Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells : Review

We've been fans of Jaye Wells since Wench Shau got us (or more specifically, got Head Wench Barb) started on her very amazing Sabina Kane series. One look at her review and lots of us scrambled to read the series. We've been burned in the past, so we only recommend the very best to each other. Once I heard it was a complete series, and that it was well loved, I dove in, and I loved it. I even reviewed the novella, Rusted Veins. I do love an author who doesn't do the tropes I so often bitch about (here).

So when we heard Ms.Wells was starting a new series, I was instantly intrigued! And it went on my TBR before I even found out when it was going to be released, which is rare for me in this genre. I usually need someone to tell me the series is worth the read before I invest time in it, but I trust this author. 

When I was told we were lucky enough to view an early copy of Dirty Magic, thanks to Jaye Wells and NetGalley, I was ecstatic! 

Click through to see what I have to say about this first installment! (Very mildly spoilery)

The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there's a new blend out there that's as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she's brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA (Magic Enforcement Agency) task force.
Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier - on the same day she swore she'd given up dirty magic for good. Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never." (From Amazon)
Dirty Magic hit the ground running. I was thrust, instantly, into the midst of a new world, and I have to say, I loved it. Kate Prospero is our heroine, and I slipped into her mind pretty easily. She comes across a pretty brutal crime in the Cauldron, and a chase ensues. My favorite thing about this was how easily I adapted to being in Kate's mind, and how my mind immediately started soaking up the new world, and the terms she's using, like a sponge. And that does not happen in every new book/world you come across.

It is pretty obvious that Kate is a good cop, and under-appreciated because of her past.
 Her inside knowledge of the happenings in the dirty magic underground was engaging, and you really get a feel for the world through her. There's a lot of juicy background information, mainly to do with her old familial ties to the dirty magic king-pin whom she calls "Uncle Abe", that promise lots of drama to come! Not to mention her history with John Volos, Uncle Abe's ex-right hand, and her ex.

Sometimes, in this genre, things tend to be pretty formulaic. So I kind of expected a Sabina Kane type heroine, which I wouldn't have minded! Turns out, Kate was nothing like Sabina! I loved that Kate has her little family, with her best friend, Pen, and her little brother, Danny. People she trusted and had befriended before the reader gets to know her. Between how new and different the world is to how interesting Kate was, I was already hooked. 

I don't want to give anything away, because I really do think this was a great first installment for a very promising series, but Kate's past fascinates me! I was dying to "meet" John Volos after the couple of times he was mentioned, and I have to say, that first meeting, sure made an impact! Can I just say, without giving away anything, that I REALLY want to see more of John... in whatever way possible. *wink wink* Other than Kate, I thought he was one of the most interesting and layered characters in the book. And I am dying to know more! My favorite characters are always the ones who live in the slightly shady moral grey area, and honestly, I'm kinda hoping that's the case with both John and Kate.

I am a masochist. Gotta love all the angsty potential!
This book had very intriguing side characters, from the well meaning Baba who has weekly smutty-book club meetings (a lady after our own heart!), to the grotesquely interesting Little Man & Mary, enough history to keep you reading and wondering, and a main character you will definitely be rooting for from page one. The side effects from dirty magic addiction, alone, promise a whole lot of weird in the future! And we do love the twisted here at the SWBC!

Kate's MEA team members were great to read too, Mez is a personal favorite, but Morales, Gardner and Shadi were pretty cool too. I can see the beginnings of something between Kate and Morales, but I'll be honest when I say, as much as I like him, I prefer John. For now. We all know how a great author can change things as the story goes on! 

More John Volos? Yes, please.
Magic, mystery, mayhem, moral dilemmas, leaps of faith, tragedy, snarkiness, kinship, friendships new and old. This book kept me hooked from beginning to end. It was raw, gritty, dark, and brutally honest when it came to Kate and her views on her past, magic, and the people she cares about. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sitting there after I was done thinking "Now what?" because I couldn't pick up the next installment! Definitely one I'll be waiting for.
Is the next book out yet?

This Wench rates it :
(Anyone who knows me, knows that I NEVER rate a first installment in a series this high.. but I really did enjoy it that much!)

Have you read Dirty Magic? Is it on your TBR? Share your thoughts below!


  1. Well, I found out about this one before it was published and in the meantime I forgot about it. Thank God I just talked to Barb and she jogged my memory...damn I'm slow sometimes. :) I'll get on this baby soon...very soon... ;)

  2. I loved, loved, loved this book. And I agree, gimme more Volos!

    1. Yay! I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I'm a wee bit worried he's going to be the Slade of this series... and I want him to be more than just Kate's past!

  3. I also ended up really liking this book. And you can just add me to the #MoreVolosTeam b/c he definitely intrigued me.

    Veronica G.


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