It's tough being a faery in New Orleans, a city fraught with vampires...especially when their very existence drains your life force.
Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void is having a rough week. Four years after her twin brother's mysterious death, Willow's life is threatened and the director saddles her with a new partner - her ex-boyfriend, David. To her horror, he's turned vamp, which causes her physical pain whenever she touches him...and any other specimen of the undead.
In order to save Willow's life, David agrees to turn double agent against the most powerful vampire organization in New Orleans. Or so he says. And she's convinced they know something about her brother's death. Unsure where David's loyalties lie, she turns to Talisen, her childhood crush, to help her solve the mystery.
Caught between two gorgeous men and a director who'll stop at nothing to control Willow's gifts, she'll have to follow her instincts and learn who to trust. Otherwise, she risks losing more than just her life.
©2013 Deanna Chase (P)2013 Deanna Chase
So, I Read This Book Today . . .
I first came across Deanna Chase in 2012 with her book Haunted on Bourbon Street. The book, featuring Jade Calhoun, was set in New Orleans and features Jade, an empath, and a creative and interesting group of friends, including a couple of strip club owners, a coven, and couple of ghosts with very different agendas. Since then, I happily enjoyed both Witches of Bourbon Street and Demons of Bourbon Street. There are still two more (that I know of) in the series that I have already purchased and are sitting in my TBR pile waiting for their turn. And I am very much looking forward to them.
Influential Magic is also set in New Orleans, and is the first in a series subtitled Crescent City Fae. This new series stars Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void. Oh, and she is also a faery – complete with wings and flight capabilities. Well, when she isn’t around vampires, whose walking death drains her earth magic, and thus her life force. A very uncomfortable position to be in when your evil faery auntie, who is also the Director of the Void policing agency partners you with a vampire in order to investigate dastardly deeds by the local vampire corporation. Especially when that vampire happens to be your ‘used-to-be-human’ boyfriend. A boyfriend, who suddenly dumped you with a quick text message (jerk!), then turns up later turned – literally.
What happens to Willow in this volume of the Crescent City series is a neat bit of creative urban fantasy, but it also carries an undercurrent of politics and xenophobia which reflects what is happening in this world, this reality, even now. I am, admittedly, not a ‘vampire groupie’ as so many are these days. Been there, done that, would really like for that whole ‘cold, dead, walking corpses’ to be over already. I mean, come on – have you ever felt a real corpse? Gross. I couldn’t imagine kissing cold, dead lips, much less getting down and dirty with other parts! However, in Chase’s alternate universe, her vampires are, though still cold and walking dead, much more ‘real’ people than others in the genre, with lives and families whom they love – even if they are still overwhelmingly entitled, making them both vicious and brutally efficient killers when crossed.
Overall, I really liked Willow. She takes a lot of damage, both physically and emotionally in this first book, and overall she handles it well. I did find her rather naïve at times, railing against those who would take care of issues in a vigilante fashion, while openly acknowledging that the governmental agencies are deeply corrupt. At the same time, I honestly admired her for understanding the siren song of power and how it can so easily corrupt.
The fantasy storyline is creative, well written, and believable as an alternative reality of a world which evolved under magical conditions, while still aligning closely with our own. There is a bit of a triangle aspect, between Willow and David, the vamp ex boyfriend and Talisen, her childhood friend and mentor who is another faery. The triangle seems to correct itself at the end, and I honestly hope that the concept doesn’t carry on through the other books, as I find those sorts of story lines to be crutches for poor story development. However, the Shih Tzu that turns into a wolf? Awesome! And I hope that Willow will be spending more time in her bakery, creating magically infused cupcakes, and more time with her best friend, Phoebe, a witch. There were a lot of ends left free, leaving room for a great deal of really good story development as we learn more about Willow, her skills, and her family and friends. And having listened to the Audible Edition, narrated by Gabra Zackman, one of my favorite narrators of all time, there was a whole other level of enjoyment that I was able to gain from the book. And right now, Influential Magic is only $1.99 for the Audible Edition! What's not to like? Especially when it is also text-to-speech enabled for the Kindle edition. I prefer the Audible editions, as I can download them onto my Zune and pop it into my pocket while I am doing other things, but having it in both editions means I can read it any way I wish. Cool...
This is a hard review to write. How can I put it in words without spoiling anything? I loved the story. But at times, the heroine, Willow, would drive me crazy! I wanted to smack her. Why she worried about the bad guys being tortured to get info from them was beyond me after all she went through. And she treated Talisen (hope I spelled that correctly) and David so bad most of the time. Almost seemed selfish a few times. But if I had been through what she had, I would too. I got frustrated because it would take forever to get things explained. But that's what made it keep you hanging. I didn't mean that as in it was drug out. Not at all. There were some twists at the end I never saw coming. I had to stop for a moment and just think about it, I was so stunned. I was also torn between David and Talisen for most of the book. I saw good in David even though he had been bad. Ooh I'm dying to tell about stuff. This world building and story line is so amazing! It's really strong and packed with stuff. I had the ebook and the audio so I would listen at times and read other times. The narrator really brings it to life even more. She does voices so well you think it's actually someone else speaking. I forgot I was listening to just one person. It was like listening to a tv show. I was so absorbed. I think this might be my favorite series of Deanna's now. I highly recommend it.
