Book Review: Devils and Details (Ordinary Magic 2) by Devon Monk
I first encountered Devon Monk through her House Immortal series. When I saw the first Ordinary Magic book recommended by a friend earlier this year, I snapped it right up. And then didn’t read it until the end of July. This was another of those books that pulled me in with a fun story and some interesting world building, and I was pretty excited to find out that the second in the series was being released in September. One-click preorder!
Ordinary Oregon is home to a lot of interesting residents. Supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, a Valkyrie, et cetera, as well as vacationing gods. The gods must give up their god powers and become mortal for the duration of their stay, but that doesn’t mean they give up their personalities…and they are still gods.
Keeping the town in line is the Reed family. One member of the family serves as the guardian – the one responsible for making sure the god powers are safe while the gods reside in Ordinary. Currently that person is Delaney Reed, police chief of Ordinary. Her sisters – also officers – assist with keeping the peace.
Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea…
Police Chief Delaney Reed is good at keeping secrets for the beach town of Ordinary Oregon–just ask the vacationing gods or supernatural creatures who live there.
But with the first annual Cake and Skate fundraiser coming up, the only secret Delaney really wants to know is how to stop the unseasonable rain storms. When all the god powers are stolen, a vampire is murdered, and her childhood crush turns out to be keeping deadly secrets of his own, rainy days are the least of her worries.
Hunting a murderer, outsmarting a know-it-all god, and uncovering an ancient vampire’s terrifying past isn’t how she planned to spend her summer. But then again, neither is falling back in love with the one man she should never trust.
This series is fun. The writing is good, the world building is good, the chemistry between Delaney and Ryder is good. I liked the first in the series a little better, but this still got four fun stars in my book.
Delaney does drive me a little crazy, though. I know she’s new to being both the police chief and the guardian of the god powers, but sometimes she makes very dumb decisions. She’s nowhere near approaching TSTL (too stupid to live, a common problem in a lot of fantasy novels), but would it kill her to lock her door? NO! It would not.
For someone who is supposed to be a strong female character, she is very easily manipulated and slow to see the truth of things, even when they’re pointed out by other characters. Since most of my issues with her as a character also seem to bug her sisters and other close associates, I’m not sure why they’re necessary to her. I get wanting to have some flaws in your lead, but I will never understand taking unnecessary risks (at least not more than once) and ridiculous secrecy.
All that being said, I really did enjoy the story. I like the history that’s coming out regarding the vampire clan (Old Rossi might be one of my favorite vamps ever – a thousand year old blood-sucking hippy nudist yoga teacher?). I am (of course) exceptionally fond of Bertie – the Valkyrie who organizes all the town festivals and strong-arms everyone into volunteering.
This was a fun, easy read and I will definitely be picking up the next in the series when it’s released next year!
I am enjoying the relationship between Ryder and Delaney, even if I want to lock them in a room tied up with Wonder Woman’s lasso so they just fucking tell each other the truth and stop hiding information for the good of the other person, etc.
Yes, I’d caught that Ryder almost said “love” when he was offering to keep our secrets secret. I shoved that way, way back in my brain so I could think about it later. But I could already tell my heart was drawing little swirls and flowers and smoochy faces around that faltering admission.
Bonus quote because it made me laugh:
That sounded like hippy-dippy stuff, or maybe vampy-wampy stuff.
My issues with the book were slight enough to not be real issues at all. It was an enjoyable read. After all, who doesn’t want to spend time on the Oregon Coast with Odin (who is a terrible chainsaw sculptor) and Thanatos (who tends towards ridiculous shirts, and runs a kite shop with a questionable font choice that brands it “Happy Kills”)?
Definitely a solid choice for some fun reading.