Review: Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
Title: Dime Store Magic
Series: Women of the Otherworld #3
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Random House of Canada
Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Published: August 25, 2009
ISBN #: 9780553587067 / 0553587064
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: bought
From Canada’s new queen of suspense, another hugely entertaining supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Prepare to be enchanted…
Forget the cackling green hag in The Wizard of Oz, forget Samantha from Bewitched. Real witches are nothing, NOTHING like this. For years real witches have hidden their powers, afraid of being persecuted. They have integrated so well into the community, you could have a witch living right next door and never know about it. Take Paige, for instance, whom we first met in Kelley Armstrong’s novel Stolen. Just an ordinary twenty-something who runs her own website design company, worries about her weight and wonders if she’ll ever find a boyfriend. Okay, so she’s leader of the American Coven and guardian of Savannah, the teenage daughter of a black witch. Really, life is ordinary. But then a telekinetic half-demon, Leah O’Donnell, shows up to fight for custody of Savannah. And although Paige is ready for her, she’s not quite so prepared for the team of supernaturals that Leah brings with her, including a powerful sorcerer who claims to be Savannah’s father.
When all hell breaks loose — literally — and Paige is accused of witchcraft, Satanism and murder, the Coven, fearing exposure, abandons her. Cut off from her friends, Paige is forced against her better judgment to accept the help of a young sorcerer lawyer. And she quickly comes to realize that keeping Savannah could mean losing everything else.
Breathtakingly thrilling, hip and funny, this new novel is another page-turning triumph from an author who is going from strength to strength.
I was pleasantly surprised by Dime Store Magic when I read it this second time around. My first reading was a bit disappointing because witches replace werewolves as the main characters and that’s not a fair trade in my books. Now that I’ve read nearly the whole series I was able to better appreciate Kelley’s third Women of the Otherworld novel. I really enjoyed going back in time and meeting Savannah all over again as well as witnessing the begins of Paige and Lucas’ relationship. I’d forgotten a good chunk of the history of witches/sorcerers too so it was a great refresher.
This is Paige’s first chance to shine as a narrator in this series and I enjoyed her point of view a great deal. Miss Winterbourne hasn’t had it easy lately: she lost her mom in the previous installment and gained a teenage ward. Definitely not a fair trade in my books but that’s life! I was shocked by how much more I enjoyed Paige this second time around. Originally I found her character to be too weak and naive for my liking but that’s not actually the case. Elena is a hard act to follow and although Winterbourne doesn’t possess the might of a werewolf, her strength lies in her relationships. Paige is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Savannah; she’s prepared to give up life as she knows it and all that she holds dear in order for her ward to have a good life. In my eyes, there’s nothing nobler than sacrificing oneself for another, especially a child.
Lucas and Paige didn’t exactly get off to the best start when they first met. I’d forgotten how much they butted heads in the beginning. The couple that I know now are solid in their relationship and are a real power team. That’s definitely not the case in Dime Store Magic! As natural enemies (sorcerer/witch) their confrontations are explosive and when you throw in a teenage witch coming into her powers you’re left with a real mess. I think I enjoyed the back-and-forth between the characters more than the plot’s main conflict. Lucas and Paige are adorable together even when they’re at odds. I liked the trade-spell-for-spell deal that they initiate in this installment as well. When they finally do get together it’s quite magical. Literally!
Kelley lays out the history of sorcerers and witches in this installment which in itself is a gripping read. Paige explains things from the Coven’s perspective, Lucas from the Cabals’ and Savannah chimes in too. Combined they provide a pretty well-rounded view of their magical past. Winterbourne also uncovers an interesting secret regarding their grimoires as well that I found fascinating. I like that Armstrong dug as deep as she did into the witch universe. These details aren’t crucial to the overall plot but added an extra level of depth that I appreciate as a reader. It just makes the Women of the Otherworld all the more real in my eyes.
Other than a few brief phone calls to Elena, this book has very little to do with its predecessors and as a result, it’s not essential to have read the previous novels in order to fully understand this one. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t though! Clay and Elena will forever remain my favorite fictional couple but Lucas and Paige are definitely up there. Dime Store Magic is a fun book full of challenges, magic and budding relationships. I enjoyed the story a lot more this second time around and I can’t wait to revisit Industrial Magic next month!
||Fans of witches and sorcerers will enjoy the next few books in this series but take note, the werewolves are MIA for the next couple of installments.
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||The Hollows series by Kim Harrison and the Arcadia Bell series by Jen Bennett.