Yes I love this story and I have been enjoy Deanna Chase books for a while but I have to say I am excited to see were this series goes. I liked the story and also the people in this book. I was worried it would be closer to the other series but Deanna did it again and surprised me and I happy to say this is a great book and can't wait for the next one.
I so look forward to the next book I hope we don't have to wait to long.
Make the main character stop and think before jumping to so many wrong conclusions. She also used poor judgement and didn't seem to have any sense at all. She just wasn't a very likeable character to me.
Fae - Vampires - Action
I'm a fan of Deanna Chase's Jade Calhoun series, so I was anxious for her new series to come out. Fae, vampires, witches and a shih tzu that phases into a wolf . . . what more could you want? Throw in murder plots, double agents, twists and turns, a love triangle, and magically enhanced cupcakes and you've got yourself quite the ride. This isn't a paranormal romance though. The love triangle is in the background, which is exactly where it should be for this action-packed adventure. I could totally see this as a tv series, and I can't wait for the second book!
I was given this book as a gift. I wish I could give it back. Early on I realized that this was not the book for me.
1. Willow is allergic to vampires yet she's a vampire hunter. How can you be a vampire hunter if being in their presence weakens you? So the plot has setup a woman who needs to constantly be saved.
2. A Shih Tzu that turns into a wolf? Really? Look, if you want a dog that can protect you get a German Shepherd. You can't have it both ways. I get that Phoebe is weak and has to depend on everyone around her to keep her safe, but, this is ridiculous.
3. Phoebe has wings. She is described as a normal sized person, then, Chase throws in wings. Are her clothes designed to accommodate wings? What do the wings look like? This is an underdeveloped character trait that I would like to know more about.
4. The love triangle. Within the first few pages, a love triangle between the old boyfriend and a childhood friend is developed. This plot line should exist in YA fiction only. Grown women are capable of choosing between men. This is something that needs to be stopped.
5. Phoebe and Willow (Witch/Vampire Hunter/Friend) are hunting together, when they are confronted by David (Ex-boyfriend). He tries to warn Phoebe but before he can say anything, Willow knocks him out. Really? I get that you are trying to save your friend, but, if she's not in danger, why not let him talk?
6. Knowing that Phoebe is weak around dead people and cement, why ask to meet in a cemetery?
I gave up on this book before I finished the first chapter. Maybe I din't give it a chance to develop. But, honestly, there are too many good books to waste time on one book.
I found the main character stupid and whiny. Example, she is locked in a cage from which she has just said there is no escape when she vows that no one will ever hurt those she loves ever again. Just exactly how is she going to pull that off? She's constantly making bad choices from which she needs rescue and bemoaning the fact that she didn't take self defense classes. She was supposed to be smart enough and old enough to run her own business but she acted like a hormone driven teen. I won't be getting the sequel.
I like the story and the characters. I think I might have understood the details better if I had read it. It was a little hard at times to tell which character was talking. I will definitely read the next book, but I'm not sure if I would listen to the audiobook.
"Flat characters & storyline"
Potentially yes, the author might have developed since this book. But it depends on other reviews and the storyline.
The storyline reminded me too much of reminded me too much of True Blood. That on it's own wouldn't have been bad if the characters had enough depth. But I couldn't relate to them at all. The author worked with lots of cliches and the actions and descriptions of the personas seem forced into said cliches.
It is easy listening.
David. I know he's necessary for the storyline but I find his actions make no sense.
Unfortunately I bought this book based on positive reviews. I should have listened to the negative one - the two stars are for me finishing the book.
"Not impressive at all."
No. it really wasn't worth listening to it all.its hard to enjoy a book when the main character is the biggest issue you have with the quality.She is useless and not in a cute clumsy way just plain old useless .She is weak willed ,selfish,spineless,illlequiped to do most things but inserts herself in to the middle of things when others are trained to do the task and she puts them in danger because of it .she is self important and seems to be all bravado with nothing to back it up and is clutching at one guy s shirt to the next expecting them to help.Her best friend is the best character in my opinion ,she is the only one with any continuity. I saw this after listening to all 3 books( i had to listen to all 3 because I was hoping for her to get a backbone and woman up or for the story to get better as the bare bones had the potential) The story through the three books has bad continuity also,for example the shifter lore ,in one book the healing when her dog shifts is what fixes his leg and in the next book its explained that "the shift does not heel shifters" . If this wasn't the only series of my i pod at the time I would have given up despite my wanting to see if the story improved.
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