Devil's Business Mass Market Paperback – Aug 30 2011
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“Takes supernatural shadows to the next level. Kittredge knows how to create a believable world, and her fans will enjoy the mix of magic and city grit.” ―Publishers Weekly on Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series
“Crackles with conflict and perilous magic...For those who love their urban fantasy hypnotically treacherous, this book's for you!” ―RT Book Reviews on Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series
“Street Magic jumps right in to non-stop supernatural action, taking urban fantasy fans on a wild ride.” ―Darque Reviews on Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series
“This is a dark, visceral read that sucks you in and doesn't let you up for air. That is part of my intense love for this series... It hit all my buttons; ghosts, magic, demons, cemeteries, England, moors, fog, supernatural creatures, ancient deities. The way things ended, I am seriously anxious to see what is happening next. Go out and get this!” ―Night Owl Romance on Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series
“Sensual and empowering.” ―Romance Junkies on Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series
From the Back Cover
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The crow-mage Jack Winter is back―with a vengeance―but he's not the only to fight his way out of Hell...
Pete Caldecott did everything she could to save Jack from Hell, even reigning in the dark machinations of the Morrigan to help bring him home. Still, Black London has not welcomed Jack back with open arms. . . So when a friend in Los Angeles asks for help tracking a sorcerous serial killer, Pete and Jack decide a change of scenery couldn't hurt. . .
But the shadow side of the City of Angels turns out to be more treacherous than they ever imagined. Together, Pete and Jack must navigate a landscape teeming with hostile magic-users― and fight an unknown enemy. When their investigation leads to a confrontation with the demon Belial, Jack learns that he wasn't the only thing to escape from Hell. Now it's up to him and Pete to track and eliminate an evil older than the Black itself―before it turns L.A. into Hell on Earth. And destroys life as they know it back at home…
Praise for the Black London series:
"Takes supernatural shadows to the next level." ―Publishers Weekly
"A wild ride."―Darque Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, the good. The pacing, dialogue, and characters are great. Moving the story out of London and to L.A. didn't hurt the plot and was actually a breath of fresh air and Kittredge provides an enough hooks to keep you entertained, such as mothers killed and babies ripped out of them for dark purposes. Aside from the establishing premises to the book such as what Jack did and Belial's deal, the book stands on it's own well enough for a new reader to jump in without much confusion. The villains were the highlight for me with the appropriate levels of creepiness and charm and Belial continues to be a fun "devil you know" sort of character. Jack's still Jack: flawed, smart-ass and with deep wells of self-doubt but he's definitely matured and learning from some of his previous mistakes while still running into more potential future issues, such as his relationship with the Hag. Pete...well, she's mainly her, pregnant or not thank God, but the book doesn't really leave much room for her development.
The story is told from Jack's POV, which isn't a bad thing, but Pete is absent for large portions and her and Jack don't have much interaction, which is a pity since I feel like their interactions are one of the high points of the series and was one of the things that hooked me back in Street Magic. What's more, it felt like Kittredge was creating drama between them for the sake of drama and needing more Jack angst (since his well of self-doubt and angst clearly wasn't big enough >_>). As noted in P "SPAZ"'s review, at the end of Bone Gods it seemed like Pete was relatively okay when she discovered she was pregnant with Jack's kid and had a willingness to try and work through what may come but skip to DB and you find out they're not really talking and they're angry at each other and on the verge of breaking up again with little given explanation for why the shift. Even their arguments feel a bit of a rehash from previous books. In the end, they didn't seem to need much to patch things up which gives a feeling of "WHY DIDN'T THEY DO THIS EARLIER?", especially since it felt like that conversation should have happened between BG and DB or even in the middle of DB but it feels like Kittredge wanted an excuse to keep them apart so she could save their reconciliation for the end. It wouldn't be a bad thing if it didn't feel stilted and contrived as opposed to a natural progression of the characters and their issues.
If Amazon did .5 reviews I'd give DB a 3.5/5 but I didn't feel like DB quite deserved a rounding up to a 4. I wasn't as drawn into DB as I was the previous ones - which might have to do with the lack of Pete-Jack interaction and the change of setting taking getting used to - but I did enjoy reading it. That said, I hope the next one gets the quality back up and I wouldn't mind hearing about some of the new faces, such as Silver, again.
Whew. Kittredge must have some amazing nightmares to come up with this stuff. And she's an amazing writer. She's certainly taken the subgenre of BLACK magic and turned it on its head. Who knew there would be a good guy practicing on the wrong side of magic?
I love what Kittredge has done with this series. It's an atypical pairing between Jack and Pete with a huge twist on the magic and demon pairings one usually sees. You'll understand the storyline and them better as a couple if you've started with the first book, Street Magic (Black London, #1).
This story is all Jack's perspective, and we get a heart-rending look into his innermost thoughts and worries as well as quite a bit of background about past deals made with demons.
I have a hard time believing that Pete could be so obtuse, that mean, or that unaware.
I do enjoy Jack's sense of humor. I just wish he didn't let loose with it at the most inappropriate times...
" 'Hell is ancient," Don said. "Hell is older than Death...'
'And then the man upstairs said let there be light, booze, and porn?' Jack said."
I do feel confused. Kittredge has Jack falling and failing all over the place and yet hints that he's so very important.
Oh man, this story is just one betrayal after another and another and...
"And his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him."
Jack is persona non grata in London, so when Pete gets a request for help from a fellow PI in Los Angeles, they're both glad to be outta there.
