- Series: Underworld Detective Agency (Book 5)
- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Kensington; 1st Printing edition (August 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0758281129
- ISBN-13: 978-0758281128
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,218,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Under A Spell (Underworld Detective Agency) Mass Market Paperback – August 6, 2013
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About the Author
Hannah Jayne is a freelance writer and journalist. Her short fiction has appeared in Devil’s Brew and is currently featured on the websites www.chicklitreview.org and www.crisisqueens.com. She lives in San Francisco.
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Sophie and Will are sent back to high-school; Sophie's alma mater and the epicenter of many of her bad memories. She was bullied at Mercy, sometimes harshly and relentlessly, so needless to say she's quite a bit hesitant to return as an undercover substitute teacher. One student has been murdered with another that has gone missing. Sampson is convinced there is a coven involved so while Will and Sophie investigate the potential Underworld involvement, Alex and the real police are investigating the human elements to the crime(s). Alex and Sophie see each other in passing and that wasn't nearly enough for me.
The mystery this time around was fairly easy to solve, which didn't bother me all that much. It happens. What did bother me was the continuity problems which I started noticing in book 4. ChaCha either weighs 3 or 8 pounds, she can't be both. Kale can be 18 or 19 or almost 19 but again, can't be both. And one major element that stuck in my craw in this installment was Sophie not only being affected by magic, but "conveniently" passing out not once or twice, but 3 times. Sophie's claim to fame and her usefulness at the UDA has always been her magical immunity. Even dragon fire didn't burn her clothes, so I was rather disappointed to read in this installment the many times she was overtaken by magic. The "convenient" excuse was a powerful witch, but that still didn't sit right with me. I'm not allergic to peanuts, unless I eat 50,000. Does that make sense? No? Because you either are or you aren't, quantity doesn't matter.
Bottom line - fairly disappointing installment in the UDA series. I recommend books 1, 2 and 4 because those are the ones that embody what I grew to love about this series. This installment? Not so much. It wasn't even that funny and coming off of the funniest book in the series (4), that's a major letdown.
2.5 stars, sorry Soph.
Jarring discrepancies abound throughout the series. I couldn't even count the number of times that the heroine raced off in her own car, got to the destination where one of the two guys who are "fighting" over her attentions are, and then when they leave they go in his car, instead. They get back to the police station and MAGICALLY Sophie's car is there. Or, the times that she was drinking tea on one page and coffee on the next.
I could forgive that, though if her characters weren't SO one-dimensional. Her best friend, Nina, has one moment of something close to depth and it's nothing but a footnote in the beginning of the first book as a flashback. The character's reactions/dialogue are usually out of sync with what's going on. And Sophie's constant internal dialogue about her sex drive, how sexy or not she is, and her daydreams of being kick ass get super old after the first book.
The mystery of each book is enjoyable for the most part - the author does a good job of moving us along.
The worst plot hole takes place at the very end of the first book and the very end of the last book. At the very end of Under Wraps, Sophie gets a letter from her dead family member explaining everything she is. The last paragraph of the book reads: "While Alex, Nina, and Vlad looked on, I smoothed the letter against the table, licked my lips, and learned the truth about my life."
Great ending, right? I was excited to read the 2nd book. But it became glaringly obvious that we were just going to pretend Sophie didn't learn anything at all from the mysterious letter. Instead, the entire rest of the series is plagued with her daddy issues and sad, anemic sex life. And this last book? The BIG SHOWDOWN takes up all of maybe a chapter, and it's so vague - leaving more questions than giving answers - and lo and behold! The letter from the first book gets mentioned in the form of ANOTHER letter. It's only as we read this new letter, which actually is shared with us this time, that we learn what Sophie supposedly learned in the first book. Except, if Sophie had actually had the information she supposedly did, the majority of her angst and the degrading plot wouldn't have happened.
Great concepts, a few really good dialogue lines, a heaping plate of jarring discrepancies and a partridge in a pear tree. I don't feel the books were worth the price.