Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Author's Website
Copy obtained: bought it
Series?: a novella set in The Otherworld, just before book #11 Waking The Witch
Rating: 8/10

"The first rule of a supernatural fight club? Don’t kill your opponent.

When the fighters come with lethal spells, werewolf strength and half-demon powers, that can be a lot tougher than it sounds. It’s hard to attract talent if they know they might not leave the ring alive. So when fighters at a California club start dying … it’s bad for business.

Witch detectives Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine take the case. Going undercover in the power-heavy arena of the fight club is a welcome change of pace for Paige, relegated to the role of The Wife as her husband struggles to find his place in his family’s Cabal—the corporate Mafia of the supernatural world.

As Paige is drawn deeper into new and dangerous corners of her world, she quickly discovers the greatest threat isn’t the killer in her sights. It’s something much, much closer to home. And this is one fight she can’t afford to lose."

Counterfeit Magic is a limited edition novella that Kelley has written for Subterranean Press, which includes a few, very beautiful, images inside to go with the story as well. This is the second novella she's produced this way, the first being Angelic, which had an even tinier print run. I never bought that one, but as soon as Kelley made mention of Counterfeit Magic back in the summer I ordered a copy. I'm so glad I did!

Counterfeit Magic is narrated by Paige as she and Savannah work to solve their latest case involving a death that seems to be linked to a supernatural fight club. Paige has never been my favourite character or narrator, but she has grown on me with each appearance and I enjoyed her more than ever here. Paige is smart and tough, but she's not a fighter, making her very different to most of Kelley's narrators.

While this is a very good short story on it's own, with a good plot and some nice twists, I enjoy Kelley's shorts more for the extra glimpse of the characters we get. The chance to see how certain people are doing and maybe see little things from a different point of view. That was very much the case here. Counterfeit Magic is set just before Waking The Witch, which is narrated by Savannah. It shows some things Savannah mentioned in more detail, and also gives the chance to see Paige's perspective of Savannah right before she takes the reins as narrator. I love the switch up and seeing the differences in perspective. The relationship between Savannah and Paige kind of fascinates me because it's not quite mother/daughter, not quite sibling, but somewhere between the two. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the two of them together, but from Savannah's POV, in the next full book, Spell Bound (out late July/early August 2011).

As with any of Kelley's books, you wouldn't have to read this to understand events in later books, but it does give that little bit of extra insight which I love. I did enjoy the plot with the case they were working on, although I felt it was left a little bit rushed and unfinished almost. But it did come secondary to getting to know the latest events in the characters lives for me, and in that respect, it's a fantastic novella!


Michelle at Clover Hill Book Reviews said...

This sounds fantastic!! I love the cover as well. Thanks for sharing.

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

I LOVE this series and I usually like the shorts Kelley offers, I also like seeing how the characters are doing... I LOVED WTW! Savannah really surprised as the narrator, cant wait for the next one =D