Title: Industrial Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
5th sentence, 74th page: I’d just finished finding my fourth stray cat when a distant voice hailed us.
‘The blade pressed into my throat, and blood trickled down my neck. In that moment, it seemed that even to breathe might be fatal…’
Paige Winterbourne is in exile. Ousted as leader of the American Coven, she decides to turn her back on her old life and start afresh. But fate, of course, has other plans.
A murderer is on the loose – someone with apparently superhuman skills and a grudge against the supernatural community. When Paige discovers that the killer is targetting children, she has to get involved.
Desperate to protect those she loves, Paige is thrown back into a world she thought she had left behind for good. But if she wants to stop an apparently unstoppable psychopath, she will have to find allies in some very dark places…
So far this has been my least favourite of the Women of the Otherworld books, but I still absolutely adore it! After Dime Store Magic, it was really nice to find out what Paige, Lucas and Savannah are doing with their somewhat changed lives. That, and finding out more about Lucas’ family and the difficulties of his life was fascinating – although it took a little while for the storyline to really build up steam.
Finding the potential culprit of the killings in the first half of the book seemed really bizarre to me at the time – the whole main point of the story is that someone is killing supernaturals. And needs to be stopped. And is found in the first half… ?? But, eventually it begins to make sense – a red herring that really does help to further along the storyline. Not only does the potential culprit lead to stronger ties within the characters’ relationships, but also to greater explanations of their new positions in life. Dime Store Magic led to upheavals in the lifestyles and very fabric of being in Paige’s life. This also had rippling effects to Adam’s life. I loved revisiting him, and all in all, although confusing, I found that just the reappearance of Adam in the story made the slightly odd red herring well worth it.
I loved how Armstrong likened the sorcerer Cabals to the mafia, not only literally throughout the storyline, but also in its very conception and creation. The idea of a paranormal gang running half of America and the supernatural community was really fascinating to me – mob and gang mentality has always interested to me, so combine this with a world of fantasy and I’m just hooked. The contrast between a rigid, utilitarian, money-making corporation with the prodigal son, Lucas, someone who works for a cause (and almost never money) really highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of each group.
The need of Lucas’ father to connect with him (beyond the running of the Cabal) emphasised the relationships between parent and child. This idea was explored a little in Dime Store Magic when Paige and Savannah are forced to deal with the loss and grief of a beloved mother, but the need to connect to an estranged parent is a major driver in the storyline and both characters’ lives. I love how Armstrong highlights the love between family – it isn’t easy, and it is almost never simple (even in amicable cases), but it is important.