Flora Reviews… Deadly Rising (Booke of the Hidden #2) by Jeri Westerson

Flora Reviews…

Deadly Rising (Booke of the Hidden #2) by Jeri Westerson

Read: 2nd – 9th February 2019

Publication Date: 23rd October 2018

Quote from Deadly Rising

Strange Herbs & Teas was carved in gold letters above the door. That didn’t begin to describe what went down here these days.

My Overall Rating: 4/5

Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5

So what’s this book about?

Deadly Rising is the second novel (approx 248 pages) in a new adult urban fantasy series – Booke of the Hidden – by award winning author, Jeri Westerson.

The series is set in the beautiful, rural village of Moody Bog, Maine, USA. Our key human characters include; our heroine, Kylie Strange, a local coven of Wiccans – retired doctor and part-time plasterer, Doc Boone, middle aged Seraphina, a bohemian free-spirit and ‘sensitive’, Nick Riley barista and Goth and sixteen year old Jolene Ayrs, researching whiz kid and budding Wiccan – Moody Bog’s Sheriff and hotty, Ed Bradbury, his criminal brother and leader of the Ordo – a coven of biker witches into black magic – Doug Bradbury and Ruth Russell, a descendent of Moody Bog’s founding families who is firmly at the top of society’s hierarchy.

There is no set mythology (e.g. Celtic, Norse, Christian, Egyptian, etc) to the paranormal elements of the tale, so the non-human species that we encounter, which includes the elusive and enigmatic demon, Mr Erasmus Dark, are more of a generic amalgam from folklore rather than from a specific belief system.

If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers or reveal plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:

Things were quiet in Strange Herbs & Teas. For about a week.

Our crossbow slinging hero and her ragtag gang of Wiccans have earned some rest. But when Kylie learns that the Booke may have released not one, but two creatures of horror out into the world, it’s up to her to save Moody Bog.

Again.

Calling upon the devilishly handsome demon Erasmus once more for help, Kylie’s determined to handle the mischief of the Booke and go back to a normal life. But when digging through Moody Bog’s history leads her to the ghost of her grandfather, the past she once knew is turned upside down. Can Kylie save the town and her grandfather, or will the horrors of the Booke be too much to handle?

So far, Kylie and her coven friends have had to deal with different Booke escapees in each book while the story-line of Kylie’s destiny/curse, the origins of the Booke and her romantic relationships continue in the background. Although Ms Westerson eloquently weaves any pertinent facts regarding previous adventures into this tale, I do feel that as the series grows, you’d likely miss the nuances of knowing re-occurring characters and understanding the dynamics of those relationships meaning that I don’t feel the books in this series should be read as standalones or out of order.

You can read my review for the previous book in the series by clicking; Booke of the Hidden – Booke of the Hidden (#1) or by searching the tag #Booke of the Hidden Series

So, what did I like about it?

I was given Deadly Rising for free by the author but bought the audio version myself using my free monthly credit. I alternated between reading during the day and listening to the narration before bed, which is becoming my favourite way to “read” a book.

Jeri Westerson is still a fairly new-to-me author; I find her writing style engaging, intelligent and easy to read. I love the way Ms Westerson weaves her plots; they are complex enough to keep me intrigued without being convoluted. I feel that there is always a good balance of humour, action, tension, mystery and romance in her tales and the pace that they develop just feels right. As a narrated book, I was impressed with Suzanne Elise Freeman’s performance; loving the pace at which she read the story and her tonal adjustments for the dialogue. I would definitely buy books narrated by her in the future.

I loved the way Ms Westerson crafted her world, building on the first book and its history; I found myself back in the village of Moody Bog almost instantly, how she described the location, surrounded by wilderness and Moody Bog itself with its collection of small town, village style businesses just brought the place to life in my imagination once again.

I really like our heroine, Kylie; she’s intelligent and has heaps of gumption (even if she does find herself in a quandary on the romantic front during this book) and I like how she’s evolving, becoming more self-assured, looking at less supernatural sources to help solve the mysteries. She has grown since the first book and she continued to do so during this adventure; both her skills and knowledge have grown and developed.

I love the fact that the secondary characters that Ms Westerson created to populate her world, feel just as real as our leads and all have strong, memorable personalities, they weren’t just filling the page; kind old Doc Boone who’s turning into quite the mage, teen Jolene who definitely comes into her own in this story and who out there doesn’t know a person like Ruth Russell with her self-important air! I loved that Ms Westerson wrote her characters with the complexities that we’d see in those around us, that they had a good balance of strengths and insecurities to make them feel real, even the supernatural ones.

I love the fact that Deadly Rising kept me guessing what would happen next and had me holding my breath at times, on the edge of my seat with shocking revelations, tense standoffs and action-packed fight scenes. But fear not, good readers it’s not all tension and scares there are giggles and a good sprinkling of tummy tingling passion to balance it all out.

 

So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?

As you can tell, I did really enjoy this book but I feel I should explain why I rated it 4 stars rather than 5. In other words, what took the shine off for me?

As my regular followers will know, I am not a fan of cliffhanger endings and although Deadly Rising doesn’t end in a life or death situation for our heroine, Kylie Strange, it does for one of the supporting characters PLUS we have a new threat from a big bad burst onto the scene in the final few pages! That did it for me.

I’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that as the second in a new six book series, not all of our questions or mysteries are resolved within these pages, although the monster escapees are satisfactorily dealt with before the end of this book.

 

So, basically what I’m saying is…

I really enjoyed this book; I couldn’t stop reading until I found out how it ended. I love it when a story keeps me guessing, makes me chuckle, puts a lump in my throat, warms my old romantic heart and sends tingles of titillation to my nether regions. Book 3 “Shadows in the Mist” is due to be released at the beginning of May and I can’t wait to see what happens to Kylie and her friends next.

Due to the graphic violence and sexual content of some of the scenes in this book, I would recommend Deadly Rising to adults who are not offended with this type of content and love reading well written tales of magic, curses, mystery and horror with a bit of romance thrown in the mix.

So, has my review of DEADLY RISING (BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN #2) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope so. Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author.

See DEADLY RISING on Goodreads.com

Buy DEADLY RISING in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including Amazon

Visit JERI WESTERSON‘s own little corner of the web, connect to her on social media via Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or Pinterest

To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.

Before I go, I just wanted to remind you that the current Audible trial is a great way for you to listen to Deadly Rising for FREE. I’m “reading” more and more books like this. If you sign up today, you’ll receive:

  • One free audiobook of your choice. See you could choose Deadly Rising!
  • The ability to choose from 200,000+ titles including best sellers, new releases, sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics, and more.
  • After 30 days, if you choose not to cancel you will receive 1 book each month for just £7.99/month.
  • Cancel easily anytime AND the audiobooks are yours to keep, even if you cancel!

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