Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review - Vicious Circle (Persephone Alchmedi, Book 1) by Linda Robertson (4/5 stars)

Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 1)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: June 30, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1439154281
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Persephone Alchmedi series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars

I have had this book on my shelf to read for awhile.  It was a good book and I am glad that I read it.  The world is intriguing and Persephone is a character that is very down to earth, yet caring and tough.

Persephone is a practicing witch who makes her money doing tarot readings and kenneling werewolves during full moons.  She gets a call from a woman named Vivian who wants Persephone to hunt down a man who is suspected of killing one of Persephone's friends.  Persephone reluctantly agrees, but things get more complicated when she finds out that the suspect is a vampire and then one of her other friends almost gets killed while tracking down info on this elusive vampire.

Robertson does an excellent job with world-building and characters.  This is obviously a complex world where the interactions between witches, vampires, and werewolves are complicated.  Robertson does an excellent job of tying mythology and Wicca beliefs into everything.  Persephone is an wonderful character; she is very neighbor-next-door-like but is committed to protecting those she loves and has a streak of toughness when it comes to these people.  Persephone wasn't the most distinctive heroine of urban fantasy that I have read about, but she was unique enough to keep me interested.  Johnny, her love interest, is an intriguing character and obviously has a complex past I am dying to know more about.  The baddies are definitely bad and you are happy to see them get what they deserve.

The plot clipped along at a good pace and was engaging making this book a fast read.  There are some fun twists and turns towards the end of the book that really keep the reader guessing.  I did have some problems with the plot, the main one being why Seph would accept a job to assassinate someone when she doesn't really do that normally.  This was a bit contrived and it was the main thing that got the plot going.

The book ended well, but there are a lot of things that will be carried into the next book.  This was more urban fantasy than paranormal romance; although there is a little bit of romance throughout.  Persephone isn't the most intriguing urban fantasy heroine out there (Kate Daniels, Dorina Basarb, Jane Yellowrock are all more interesting) but she was a little more interesting than others out there and I like the detail that went into describing the magic system.

Overall I am glad I read this book.  While not as creative as say, the Kate Daniels series, I liked this book a little bit better than Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series.  The world is well done, the plot very engaging, and the magic system well described...the characters are all people you really care about and you want to learn more about them.  This is a good option for those who are fans of The Hallows series by Kim Harrison or similar series involving witches, vamps and weres.  I am excited to read the next book in the series Hallowed Circle.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge

Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 1) 

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