My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actual rating of 3.5
Journi McCutcheon is a soothsayer, she helps people with supernatural problems, even if that does turn out to be a haunted jar of pickles. Since the Rise of Magic, magical beings have been out in the open, living alongside humans, not always peacefully. When Journi is called to help with the aforementioned haunted pickles, she stumbles upon something that turns her stomach, and shows her that the end of days for magic folk is coming. She is in a race against the clock to find the person responsible for the dead cats she found, as this person will bring forth the extinction of her species. Will she find the culprit in time?
I received a copy of this book from an email freebie, I saw the title, and the cat on the cover and I was sold. I must admit, I was a bit jolted when I discovered that the main role the cats in this story played were the murder victims. So if you’re not good with animal deaths in books, even though we’re seeing the aftermath, and there is no actual killing described as such, maybe this book isn’t for you. I must admit, if I had read the synopsis properly, I probably wouldn’t have downloaded a copy. I’m not good with animal deaths, so sue me. I’m so glad that I skimmed over that part though, because besides the heart-wrenching details about the dead kitties, it was a really good story.
I really enjoyed the character of Journi, she’s an unapologetic badarse of epic proportions, and I absolutely loved her sass. Her family are super quirky, and I have to admit, I loved her Grandmother the most. Something about eccentric, absolutely bat shit insane Grannies just makes me smile. And Journi’s is no exception. I love the contrasts between the McCutcheon women, they each had their own voice in this story and I think it was well done. At first I rolled my eeys when we were introduced to Jesse, but I quickly came to love the gun toting, pink wearing gunslinger. I really hope she’s a recurring character as she was such a fun addition to the cast.
The world building is small, but it works well. I find urban fantasy doesn’t generally need as much world building as other genres, so it allows the author to have some fun with the bits they need to do. For example, the discrimination against Deviants in Thorne’s world is a great addition, and I find that it really mirrors our own world as well. There are the majority who are fine with the magical species sharing their world, then you have the extremists, and this is the driving point of this plot line. It’s extremists that will bring about the end of days for deviants, if they’re left uncaught that is.
The story was fast paced, but lagged a little in bits. I think it was a perfect length for an introduction to this series, it didn’t feel rushed or drawn out. And that ending, *sigh*, I had tears in my eyes. It was such a beautiful way to end such a heart-wrenching book for me. I absolutely adored it.
I also really enjoyed the character of Katrina. I felt she was a wonderful addition to the story, and I would LOVE to know what she ended up doing. I guess one thing with Thorne is, she has the ability to really bring her characters to life, even the bad ones. In my experience some authors lack this, and it can really make for a dull story, not Thorne though. Her characters are so well rounded, each with their own voice and personality which I think is a real gem. I also loved the inclusion of the Hellhound. It’s always interesting seeing someone’s take on this creature as they can be interpreted in so many different ways. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed Thorne’s take on it, and all I can say is that I want one.
All in all, this was a fun, quick read about a soothsayer just trying to do her best, she wants justice for the cats that she finds, even though she really dislikes cats, and she’s just trying to stop the eradication of Deviants everywhere. A fantastic series introduction, I can’t wait to see what journi and the gang get up to next!