Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: Veiled Magic
Author: Deborah Blake
Heroine/Hero: Donata Santori / Peter Casaventi / Magnus Torvald
Genre: MF Urban Fantasy
Length: 280 Pages
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…
Police officer and Witch Donata Santori spends her days interrogating dead witnesses by summoning their spectral forms. Normally the job is little more than taking statements and filing reports. But when she’s called in on the case of a murdered art restorer, she finds herself suddenly in possession of a mystical portrait that both the human and paranormal communities would kill to get their hands on.
Unable to take on the forces hunting her alone, Donata seeks help from two unlikely and attractive allies: a reluctant shape-changer and a half-dragon art forger. But as the three of them hurry to uncover the truth about the powerful painting, Donata realizes that she’s caught in the middle of not one but two wars—one for possession of the painting’s secrets and one for possession of her heart…
Review: I was introduced to Deborah Blake’s works when I read her Baba Yaga series. So when I saw that she would release a new series – featuring a cop! – I couldn’t resist to request the ARC. I love both urban fantasy and murder mystery, so I thought the blurb for Veiled Magic was pretty intriguing.
The world of Veiled Magic is pretty ‘common’ in urban fantasy, including the supernatural beings, therefore I didn’t experience too many difficulties grasping the idea. Here, there are five major Paranormal races: Witches, Dragons, Fae, Ghouls, and Ulfhednar (or shape-changers) along with some minor races. Donata herself is a witch whose main ability is to talk to ghosts and currently she works as Witness Retrieval Specialist – they talk to the dead victims who become witness of their own homicides.
The story started when one of the murder victims in recent case came to visit Donata and told her about a very important painting – one of the Lost Pentacle Pentimentos that can reveal the identity of the lost sixth paranormal races. Because of it, both the Council (ruling body for the Paranormal Alliance) and the Cabal (renegade arms of Catholic Church) want their hands on it. Donata is forced to ally with a half-human and half-dragon, Peter, and asks help from her-ex, Magnus, to find a way to keep the painting safe.
I liked Donata enough – although her ability seems to be more of ‘talking to ghosts and making spells’ which might not be as physically aggressive when it comes to fighting the bad guys. But Donata is pretty resourceful and she can hold her own when needed. She does seem to be a little lacking in confidence when it is about her own job, though, probably because she spends too much time being ‘cast-aside’ in her basement office. But I liked that Donata didn’t step back from challenges when it came to protecting the painting, even if it meant being scolded by her family or possibly being fired from her job.
I was a bit let down with the ending though – let’s just say that after all the threats from both the Council and the Cabal regarding the painting, I felt that what happened with it was underwhelming. I can’t say more because it would spoiler the story, but it just didn’t seem worth all the trouble that Donata and her friends go through to protect it.
There seems to be a potential love triangle between Donata, Peter, and Magnus. I usually hate love triangles, but it has not yet fully happened here so I had no problem with it. I might change my mind in the next book whenever that is. *laugh*
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*