hot dad is proof of that. And the relationship between Jupe and Cady is just so touching that it makes me want to cry sometimes. They take a huge step into becoming a solid family in this book. Of course, how that all comes to be is equal parts sniffle inducing and hilarious. After all it is Jupe and that boy is downright incorrigible.
It's possible to read this book as a stand alone regarding the mystery but I wouldn't recommend it because you will really be missing out on the origins of the Cady/Lon/Jupe relationship. And it is seriously THE best part.
I really enjoyed this follow up to Kindling the Moon even though I wish we could have seen more of Cady's blossoming moon powers and definitely more Lon and Cady action. There was a real sense of foreboding for me while I was reading Summoning the Night. As I mentioned earlier Cady now owes a few big favors. It will be interesting to see how Lon handles this since one involves Mr. Dare, a longtime family friend whom Lon trusts but maybe shouldn't and the enigmatic, tortured Hajo who definitely wants more from Cady than her witchy skills. Throw in frequent mention of Lon's sultry ex-wife, and more importantly, Jupe's mom, and I see problems in their immediate future.
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 This was the Cady & Jupe show this time around and I loved their relationship. As I mentioned the mystery aspect of this book could serve as a stand alone but there were quite a few bigger developments that felt more like a lead up to the sequel. This is a solid urban fantasy series and a must read for anyone looking for something UF but heavy on the character development.
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Source: Won on authors website
Buy the book! Summoning the Night: An Arcadia Bell Novel