Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld, Book 3), by Kelley Armstrong

Dime Store Magic is the third book in the Women of the Otherworld sequence, orthopedist and the first that has a main character who isn’t Elena. If I’m not mistaken, rx it’s also the first book to have acknowledged that it was a series. Now, ampoule of course, the eighth book is due out at the end of this month. Kelley Armstrong is still, to my knowledge, Canadian, and I haven’t learned anything in the last week regarding movie possibilities.

Paige Winterbourne, the witch from Stolen, has had custody of Savannah Levine for the last year, since Savannah’s mother died. Savannah’s mother, Eve, had left the Coven many years before, and had been practicing what the Coven considered evil magic. Paige is supposed to look after her and teach her ‘good’ magic. Unfortunately, Paige’s custody is challenged — by Savannah’s father, who turns out to be a sorcerer. (Sorcerers and witches don’t get along, ever since the Inquisition.) Sorcerers aren’t very good at taking ‘no’ for an answer, and Paige and Savannah’s life becomes a lot more difficult. Enter Lucas Cortez: renegade sorcerer and lawyer, he might be able to help. Well, if Paige will let him.

Paige has a different voice from Elena, although they both use first person. She’s more intellectual (she does web programming and design by day) and much less violent; I don’t think she lays a hand on anyone for the whole book. For those who were a little less than fond of the amount of death and violence in the two previous books, this one might be more to their tastes. That’s not to say that there is no violence — Paige teaches herself a suffocation spell, for example. People do die, and sometimes gruesomely, but Paige isn’t usually physically responsible.

Part of this book is political: sorcerers organize themselves by cabals. Savannah’s father is the heir to the Nast cabal, and they do everything by the book. In Armstrong’s world, these sorcerers’ cabals run nearly every business endeavor in the world, as well as filling most high-power legal positions. HenceCortez : fight fire with fire, so to speak. He also represents a bridge between witches and sorcerers. Savannah does, as well, having a witch mother and a sorcerer father.

The pacing of the book is definitely taut; I found it, in many ways, more exhilarating than the previous book. Danger came from many different sources, including humans, half-demons, sorcerers, and necromancers. There’s a scene involving reanimated corpses that sticks in my mind. It walks the fine line between hilarious and horrific. I did spend the majority of the book being worried about Paige and Savannah’s lives; I wasn’t nearly as worried about Elena.

Savannah, a thirteen-year-old, read fairly well. She didn’t use very much time-period specific slang or intentionally made-up words. Paige does make a remark about not being able to understand thirteen-year-old English, but Savannah was comprehensible. Armstrong gave Savannah a character, but not a caricature. LucasCortez was, on the other hand, less verbally transparent. Another character refers to him as a ‘geek’, and it’s fairly accurate. His speech patterns were a bit convoluted, but after reading a few, they merely became amusing.

Some readers may be disappointed that the book is about a witch, some sorcerers, and a few half-demons, rather than werewolves. I would say that readers who decide not to read it for that reason are missing out. I enjoyed it more than its immediate predecessor (Stolen). It’s, again, not a book for most children; olderYAs and adults, though, who enjoy paranormals and urban fantasy may like it. I would even say that knowledge of the two preceding volumes is not necessary, although it will add another layer to the story. 4.5/5 stars.

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