Only, events in LA make London look positively peaceful.
Petunia "Pete" Caldecott is a couple months pregnant, a former copper, and not too happy with Jack. Jack Winter is the crow mage with a lousy sense of self-preservation, tied to the Morrigan, and hounded by Belial . Although, he is off the heroin these days.
Benjamin Mayhew used to be a cop in LA and now has his own investigation business. He needs Pete's help with the Herrera and Case murders. Sal is Ben's auto mechanic with a lot full of spare vintage cars used in the movies. Detective Shavers is Ben's former partner. Sliver is another of Ben's friends. He's also a wraith and owns the bar. Ana, a.k.a., La Flaca, is a death avatar running a magic shop in LA.
Belial is a Named demon of Hell, a general. A worried, nervous demon who demands Jack's help in payment of someone else's debt. The Princes of Hell are Beelzebub, Azrael, and Baal.
Harlan Sanford is a producer in LA of many, many B movies. He's also a collector. Parker and Gator are bodyguards and more interested in mayhem. Anna is a sex magician and Travis and Kim are people she's pulled into her web. Basil Locke is a film star from the 1930s with a fascination for the occult and Nazis. Lucinda Lanchester is a B-movie actress from the 1930s with whom Locke was infatuated.
Abaddon/Abbadon, call me "Don", the Destroyer, is an original denizen of Hell who managed to escape decades ago. Another collector. Little Miss Spree Killer, Levi, and Teddy are, well, cohorts seems the best description.
The Morrigan is a goddess of death three times:"the maiden of death, the bride of war, and the hag of the ashes and dust that came after". Ethan Morningstar of the Order of the Malleus is a mage and not one of Jack's friends.
The cover is orange and pink, perfect for conveying the bright lights of Hollywood, and the sparkling of its glamor and Jack's magic. Also perfect for hiding the shadows of a town where darkness flourishes. I do like Pete and Jack's pose, together. There's hope there.
The title is much too accurate, for this story is all about the Devil's Business.
Jack seems to be different in this book ever so slightly. Even though his life style is not one for raising a child in and the dangerous magic all around him is deadly to a baby, he sounds as he wants the baby. I liked this growth in Jack. He's becoming a bigger person, and even though he thinks himself a dead-beat dad he wants to be more. Jack even makes a HUGE change in the end of the book. ;) Thanks to something...special... to him after Bone Gods. I really liked this.
I did feel like I missed a story here somewhere when it came to Pete. I couldn't really place her feelings. I know she's pregnant and that should explain a lot, but well... for me I felt she was more disconnected here and not as much in the story as Jack, our leading man. But the baby is a HUGE focus for both Pete and Jack, and they each want the baby to be safe and raised properly, which is another reason for her distancing.
We get to see Jack, and Pete, outside of their usually comfort zone of London. They are now in America for this story. Los Angeles of all places. Los Angeles has a special feel to it as well, which is an attraction for the magical type, the Black, and demons. I have to say we do make a trip to Hell with Jack as well. I enjoyed this different view this time around.
Oh the demons... Jack finds an alley in someone he never thought he would. And makes a few new enemies. Jack, of course, is not the most likable person, but seems to find trouble no matter where he is. Being the Crow-mage seems to attract them all like a beacon in the night.
Again such a dark urban fantasy read. This book is not full of rainbows, but more of hell and fighting. I feel as this book is taking us through a transition period, with Jack and even the new baby to be. There is more to come and that baby is going to have some serious issues, good and bad. I'm looking forward to seeing what is to come here.
Devil's Business is the latest in Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series, and this time Pete and Jack head for LA! Jack was told to leave London because of his past misdeeds and Pete is told to leave as well. Perfect timing for an acquaintance to call Pete up asking for her help with a case. Jack is reluctant to go but seeing as he has to leave the country and that's where Pete's headed he follows along.
A pregnant woman was mutilated and killed, with her unborn baby missing as well. It's obviously a demon, but which demon remains to be unseen. And with Pete being pregnant herself, there's this unspoken connection she has with the case. She wants to find the demon who's doing this and stop him once and for all.
But of course, this is more Jack's story. As it seems to be running now, if I remember right, the first book was more with Pete as the third person narrator, but lately it's Jack! And Jack is quite the character. Completely flawed, but yet he still tries to do the right thing. He's used and abused drugs, tangled with dark magics and demons, yet he still has a caring heart. And he too feels like he needs to be a better man since he's the father of Pete's child. He wants to be better than his own father, but he feels like he'll be a failure. So there's definitely a lot of self-growth there for him.
There were quite a few scheming demons in this story as well. It was hard sometimes to figure out who was the lesser evil, since they are demons none of them are good. They all have their own schemes and they all want Jack to be their posse and use him for their sinister purposes. And of course there are threats to Pete which causes him to act. It sort of comes down to wanting to rule the world and bring hell on earth while others don't want that necessarily and want to put an end to the other "worse" demons. Confusing to explain, but reads pretty well.
Jack will do whatever it takes to get himself out of the demon's plans, even if it means working with them temporarily. Especially when Pete's life--and their kid's--is at stake.
Overall it was an okay read. At times my mind did kind of wander, I think it has something to do with the world building. I have a hard time trying to keep track of all its rules and how things just "are". And I'm not 100% sure if this was the last book or not. It had an ending that feels like it can go either way.
Overall rating 3.5/5 stars