Josh Reviews: Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson

Posted June 24, 2012 by Joshua Burns in Miscellaneous / 1 Comment


Title: Vicious Circle
Series: Persephone Alcmedi #1
Author: Linda Robertson
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Published: June 30 2009
ISBN #: 9781439154281/1439154281
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: borrowed
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A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do….

Being a witch doesn’t pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by between reading Tarot cards, writing her syndicated newspaper column, and kenneling werewolves in the basement when the moon is full — even if witches aren’t supposed to mingle with wolves. She really reaches the end of her leash, though, when her grandmother gets kicked out of the nursing home and Seph finds herself in the doghouse about some things she’s written. Then her werewolf friend Lorrie is murdered…and the high priestess of an important coven offers Seph big money to destroy the killer, a powerful vampire named Goliath Kline. Seph is a tough girl, but this time she bites off more than she can chew. She needs a little help from her friends — werewolf friends. One of those friends, Johnny, the motorcycle-riding lead singer for the techno-metal-Goth band Lycanthropia, has a crush on her. And while Seph has always been on edge around this 6’2″ leather-clad hunk, she’s starting to realize that although their attraction may be dangerous, nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them.

Great title.

What sets this book apart from the rest for, at least, the first three hundred pages is its willingness to defuse plot lines and surprise. The initial meeting which sets all this in motion gives us very clear genre expectations. The blurb for the book will catch you up to speed if you already aren’t.

Persephone must slay a vampire while gaining the aid of Johnny, innuendo-slinging werewolf. I am happy to say that all these plans are quickly thwarted, the only sure thing being Persephone and Johnny’s hook-up, the pay-off of which manages to be both thrilling and cool as cucumber in ranch dressing. My major complaint, in fact, arises from their relationship, more on Johnny’s side than anything. Within the last seventy pages he becomes another person. Perhaps this change is slightly warranted what with being a bad ass alpha but I became more and more disappointed in him as the story wrapped up.

This novel also contains a B story which seemingly comes in and out of nowhere. I respect again and again the author’s comfort with showing things from her world. You learn a lot about how witches and vampires function without it feeling forced. Much of this may derive from Persephone’s voice and attitude the latter of which deserves nothing but merit always making up for her wrongs and caring for those around her.

The novel functions as a great introduction to the side characters packing them in as effortlessly as pancakes, aside from the B story characters that is. I don’t know how to treat the B story because I don’t think it should be removed nor do I think it should be expanded or shortened. I don’t know how I feel about the feeling that it will come back to bite our butts in future books.

I would be excited to read more in this series so long as Johnny comes back to a semblance of normality, cracking jokes as effortlessly as he does eggs because he’s a good cook. All in all, a quick and ensnaring read that indulges often in disrupting expectations rather than following through.

Books in this series:
Vicious Circle Hallowed Circle Fatal Circle Arcane Circle Wicked Circle
Recommendation: Don’t let the circle fool you. This story isn’t one perfect curve by any means.
Like this, like that: Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland and the On the Edge series by Ilona Andrews

Josh

Reviews UF/PR novels with an eye for weres of all kinds.

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One response to “Josh Reviews: Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson

  1. I can’t wait to start this one, I have it for a while but haven’t read it yet. I’m glad you enjoyed it, it sounds like a great start! thanks for the review.