Friday, January 11, 2008

Dime Store Magic

The third book in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Other World series was fantastic. In Stolen, the narrator Paige Winterbourne came across as pushy and arrogant, in Dime Store Magic she comes into her own. The reader gets to see her as an idealist who wants to bring the North American Witches Coven into the 21st century as well as a young woman struggling against the loss of her mother and the added responsibility of taking care of Savannah, a 13 year old orphan.

When Savannah's biological father is told about her whereabouts he brings forth a paternity suit. The elders of the coven want Paige to give Savannah up because the child is too willful and lacks the strict morality of the coven. Since Paige's mother entrusted Savannah to her care, Paige is unwilling to abandon her. Instead she fights the paternity suit and deals with the reprecussions Savannah's father throws at her.

This is the first book in this series without Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf in existence, as a major character. While she does make a couple of brief cameos due to being friends with Paige, it is obvious from the first page that this book isn't about Elena and she isn't vital to the story. The series and the world it's set in gets a little bigger through this distinction and it makes you wonder who else might wind up as the main character. Could we see stories about Cassandra the vampire? Or Leah the half-demon? I rather doubt we'll see a book about Leah, she's a bit too much the villian in this one.

The pacing in this book is good and the characterizations work well. Paige, Savannah, and the new character Cortez are all fully fleshed out. I enjoyed the characters and even warmed up to Paige, a character I did not care for in the previous book Stolen. I was disturbed by the way the coven members turned their back on Paige and Savannah during the conflicts of this book, that showed a severe failing in the coven itself.

Kelly Armstrong has created a wonderful world that is just different enough from our own to make it recognizable and yet fantastic at the same time. Her characters are interesting with flaws and insecurities as well as great power at their fingertips. I highly recommend her books to any lovers of paranormal stories.

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