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Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, Bk 1)
Dirty Magic - Prospero's War, Bk 1
Author: Jaye Wells
MAGIC IS A DRUG. CAREFUL HOW YOU USE IT. — The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there's a new blend out there that's as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she's brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigatio...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316228435
ISBN-10: 0316228435
Publication Date: 1/21/2014
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 42 ratings
Publisher: Orbit
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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ophelia99 avatar reviewed Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, Bk 1) on + 2527 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I got this book to review through NetGalley, so thanks to NetGalley and Orbit for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Jaye Wells also writes the Sabina Kane urban fantasy series, which I have been wanting to read but havent had the chance to read. Dirty Magic is the first book in a new series by Wells set in a new world. It was a decent start to a new urban fantasy. I wasnt enthralled with the characters, but as the story progressed I got more and more interested. I definitely think this has potential to become a great urban fantasy series.

Kate Prospero is on her standard nightly rounds in the city of Babylon when she runs across a woman being mauled by a werewolf-like creature. She shoots him in self-defense...but doing so draws the attention of the MEA (Magic Enforcement Agency). Suddenly Kate finds herself deeply involved in a case with the MEA that involves a deadly new dirty potion that is plaguing the Cauldron (rundown part of Babylon). To further complicate things Kates rich ex-boyfriend (John Volos) is one of the prime suspects.

This was a decent urban fantasy. I thought the setting was interesting, but never really was all that engaged with the main heroine. Things did get more interesting towards the end of the book, as our heroine started to get more involved in using her Adept magic. Up to that point though, this book was mostly a police procedural with some supernatural potion stuff thrown in.

Kate is a cop who has a sordid history as an Adept who made dirty potions for the Cauldron underground. She worked hard to free herself from the clutches of her mobster-like family. She is eager to help out the MEA, it will be a promotion for her and help her to really make a difference in stamping out dirty magic. However Kates life is a bit complicated. Because of both of her parents being dead, she is left to raise her teenage brother herself. Also as things progress she finds out that her ex-boyfriend from her Dirty Magic days is now an influential and rich man in the Babylon political scene...and he is the prime suspect in the creation of a new dirty potion that is causing havoc on the streets.

I didnt really like Kate all that much. She is very much a cop running from a dirty past. She does a lot of stupid things. She doesnt handle her brother Danny well at all, she has a spot of blind fear and hatred where magic is concerned, and she seems a bit too willing to forgive the man that she used to date. She makes a lot of the same mistakes over and over again throughout the book. She does get a bit more interesting as she starts to reveal more of her Adept magic side, but this doesnt happen into much further into the book.

Kates two potential love interests are, of course John, and her MEA partner Morales. John has the whole slightly evil rich guy but occasionally sensitive and caring guy thing going on. I dont like him and I have read about too many other characters like him in urban fantasies. Morales just comes off as a bit of a sex fiend, he is constantly trying to get Kate to have casual sexual relations with him.

Even though I didnt like Kate or either of her love interests, there are some interesting characters in here. Kates brother Danny is an interesting kid and I liked reading about him. Mez is the MEAs resident magic wizard and hes pretty unique and awesome. Kate also has an informant that is half baby, half creepy lady named Little Man (LM) that is crazy creepy but also really intriguing.

The surroundings are gritty and this is definitely dark urban fantasy. Babylon is a city plagued by additive dirty magic potions and the addicts that are desperate for them. The seedier parts of the city are run by Clans of Adepts. We have yet to meet all of these Clans.

I guess part of my problem with this book is that it is mainly a police procedural type of story, the magic is there but not incredibly prevalent until later on in the book. After Kate starts getting more involved with the magic, things get more interesting but this doesnt happen until pretty late in the book.

Overall this was an okay start to a new series, it was easy to read and decently written. I just wasn't all that drawn into the story or the world. I also didnt like the characters all that much. I think it has potential but right now I am on the fence as to whether or not I will read the next book in the series.
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ra7 avatar reviewed Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, Bk 1) on + 1006 more book reviews
Kate was born with the ability to work magic. Magic has the ability to light/dark, it is all about the intent. Her family has chosen to exploit their ability to make cash and gain power. She went into law enforcement.
This was an interesting world. Think like ours, but magic is behind the illegal street drugs and the legal drugs made by pharmaceutical companies. Any drug made and procured is either sanctioned (legal) or not (illegal). Those that make the illegal street drugs are Wizards.
Kate goes by the rules. She doesn't bend and when she does, it's thought out. I did think she was too overprotective of her 16 year old brother (I don't think a 16 year old needs a babysitter for example- the brother didn't show that he needed one). She also has to constantly prove herself (in part because of her background and she is a woman).
I did think Morales was an asshole (I think most are expected to like him). Anytime someone chooses to call someone by a nickname (that could be derogatory) and continues to call someone by that nickname after being asked not to, is an asshole. "Cupcake" is not cute or endearing, it was meant as an insult.
This was a nice mix of active, urban fantasy, and police procedural. It was missing something for me; I didn't quite connect with the characters and will probably not read the rest.
bygones68 avatar reviewed Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, Bk 1) on + 63 more book reviews
The experience of reading this book was a dream on steroids about a fantasy world with magic as a commodity. Kate, being one of the gifted, gave up magic and potions after her mother's death to become a cop and single guardian of her younger brother. She unexpectedly has an offer to join a task force investigating "dirty magic" and join the battle between good & evil. Different, twisted and entertaining enough that I will read the next book.