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Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – June 19, 2013
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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"Complete with witches, werewolves, vampires, and necromancers, this novel will keep readers laughing and turning the pages as Jade tries to figure out the truth behind the deaths surrounding her." - 4 stars, A Book Vacation
"This was a fun, action filled urban fantasy that will also have you running to bake cupcakes!" - 4 stars, Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf
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Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. Jade turned out to be one of those protagonists I don't really want to read about: the special snowflake. She seems ordinary at first, but ends up being so unique that the author flirts dangerously close with the dreaded "Chosen One" trope.
Her father is unknown but it's hinted throughout the book that he is definitely not human, which makes her half-witch, half-something else and this something seems to be powerful. Her family lied to her to keep her past and abilities hidden, supposedly for her own protection, but no justification for that is given in this book. She can sense and identify other people's magic and that makes her extremely desirable for other magical beings for some reason? Once again, no justification is given as to why that would make her important. And there is a hidden portal in the basement of her bakery only she can open.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the plethora of extremely powerful, extremely magical, and extremely hot-looking guys that seem to fawn all over her throughout this book for no other reason than her magical uniqueness. Because the author makes sure to tell us that Jade is no great beauty.
Story-wise the book is pretty straight-forward as well. Magical beings are found murdered and Jade's trinkets have been found on all the bodies, so naturally she is suspect number one. Queue a lot of running around with (or away from) some really hot really magical guys and poking at things that don't need to be poked. I guess that's supposed to be an investigation. Funny how Jade never things about looking closer to home for the culprit.
And that's my other problem with this book. The ending is predictable and the antagonist is hinted upon with such heavy strokes that she might as well have been jumping up and down and holding a board saying, "I'm the villain." Yet Jade is totally oblivious of this until the very end, which made me groan and wonder at her lack of brainpower and observation. It's one thing to be trusting and another to be willingly obtuse.
This book gets 2 stars instead of 1 because it was well-written. I didn't see any glaring grammatical errors and Jade actually has a voice, even if it's an annoying one at times. I wouldn't recommend it however. There are plenty of better paranormal romance / urban fantasy books out there worth reading instead.
Jade Godfrey is a twenty-three-year-old, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, eye-catching cupcake bakery owner and half-witch. She lives a comfortable quiet life in Vancouver with her Gran, who’s a powerful and respected witch, and her feisty foster sister Sienna, who’s a half-witch like Jade. She spends her days blissfully insulated in her own little world, baking cupcakes and crafting trinkets out of found magical bits and bobs in her craft room – unitl the day her bubble bursts and a chillingly attractive vampire comes sniffing around her bakery and home. Things just go from bad to worse when werewolves show up, including a grumpily handsome Alpha, and Jade learns that she’s somehow dead center (pardon the pun) in a gruesome murder investigation. With her Gran inconveniently out of town, Jade has no choice but to get involved and take care of things herself – something she’s definitely not equipped for or used to thanks to her extremely sheltered upbringing.
I’m going to be honest, Jade was a bit too Mary Sue for my taste in some parts – every guy wants a piece of her, which she attributes to magic being attracted to her, as she is to it, but even handsome lawyers and random bus drivers can’t help but smile her way and can’t keep their eyes off her. She’s also extremely sheltered and can’t recall information that seems like it would be pretty crucial for a magical person to have – she knows almosts nothing about vampires or werewolves and has to look them up in her Gran’s books, and then she forgets some of what she read when she tries to remember it later. Honey, you can be pretty, powerful, and smart and still be cute – I promise. Still, she had her moments and was still a pretty likable character – especially with her cupcake obsession. Jade is always thinking about cupcakes, is always craving cupcakes, and always wants to give other people cupcakes.
The plot was interesting and unique, but I kind of guessed what was in the works early on, and felt like Jade should have figured it out earlier as well, but she has this whole self-acknowledged willful ignorance thing going on for her that seems to be practically her brand. But it’s an interesting world the author builds and I eagerly followed it until the end.
My absolute favorite parts of Cupcakes, Trinkets, And Other Deadly Magic were the interactions between clever, sarcastic vampire Kett, the Grand Conclave Investigator, and serious, grouchy Desmond, Lord and Alpha of the West Coast North American Pack, as they worked, begrudgingly, on the werewolf murder investigation together. I would absolutely read a buddy cop series with those two in it. There wasn’t really any romance between Jade and Kett or Desmond beyond some moments of physical attraction – I just hope the series isn’t building towards the dreaded triangle-of-death.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, especially for the price, and the storyline kind of has me hooked. Although I was getting Mary Sue vibes from the main character, Jade was still likable and the other characters really stole the show, enough that I’ll probably read the next book in the series.
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The protagonist’s inner dialogue is obviously the author’s attempt to insert their own “wit,” and I really don’t need a map of...Read more