Tag Archives: ordinary magic

Book Review: Gods and Ends

I was first introduced to Devon Monk merely by happenstance a couple of years ago when I picked up the first in her “House Immortal” series. The, about a year ago, someone on Facebook suggested that everyone read the first in her new “Ordinary Magic” series. So, I did. And I loved it. And then I read the second. And loved that!

How could I not? Oregon Coast! Feisty kick-ass heroine! Gods on vacation!

So now we’re at the third (and final-esque – there are a couple novellas planned) of the series and you know I pre-ordered that as soon as I could.

The Blurb

Keep your gods close and your monsters closer…

Police Chief Delaney Reed thinks she knows all of Ordinary, Oregon’s secrets. Gods on vacation, lovelorn ghosts, friendly neighborhood monsters? Check.

But some secrets run deeper than even she knows. To take down an ancient vampire hell-bent on revenge, she will have to make the hardest decision of her life: give up the book of dark magic that can destroy them all, or surrender her mortal soul.

As she weighs her options, Delaney discovers she can no longer tell the difference between allies keeping secrets and enemies telling the truth. Questioning loyalties and running out of time, Delaney must choose sides before a kidnapping turns into murder, before rival crochet and knit gangs start a war, and before the full moon rises to signal the beginning of Ordinary’s end.

The Cover

The Review

I didn’t feel like this was as strong as the previous two. Ending a series is hard, and the last book in a series can fall flat as an author tries to wrap up all the loose ends and in a satisfactory manner in the space of one novel. (I wonder, sometimes, if authors who aren’t me sketch out outlines of their entire series before setting pen to paper on the first book? Anyone?)

However, for as much as there was too much going on to follow sometimes, I did thoroughly enjoy the book. I like Delaney and think she does a good job of police chiefing considering all the changes that have happened in her life over the last year.

My biggest complaint for the trilogy is that there was just too much effort wasted on the romance. I honestly didn’t care at all about anyone’s relationships – there wasn’t enough time devoted to them to make them worthwhile – particularly Jean’s.

My second biggest complaint? The series didn’t star Than (aka Thanatos, aka Death, aka proprietor of “Happy Kites” kite shop (which, due to an unfortunate font choice, reads “Happy Kills”).

My personal bonus suggestion for reading this (not available to everyone, sadly) is to read it while vacationing on the Oregon Coast.

The Quote

This book (and the entire trilogy) had a lot of laugh out loud moments. My favorite from this particular book:

“Tourist attraction? Vampire camping? Vamping?”

Also:

“Tell me you haven’t gone willingly into this travesty,” [Bertie the Valkyrie] went on as if there were no one in the room but her and me.

“You’re going to have to narrow that down. There’s been a lot of travesty around here lately.”

 

The Verdict

This trilogy is definitely worth a read and I can’t imagine a world where you’d regret the time spent with Delaney Reed in Ordinary, Oregon.

 

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!

The Premise

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.

The Blurb

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.

The Cover

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The Review

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!

The Quote

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.

  • Delaney

Bonus quote because it made me laugh:

That sounded like hippy-dippy stuff, or maybe vampy-wampy stuff.

  • Delaney

The Verdict

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.