New Release Group Review: Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells

12 Cursed MoonCursed Moon by Jaye Wells
Book #2 in Prospero’s War
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: August 12th 2014
ARC Provided by Netgalley and Orbit

Synopsis from Goodreads: When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone’s emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate who’s wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.


AH and Christal’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+

Christal – I am seriously enjoying this new series from Jaye Wells! It’s completely different from the Sabina Kane books but still has the biting wit and sarcasm that I loved so much. Kate and Co. got a little darker with Cursed Moon — a little more angst, a little more drama, and a whole lot of secrets. I’m intrigued to see where Kate’s new acceptance of clean magic will take her.

AH – I have to agree with you. While I was sad that the Sabina Kane series wrapped up, I’ve been delighted with this new series. It’s dark, it’s gritty, and there’s a nice mix of characters and supernatural beings. Did you notice that we read this book during the Super Moon? How cool is that?

Christal – Ha, I didn’t even think of that but you’re right.  Super moon, blue moon…. thankfully they weren’t similar!  On the topic of the blue moon, I wasn’t crazy about the villain and his motivations in this book, but I have to admit that his actions were terrifying. Using potions to cause mass groups of people to lose control was just evil. The scene at the sorority house was particularly chilling.

AH – The villain was definitely badass but I saw him as more of a comic book stereotypical villain. I couldn’t believe that he had the audacity to challenge the power brokers of The Cauldron.

Christal – Kate is starting to find herself in a bit of a love triangle with Morales and Volos. Volos made some interesting insinuations in this book, but I do still question his motivations towards Kate. I think, at this point at least, that I prefer Morales. He’s very straightforward and always supportive and I think Kate could use someone like that in her life right now. I actually think going through the truth serum event together towards the end of the book will bring them closer.

AH – Hmm…love triangle? Definitely a possibility, however, don’t run away screaming from this book because you hate love triangles. Kate has a history with Volos and he clearly wants her by his side. Morales, on the other hand is very nice to look at and he exudes sexuality, but is a work romance a good idea? I think Kate has enough complications in her life.

Christal – Speaking of complications, I was actually a little disappointed in the way Danny was acting throughout Cursed Moon, especially in regards to DUDE, until they very end. Him believing that Kate would have let him die to protect her magic “sobriety” made sense and gave more weight to his actions. I’m glad that he and Kate worked through things and I’m looking forward to seeing them learn clean magic together.

AH – What’s up with DUDE, anyway? In any case, Danny was just being a teenager. Teens see the word a little differently and Danny behaving like a spoiled brat was normal. It just bothered me that he couldn’t see all of her sacrifices for him. Also did you notice that Danny has some magic of his own?

Christal – DUDE is rubbing me the wrong way; I don’t think Danny or that teacher are being straight with Kate about the group’s true intentions.  The first book hinted that Danny had magic like Kate, but he needs training.  I hope he sticks with her instead of trying to get Volos to help him out.  In regards to magic and addiction, Pen was a major stumble for me here. I didn’t really understand why she acted so horrible for a good part of the book. It seemed so out of character, even with her falling off the potion wagon that one time. It was just a little strange.

AH – With friends like Pen, who needs enemies? All kidding aside, it’s hard to reconcile your beliefs when you need to stray a little. Pen’s self-righteous behavior clearly bit her in the butt.

Christal – That’s true, but it made for a particularly nasty characterization for Pen in Cursed Moon.  On the other hand, I loved the character of Aphrodite, the Hierophant of the Mystical Coven of the Sacred Orgasm. S/He was crafty and devious and just a touch creepy. Loved it and can’t wait to see how these favors she gave Kate come to play out.

AH – Loved, loved, loved Aphrodite. Can’t wait to see more of her/him in the next book.

Christal – I think my favorite part of this book was seeing Kate stand up to Abe. She shows him how strong of a woman she can become and that he does not control her anymore. Yes, she’s still scared of confronting him and her past, but she really does take control of the situation and gives him what he deserves in the end. I am very interested to learn the truth about Kate’s mother and to see what Abe’s true intention were in lying to Kate about her death.

AH – That stands out for me, too. I did have another favorite part, when Kate had an epiphany about her magic use. Kate realizes that there is no black and white with regards to cooking magic, especially when it is used to save a life.

Christal – Oh definitely, I loved that part and the scene with her and Danny learning to cook “clean” with the children’s handbook.  Though I think I preferred the first book a tiny bit more than this one, I still thought it was great. Jaye Wells has deepened the world and given the characters a new prerogative on magic. I can’t wait to see how the story continues to grow in the next book!

AH – This is a fantastic new series and well worth reading. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Orbit and Netgalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Best of UF

Series Reading Order:
1. Dirty Magic
2. Cursed Moon
3. Deadly Spells (Expected publication: March 3rd 2015 by Orbit)

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