Thursday, 1 December 2011

Book Review: Death Magic by Eileen Wilks

Title: Death Magic
Author: Eileen Wilks
Series: Book #8 in the World of the Lupi series
Release Date: 1 November 2011
Number of pages: 377 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Source: ARC provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle store, Book Depository

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: DEATH MAGIC opens with Special Agent Lily Yu in Washington, D.C. with her fiancé--lupi prince Rule Turner—to testify before a Senate subcommittee about her role in the magical collapse of a mountain last month. She is not there to tell them about the strange legacy she carries from that event—or about the arcane bond between her and Rule--or what her boss in Unit Twleve of the FBI’s Magical Crimes Division is really up to. She sure won’t tell them that the lupi are at war with an Old One who wants to remake humanity in her own image.

Lily is managing the conflict between her duty as an officer of the law and the need for secrecy pretty well . . . until the rabidly anti-magic senator who chairs that committee is murdered. The line between right and wrong, always so clear to her, becomes hopelessly blurred as events catapult them all towards disaster, and prophecies of a cataclysmic end to the country she loves and serves--and to the entire race of lupi--seem well on their way to being fulfilled.

My Thoughts: Not only have I heard of Eileen Wilks' World of the Lupi UF series, I have also read the prequel and first book, but when Eileen Wilks asked me to review Death Magic I was a bit worried (terrified would do more justice to what I felt). Why? Because jumping into a story with the 8th book without having any prior knowledge of what took place in the previous 7 novels was more than a bit daunting. But I can tell you that despite starting Death Magic without practically any prior knowledge of the world, I still enjoyed the story, the characters and the worldbuilding a lot. Sure there were moments where I was a bit lost or confused, but these blank spots didn't hinder much my appreciation and enjoyment of the novel.

The mystery of the story is complex and multilayered, Death Magic combines elements of police procedural, urban fantasy and bits or paranormal romance novels. The unique worldbuilding of the World of the Lupi series is colourful and incredibly rich: besides werewolves, shifters, witches there are also dragons, elementals, brownies, and a lot of different magically gifted people. Reading about their powers and traditions was more than interesting, Eileen Wilks opened a whole new world to me.

His mental voice was different from Sam's  - cool and precise, yes, but without the razorlike quality, and with a whiff of flavor.It was like the difference between Arctic ice and a snow cone dribbled with a few drops of Bahama Mama.

Sadly having jumped into the series with Death Magic, I have no idea about everything Rule and Lily have gone through, all the hardships and struggles they had to surmount to get where they are in their relationship in Death Magic, but the quiet intensity of Rule's love and Lily's confident and calm sense of security and affection in their love were soothing and heartwarming. Death Magic is more focused on the mystery storyline and the action than the romance between Rule and Lily but we still got some wonderfully intense and heart-squeezing scenes:
"Look. I get that you've been worried about me, but -""
"Do you?" In two quick paces he was in front of her, his eyes blazing. He seized her arms. "Do you really have any idea? Because worried is a thin and puny word  that would snap like a twig beneath the weight of my feelings."

"You don’t know who you are if you aren’t first a cop. I knew that, but I didn't ..." He sifted her hair with his fingers as if he might find words there. "I didn’t understand in my gut. Now I do. I learned that I’m not ... I'm no longer the Lady’s first. I still serve her, but she’s not first. If I must choose between you and her –"
"Don't. Don't try to choose."
He placed his hand over hers. "Too late. I already have."

Besides Rule and Lily, Eileen Wilks features a vast cast of supporting characters, whom seasoned readers may know from pervious books. My personal favourite was Cullen, who is simply adorable with his know it all, cocky attitude :-)

The writing was wonderful. Detailed and deep to convey emotions, yet fluent enough not to weigh down the break-neck pace of the story. I also appreciated how Eileen Wilks lightened the tension with bits of humour peppered into the story.
Rule spoke. "What book?"
"Ars Magicka. A grimoire. By Eberhardus Czypsser."
"Gesundheit," Lily said.

Rule and Lily when talking about their (werewolf) wedding plans:
"You are so full of shit," But she started laughing. "Doves, sure. Our guests would love some flying hors d'oeuvres. Maybe we should have some cute little bunnies for them to chase after the ceremony instead of cake, sending our message of fuzzy, yummy love to flesh eaters everwhere."

Verdict: Death Magic was a fantastic story full of excitement, thrill and break neck action. I loved Eileen Wilks' extremely well developed worldbuilding and her fully fleshed out and varied characters, her fluent and engaging writing style made the story a quick read I gobbled up in no time. If you are new to the series you will still enjoy Death Magic, but I would advise you to read the books in order because that would enhance your enjoyment of the small details and plot/character development even more.

The World of the Lupi series is a fantastic urban fantasy series, one that all fans of the genre will unequivocally enjoy!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Cover: 8/10 - vibrant and definitely leaves an impression. Suits the story well, even if I picture Lily to be much more petite and fragile.

Buy it:
The BookDepository 

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