Bitchin' Blog Posts
Title: Death Magic
Author: Eileen Wilks
Publication Info: Berkley 2011
Recovering from an attempt on his life by an FBI traitor, Lily Yu's boss forms a ghost unity that will operate in secret-and outside the law. Lily's conscience won't let her join. Her fiancé, lupi Rule Turner, has no such reservations. But when a senator is killed, Lily's decision becomes a matter of life and death-and all the magic in between.
And here is Marguerite's review:
I was excited to read this book. I love Urban Fantasy with romantic elements and most especially, I love me some shapeshifters like I love coffee and chocolate. I’ve never been down with Team Vampire, but give me some werewolves? I’m so there. I’d been meaning to try this series because hello, werewolves? This seemed like the perfect opportunity. Sure, there were some previous novels, but I was game to try. Previous novels. As in, this is book eight. BOOK EIGHT. Yeah, not a good idea.
Okay, first the official description: Recovering from an attempt on his life by an FBI traitor, Lily Yu's boss forms a ghost unity that will operate in secret-and outside the law. Lily's conscience won't let her join. Her fiancé, lupi Rule Turner, has no such reservations. But when a senator is killed, Lily's decision becomes a matter of life and death-and all the magic in between.
This is touted as the World of the Lupi series. Maybe it started that way, but now it’s more like World of All Things Paranormal. I was a little sad because I was promised hot, delicious werewolves, but instead I got paranormal soup. This book has a bit of everything. Werewolves, sorcerers, Gifted, ghosts, good magic, bad magic, healing magic, death magic and brownies--not the fudgey kind, but the thieving kind. The brownies are actually very important to the story and one of the elements I liked. I’m not sure about the dragons, but yeah. This book had dragons too. And telepathy.
Anyway, back to the plot. Supernatural critters are living out in the open and not everyone likes this. There is a group called Humans First and I guess the name says it all. They hate all things woo woo and are planning huge anti-magical demonstrations. FBI agent Lily Yu and her fiancé Rule are in Washington DC to testify before a senator with close ties to Humans First. Things go bad when the senator is killed and all the witnesses identify Lily’s boss as the killer. Lily is suffering from a mysterious ailment that may be related to some previous stuff that happened in another book. Did I mention this was the EIGHTH BOOK IN THE SERIES?
There are larger forces at play here and bigger stakes. Overarching this series is conflict with someone the lupi call the Lady, who represents Good Woo Woo and the Great Bitch, who represents Bad Woo Woo. It’s more complicated than that, but if I need to explain it to you, STOP. Stop and go back to the first book. Right now. That isn’t an order, more like a friendly suggestion because there are times I was really lost. I could tell stuff was going on but there were lots of characters from previous books and lots of confusing terminology. I knew certain words were important because they had Capital Letters to Clue Me In. But you know how in first books the author spends time easing you into a world, letting you learn to love the characters and get to know them? By the eighth book, they don’t do this so much because only an idiot picks up the EIGHTH BOOK IN A SERIES to read first.
The author actually does a pretty good job setting up her world. I followed the story and remained engaged in the events. I could tell early on that this book was more of a bridge to her overarching story and less of a stand alone, but it had enough twists and turns to interest me. One thing that frustrated me was a tendency to abrupt scene endings, like before things were really done. Also, some scenes were just summarized. We don’t see them. We get told “I went here and talked to Blah Blah and she said blah blah blah.” Not a fan of that. I’m also not big on paranormal soup. I like my worlds a bit more focused than that. I’m undecided about picking up the first book in the series. I would like to go back and see how Lily and Rule first got together. There isn’t a lot of romance here, but I’m told earlier books are mushier. I like mushy. Mushy is good.
I suspect that fans of the series who are already invested in the characters and the World of Lupi (Plus Other Stuff) will enjoy this installment as it clearly furthers the big story. But for the love of all things good and decent in the world, if you haven’t read the other books, don’t start with the EIGHTH BOOK IN THE SERIES. Learn from my fail.