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Review: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

Review: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett
Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett
Series: Arcadia Bell #4
Published by Pocket
Published on: May 27, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
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In this new installment in a beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and a new future she desperately wants: herself.

After surviving a supernatural battle with Hellfire Club leader Ambrose Dare, Cady and her demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, journey across California to find the source of her mysterious Moonchild origins. But the further they travel, the stranger the revelations about her parents’ past occult lives. Can Cady keep what’s rightfully hers, or will she have make the ultimate sacrifice to stop her murderous mother from crossing the planes?


SwoonWorthy Jaw-Dropping HotMess


2014 seems to be the year of series finales, and out of all of them, ARCADIA BELL has been the one that I’ve been dreading the most. Jenn Bennett is one of my top five go-to Urban Fantasy authors, and having to say goodbye to these beloved characters after only four books (and a novella) is heartbreaking. That point aside, BANISHING THE DARK is pure magic with its topsy-turvy plot, explosive chemistry and exceptional epilogue. And, the first ever chapters from Jupe’s POV are just… wow. I tried to savour this one—really, I did—but I was a goner after page one.

The showdown between Cady and her mother has been brewing since KINDLING THE MOON, and has finally reached its boiling point, but that’s not the only challenge Team Bell will have to face before they earn their HEA. Lon and Cady’s relationship gets put to the test in the most unlikely of ways which added an entertaining twist to their interactions throughout this book. I loved that the author made this installment all about “them”; although, I did find myself missing some of the secondary characters at times. The sexual tension actually surpassed the non-stop action in a few instances which helped ensure that this conclusion was pleasing on all fronts.

I adored Jupe’s role in this novel, and the couple of scenes from his POV made me desperately crave a novella from his viewpoint. I liked that he had just as big of a role to play in the Moonchild spell investigation as Cady and Lon did. His conversations with Priya were downright hilarious, and I loved that we got to witness his “first love”. His inclusion in the epilogue was a nice little bonus too. I never thought I’d count a teenage kid among my favourite characters, but Jupiter Butler is one of a kind!

No ARCADIA BELL book would be complete without an edge-of-your-seat story line, and the Moonchild investigation succeeds in delivering that and so much more. The curve balls will have you white knuckling your eReader, while the revelations will leave you scrapping your jaw up off the floor. It’s been a real challenge to write this review without spoilers because there are just so many things to squee about; needless to say, this installment certainly does not lack in the “oh shit” department.

Jenn Bennett certainly knows how to make an exit because BANISHING THE DARK ends on the highest of highs. Encore!!!


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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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42 Comments

  1. It really is the year of the series finale, isn’t it? I haven’t read this series from the beginning and think that, before I read this last one, I might need to start over and read it all at once.

    • This is one of my ALL TIME favourite UF series; if you only read a few books in this genre a year, Arcadia Bell should be it!

  2. I have heard nothing but good things about this series and now that I know it ends on a good note and you approved, I want to start reading this one! I love a good UF.

    Great review! I hope you have a wonderful three day weekend!!

    • All 4 books are amazing (plus the novella). I highly recommend it!

  3. I agree that this series is amazing and Jupe and Lon. I agree that this book ended perfectly 🙂

    • I love the family dynamics in this series; it’s so well done.

  4. This author is new to me and I really like the sound of this one. Good review.

    • Thank you. I can’t recommend Jenn Bennett’s books enough.

  5. I am so glad to see you loved this too Carmel!!!!
    It was so so heartbreaking to let this series go and I am going to miss it so much. I am going to miss these characters and this world and LON *cries*

    WONDERFUL REVIEW, Carmel!!!

    • I was so shocked when I found out that this series was ending… I might have cried a little. 😉

  6. Pfffft, after reading your review, I’m definitely getting the series! Obviously I didn’t start reading it when the first one came out, lol. Shorter series also means I don’t fall too terribly behind, lol, but also that if I’ll fall for it hard it’s gonna be sad, lol.
    Either way, I’m diving in 😀

  7. So glad that you approve of this ending. I have books three and four slated in the next couple of weeks and I am eager to see how it all ends. Yes, there are so many series ending this year.

    • I know! Whatever are we going to do with ourselves!? Oh yeah, get hooked on new series. LOL

  8. I added this series to my list, I love her Roaring Twenties series and cannot wait to to try these!

    • I started with this series first, but both are equally good. Enjoy!

  9. I gave up after book 1 :/

  10. Wow! This sounds like a great series. Definitely one for my summer reads. Really interesting review!

    • Thank you! I’m a HUGE fan of this series (in case you couldn’t tell). 😉

  11. This series sounds amazing, like something I would really enjoy reading. I’m putting it on my wishlist, especially since the series ended so well.

    Happy Friday & have a great weekend, Carmel! 🙂

    • Jenn Bennett definitely ended Arcadia Bell on a high note. I personally think this series could have kept going, but that’s just me. Hehe

  12. I’m so glad this series went out on a high, Carmel! So Ms. Bennett is on your top 5 list?!? I’m going to have to check her out. Have a lovely weekend!

    • YES! She’s one of my all time fav Urban Fantasy authors.

  13. It is less daunting to start a new series when it has less than 5 books, added to the fact that the author is one of your too urban fantasy authors and this is the last book in the series! Plus, it didn’t dissapoint! I’m glad you enjoyed it even though it is bittersweet to see the story ends. Saying goodbye to characters you’ve grown to love is tough in a way. Will def be checking book 1 out 🙂

    • I agree. Short series are way more do-able, and this one is totally worthwhile! Happy reading!

  14. So many series have been ending this year! At least it means you can now read new ones. So glad this series ended up great. I’ll definitely be checking it out, and I could probably just read them all back to back. 🙂

    • All of these series finales are making me sad, but yes, I guess it helps clear my reading schedule. New authors need love too!

  15. I read the first book and I really enjoyed it, but I’m still waiting for the audio to continue…One of these days…I hope.

    • Me too! I know she’s releasing her Roaring Twenties in audio, so hopefully these ones won’t be too far behind.

  16. I also love this series and Jenn! I’m currently reading it so I think I’ll finish it this weekend! So can”t wait to see what will happen. And as you say it, I also love Jupe a lot!!!!

    • In that case, you are in for an EXCELLENT weekend! 😀

  17. I was so sad to see this series come to an end. :'( – I’m crossing my fingers for a spin-off series.

  18. oh wow, it’s the last one in the series? Great of Jenn to finish on a high note (as you said). So many authors do not. Excellent review, Carmel!

    • That Jenn Bennett sure knows how to keep her readers wanting more.

  19. I know I should have started this series a long time ago, but I guess the plus side is I can read them all back-to-back right?

    • Exactly! Seems like I’ve been adding a lot of series to your TBR pile lately. YES!!!

  20. I haven’t heard of this series/author before now but it sounds wonderful! I’m pleased to hear the conclusion was satisfying,

    A fabulous review! another series added to my tbr pile 😉

    Sharon – Obsession with Books

    • Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy Cady & co. as much as I do.

  21. How did I miss this series?!? I guess the plus is that I can grab all the books and binge read then suffer from withdrawals.

    Glad to hear that you were happy with the series conclusion. I’m adding book 1 to my reading calendar.

  22. Great review Carmel, I completely agree with you ! And I am sad this was the last one.