fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsurban fantasy book reviews Jenn Bennett Arcadia Bell 1. Kindling the Moon 2. Summoning the NightSummoning the Night by Jenn Bennett

Summoning the Night is the second book in Jenn Bennett’s ARCADIA BELL series. It follows Kindling the Moon and is just as good as its predecessor; with this book Bennett has cemented this series’ place on my “snap up on sight” list.

The main plot this time around is that Cady is manipulated into doing an investigation for the Hellfire Club. The teenage children of Hellfire members are vanishing, and the club’s leader, Ambrose Dare, believes the culprit may be the same man who was behind a similar series of disappearances thirty years ago. At first glance, this case isn’t as personal to Cady as the one involving her parents, but it quickly becomes personal. Cady is forced to make several choices and bargains that go against her sense of ethics or common sense or both, with repercussions that will ripple into future books. And then it turns out that Jupe, the son of Cady’s boyfriend Lon, is in danger from the kidnapper too…

Jupe. Where do I start? I love this kid. He’s one of the best secondary characters in urban fantasy right now, and steals every scene he’s in with his blend of ebullience and vulnerability. Summoning the Night starts out with a big dose of Jupe goodness, and this hooks the reader from the very beginning.

The relationship between Cady and Lon, and the one between Cady and Jupe, continue to grow and deepen. They really feel like a family now; Cady and Lon are becoming more serious and Cady and Jupe have a bond that isn’t quite mother-son — more like “cool aunt” and nephew — but it’s warm and sweet and it works. I just love it anytime these three characters, or any two of them, are on stage together.

These character relationships, which both tug at the heartstrings and provide some infectious moments of lightness, are probably the number one reason that ARCADIA BELL stands out in the field. This is well on its way to becoming one of my favorite urban fantasy series, right along with KATE DANIELS. It’s certainly the most fun I’ve had with an urban fantasy in a long time.

Arcadia Bell — (2011-2015) Publisher: Meet Arcadia Bellbartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law… Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge. But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life… and no amount of running will save her this time.

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  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.