Bad Magic: 10 Novels of Demons, Djinn, Witches, Warlocks, Vampires, and Gods Gone Rogue
by Christine Pope , Debra Dunbar , Pippa DaCosta , C. Gockel , Sara C. Roethle , Lisa Blackwood , Rachel Medhurst , A.W. Exley , C.J. Archer and Stacy Claflin
Read: 2nd – 29th July 2017
My Overall Goodreads Rating: 3.5 Stars
So what’s this collection about?
This box set (approx 2512 pages) is a collection of ten full length novels by best-selling and award winning paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors, with the common theme of our heroes and heroine being on the darker side. I downloaded this Kindle version for free from Amazon UK in the hope of finding some “new to me” authors while reading some new tales from a couple of existing favourites.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know, I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about this collection as a whole:
Bad magic can be so good …
These 10 full-length novels of paranormal romance and urban fantasy will keep you on the edge of your seat and up past the witching hour. Black magic, adventure, and romance … they’re all here.
Something this good can’t last forever … download this set before it’s gone!
For each of the ten books, I have added the official tag line, given a brief review and rated it. If you want to find out more about each author, just click on their name to be whisked away to their little corner of the web.
Book 1 – CHOSEN by Christine Pope – When a fatal fever nearly wipes out the entire world’s population, the survivors of what became known as “the Dying” believe the worst is in the past …
I have come across Ms Pope’s work in other box sets; this story in another YA tale that although is good, isn’t my cup of tea due to the theme and how the plot develops. It reminds me of Castaway or The Martian; the pace is slow, the tale doesn’t get my adrenaline pumping as only has a couple of action/fight scenes and the content/scenes and how they are described are PG rated. The romance aspect is nice but not what I’m looking for in a PNR or UF novel; I enjoy more passion! (There were also quite a few incorrect pronoun uses throughout this book, i.e. I instead of me.)
My Rating: 2 stars (It’s OK)
Book 2 – DEAD RISING by Debra Dunbar – Solaria Ainsworth was born a Templar, destined to take up the mantle of responsibility and duty as her family’s Order had done for hundreds of years. Except she refuses to take her Oath of Knighthood.
Ms Dunbar is a new-to-me author and I really enjoyed her writing style; I found this book very easy to read, I liked the premise and world that Ms Dunbar used here, it had a good collection of characters, well paced plot (with a few unexpected twists and turns) and a nice balance of tension, action and sexual tension without any actual sex scenes! I was gripped. It also makes the reader question pre-conceived (and possibly historic) ideas of what constitutes good and evil. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
My Rating – 5 stars (Loved it!)
Book 3 – HIDDEN BLADE by Pippa DaCosta – Kicked out of the underworld and cursed to walk this Earth for all eternity, Ace Dante is not the hero New York needs, but when Egyptian gods start killing, Ace is the city’s only defence.
I am already a big fan of Ms DaCosta and really enjoyed The Veil Series. I liked that this story features the deities from the Egyptian pantheon (something I haven’t come across before), the plot is a great murder/crime mystery thriller, there’s lots of action/fighting but it missed getting 5 stars because I just didn’t connect completely to Ace Dante.
My Rating – 4 stars (Really Liked it)
Book 4 – WOLVES by C. Gockel – When Amy prays for help, Loki the Norse God of Mischief and Chaos isn’t the savior she has in mind.
I am already a fan of Ms Gockel’s writing style and have read this book within another box set back in 2015. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around; fast pace, action-packed, lots of twists & turns in the plot, lovely character development and great use of the Norse pantheon & myths. The only thing that takes the edge off for me is Amy’s persistent and continued insistence that what was happening was not real; I think her disbelief went on for too long.
My Rating – 4 stars (Really Liked It)
Book 5 – BITTER ASHES by Sara C. Roethle – She’s not their long lost fairy princess, she’s their executioner. Legends of Norse Myth and Necromancy collide in this fast-paced Urban Fantasy with a dark romantic twist.
I thought this book was OK. Ms Roethle is a new-to-me author and although I found her writing style easy to read and the thesis intriguing and unique, it is the fact that it is written in the first person from our main character’s point of view and unfortunately I couldn’t connect to Madeline (Maddy) Ville at all; the decisions she made and the way she viewed her situation were incomprehensible to me plus the cliffhanger at the end of the book sorta sealed this book’s fate.
