Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Review – Dime Store Magic

Title: Dime Store Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publishing Date: 2004
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

Dime Store Magic is book three in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Underworld series. It is told in the first person point of view by Paige Winterborne, a twenty-three year old witch, whose mother was the Coven’s leader. But she died recently (see book two, Stolen) and now Paige has a lot of responsibilities heaped on her shoulders. First of all, Paige has accepted responsibilities for Savannah, who has also been orphaned by the same people who murdered Paige’s mother. Savannah is thirteen years old and has shown promise of becoming a very powerful witch. She already can cast spells that Paige can’t do. Along with raising Savannah, Paige made a promise to her mother that she would lead the Coven and bring witches to a more modern way of life.

Dime Store Magic is full of action right from the beginning. Savannah’s biological father Kristoff Nast, the heir to the Nast Cabal, wants custody of his daughter. He teams up with a half-demon Leah, who murdered Savannah’s and Paige’s mothers. Naturally, Paige will do everything in her powers to keep Savannah safe from her father. Only it may not be enough. She is up against very powerful forces. Her own coven wants nothing to do with the problem and refused to help Paige. It looks as if she will have to figure this one out all on her own. Help comes unexpectedly in the form of a young sorcerer, Lucas Cortez. Paige is not sure if his intentions are true, but with lack of help from anyone else, she is forced to accept his help.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this story. I was skeptical and thought that I wouldn’t like Paige as a narrator as much as Elena who narrated the first two books in the series. Paige is a very strong character all on her own and I really enjoyed reading about witches and sorcerers. Paige is a very likable character. She is easy to relate to and is strong, yet vulnerable. She is very determined to do the right thing. Even though her current situation is desperate at best, she will see things through and do the best that she can. She is scared that it might not be good enough, but she will do what she has to and won’t give up. A few times she did come across as bull-headed, but for the most part I couldn’t argue her choices.

The pacing of this book is very quick and exciting. There is a lot happening that keeps the reader on edge most of the time. Sometimes this story had a horrific feel to it with all the supernatural beings making an appearance, not to mention the raising of the dead at one point. Armstrong balances this with Savannah’s lively, thirteen year old personality. Armstrong’s idea of a moody teenage girl rang true and gave comic relief when necessary. Paige’s budding relationship with Cortez also lightened the mood. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of Lucas. The reader is not sure if he can be trusted. But as the story progresses and Paige learns more about him, he definitely shows promise of becoming a great hero. The dilemma of Savannah’s custody is resolved at the end of this book, but there are other questions that have been left unanswered. The story will continue on into Industrial Magic, with Paige again narrating the story.

Here is what others had to say:

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Wendy said...

I read this when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Although I admit to being lukewarm on Elena and company - so that might have something to do with it ;-)

I especially enjoyed how Armstrong wrote Paige as "young" without making her too-stupid-to-live. Which for some reason, seems to be a tall order for some writers.

Marg said...

This series just grows and grows in stature, to the point that I think that I think it is probably one of my favourites!

I did think that it took a while for the chemistry between Paige and Lucas to come to the fore, but by the end of the book it was definitely there!

nath said...

I like how Paige and Elena are different. Actually, all her heroines have their unique personalities and it ties up very well with their age. Anyway, I think that Paige is an idealist and it just fits :)

I have to ask though, Kristof is not really a bad guy here, right? I love this series, but was never really able to read this book, mostly because I don't understand the big fuss. After all, Kristof is Savannah's father and is not a bad guy, although he allied himself with a demon... anywa... Glad you enjoyed this one :D

Jill D. said...

Hi Wendy, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Paige. I really enjoyed Elayna and Clay. I read Bitten and Stolen three years ago and never had the desire to pick up Dime Store Magic. I am glad I did though, Ms. Armstrong is a very talented writer.

Marg, That is one of the things I really liked about this story. Lucas and Paige's relationship was very believable and well developed. So many times, the H/h just jump so quickly into bed with each other. Here I felt there was proper development and it never felt rushed.

Nath, Well, Kristoff may not have been black, but he definitely fell into the darker shades of gray. I don't really want to say more without spoilers. He does end up making the ultimate sacrifice, though.