Kindling the Moon

Kindling the Moon - Jenn Bennett Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews

“Oh, holy Whore of Babylon.” - Arcadia Bell

Arcadia Bell is the bartender and co-owner of Tambuku Tiki Lounge in Morella, California that caters to Earthbound preternaturals. She has been using her “Arcadia” alias and has been in hiding for seven years, after her parents were charged with the deaths of three rival occultists, then faked their deaths. She has not seen them since, but after catching a special news alert one night while she’s working, she discovers they’ve been spotted on camera in Dallas. The word is out… they are alive, and (as we already know) their daughter probably is too. Release the hounds! Arcadia’s rival order, The Luxe, wants her parents brought in for justice against one of their own. If they cannot be delivered, then it is Arcadia they want in their stead. The time is ticking down for Arcadia to locate the demon that was present at all four murders and to bind it so that it can deliver the truth of who committed these murders.

I will start out with saying I was smitten with this book right from the beginning. Ms. Bennett does a wonderful job with creating a unique twist on demons and how they are identified by one another. Each Earthbound demon, and anything else preternatural, has a halo around their heads, which helps each other to identify the other with a diffused colorful cloud. The humans are deemed “savages”, slang for humans who don’t believe in anything paranormal, which I really got a kick out of. The AErthyric demons that are usually the scarier ones that are safely tucked away on another plane can be summoned by talented magicians, with the proper rituals and seals. I enjoyed this world and mythology building and was sucked right in to it.

Arcadia “Cady” is a really cool heroine. She is strong without being the tough-talking over-the-top badass. She has sublime powers in magic and she uses a caduceus, not swords and guns. Hello COOL! I love sword and gun toting heroines, don’t get me wrong, but this was just such a nice change of pace. Everything from her really cool colored hair, to her unique magical abilities, to her modesty over her powers is completely refreshing and charming. {Arcadia was also the name of a favorite pop group of mine formed in 1985 by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran, and my 80s Pop Culture Whore self had to point that out!!} *swoon*

But I digress… for all these reasons above, she instantly became a favorite heroine for me. Even though Cady had one or two dum-dum moments where I felt like she should have seen something coming, they were forgivable because of the overall nature of her character. What I loved the most about her was that she was very honest with herself over her faults. This is huge for me. There is nothing I can’t stand more than a heroine who is oblivious of her own issues, thus belching said issues all over everyone else, and in some cases blaming them for it. There was no self-pity in Cady’s way of life, she just wanted to do what was right, for her parents… and particularly for Lon and Jupe.

Which next leads me to the hero, Lon. Holy cannoli did I melt over Lon. He is mysterious, aloof, intense, and yet so much more than he initially appears to be. He is finally someone that Cady can share her secrets with and he respects them and treasures them in a way someone (Cady!) deserves. What I loved the most about him and this story was that Lon helped Cady for no other hidden motive aside from initially admitting he wanted to get in to her pants. There was no ultimate betrayal on his part, which often happens nowadays in UF series. And even when he overreacted about something, and made my heart go “owwwwwwchieeeee” for Cady, he called himself on it and corrected it.

Oh and how I adored Lon’s son, Jupe. Often times when the hero or heroine in a book has a child it can get kinda iffy on how the child will fit in to the story. I can be reaaaaaaal persnickity with a child secondary character winning my affections but Jupe completely won me over. The dynamics between Cady, Lon, and Jupe melted my dang heart. I had to give a shout out to Ms. Bennett on Twitter at one point for this particular quote because Frankenstein is one of my favorite books, and when people mistakenly represent Frankenstein as the monster, typically at Halloween, it drives me bananas! This is the quote in question between Arcadia and Jupe.

He scrunched up his nose and smiled. “Arcadia, that’s right. What a weird name. It sounds like you should be a movie star or something, especially with that crazy silver halo of yours and that Bride of Frankenstein hair.”

I laughed. That was better than the skunk comments I usually got. “Nope, just a lowly bartender.”

“Do you like classic movies?”

“Sure.”

“Ya know which one I’m talking about? Bride of Frankenstein? Elsa Lanchester had her hair kinda like that. She was really the Monster’s bride—Frankenstein was the doctor. People always screw that up.” pg. 81

THANK YOU, Jupe! They do!! Anyway, I was instantly enamored with Jupe. Every scene he is in, you just want to hug him, even though, well you know, he’s on paper. Then, there were references to Struwwelpeter which is definitely not something you see everyday, further lending to the unique and fresh feel Kindling the Moon delivered.

This was a fantastic debut to a new series I am very excited over, and a must-read for all lovers of Urban Fantasy, with such a compelling and believable romance. I was left dying to know what happens to the characters after I grew so very fond of them all. Everyone: look out for this author, she’s someone to sit up and take notice of! Waiting for the next book in the series, Summoning the Night, is going to be agony!