My Rating – 2 stars (It’s OK)
Book 6 – THE LAST NECROMANCER by C.J. Archer – For 5 years, Charlie has lived as a boy in the slums, but when she’s arrested, her only means of escape lies with raising the dead. Now people are hunting her for her necromancy, but only one man succeeds in capturing her: a man known as Death, as compelling as he is frightening.
I have come across Ms Archer’s work before and, unusually considering the YA and historic genres, liked it. Ms Archer has again surprised me – I loved this book. The story is set in Victorian London is told from our main character’s point of view; an 18yr old girl. I liked this book because Charlie is intelligent, resourceful, witty and has strength of character and gumption. The plot is well balanced; gritty, heart-warming, tense, has unexpected twists & turns, made me chuckle and it’s full of great characters. I was hooked and will be adding all of the books in The Ministry of Curiosities to my wish list!
My Rating – 5 stars (Loved it!)
Book 7 – NEFERTITI’S HEART by A. W. Exley – 1861. In a steam and mechanically powered London, feisty Cara Devon uses her dead father’s secret notebook as a guide in her pursuit of powerful ancient artifacts.
A W Exley is another new-to-me author as I rarely chose to read historical novels. It was good but I’m unsure as to why I didn’t enjoy this book more; I wasn’t completely hooked (maybe it was the steampunk setting that I struggled with…?). Although the murder mystery plot was intriguing, I had worked out who the culprit was well before the end, I loved our heroine, Cara Devon, she’s just what I look for in a leading female, Lord Lyons (aka Nathaniel Trent or Villainous Viscount), was dangerously mouth-watering and I enjoyed their evolving relationship. I loved the host of supporting characters too – on both sides of the law – and thought they added a great depth to the book.
My Rating – 3 stars (It’s Good)
Book 8 – LOST WOLF by Stacy Claflin – She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.
I have come across Ms Claflin’s work before and only mildly enjoyed the experience. This book is written about a teen for teen readers, I felt that even the adult characters had ‘teenager personalities’. The plot line was unsophisticated both in the story arc & execution. Not my cup of tea.
My Rating – 1 star (I didn’t like it)
Book 9 – THUNDER HUNTER (Viking Souls #1) by Rachel Medhurst – For Thor to Live, Thunder Hunter must die. For a thousand years, Thor’s power has been inside Trygger. Can he finally defeat the Fallen Ones to give it back?
Ms Medhurst is another new-to-me author. Loved this story! I enjoyed meeting our main characters, their quirks & personalities kept me interested in them, the plot was not only intriguing but it kept me guessing. I liked Ms Medhurst’s use on the Norse mythology. I will be adding the rest of this series to my Amazon wish list.
My Rating – 5 stars (Loved it!)
Book 10 – SORCERESS AWAKENING (A Gargoyle and Sorceress Tale #1) by Lisa Blackwood – When Lillian finds herself facing off against vampires, help comes from an unlikely source—the stone gargoyle who has been sleeping in her garden. In a heartbeat, her ordinary life becomes far more complicated, and if her overprotective, shape-shifting guardian is to be believed, there’s an evil demi-goddess just waiting for the chance to enslave them both.
Another new-to-me author; I really enjoyed this story. Our main female lead, Lillian, is intelligent, witty and has strength of character as well as a self sufficiency that means she’s no damsel in distress. I’ve only read one other paranormal romance featuring a gargoyle so my preconceived ideas were limited. I liked the world and the way the story was told. I also enjoyed the twists & turns the plot took us on. No dramatic cliffhangers but a good background story arc that leads nicely into the next book; the continuing relationship between Lillian and Gregory and the future battles they will face.
My Rating – 4 stars (I really liked it)
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I think that this is a good box set.
I have enjoyed having this as an ongoing back-up, to be able to pick up and read when I’ve had a bit of free time. What I’m thrilled about is that I have found a couple of new-to-me authors to check out and I’ve really loved reading 3 out of the 10 books while only a couple of stories were not to my taste. I think that is quite rare for a collection of this size and price.
I think this box set of full novel sized books has got a nice assortment of different settings and sub-genres under the Bad Magic themed umbrella to suit most tastes.
So, has my review of BAD MAGIC: 10 Novels of Demons, Djinn, Witches, Warlocks, Vampires and Gods Gone Rogue sparked your interest in this box set or any of the titles listed? Just click on any of the links below to check out the set yourself, or to find out more about other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See BAD MAGIC box set on Goodreads.com
To be whisked away to the various authors own websites, just click on their name either at the top of this review or next to the individual review of their book.