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Black Arts, White Craft (Black Hat Bureau) Paperback – September 6, 2021
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Black Hat Bureau, Book 2
After a black witch pitched a hissy fit in Hollis Apothecary, Rue got stuck cleaning up his mess. That was the easy part. Repairing the damage he inflicted on Camber and Arden? That makes Rue wish she could bring him back to life just to kill him again. Slower this time.
While Rue is setting her new life back to rights, Clay and Asa are off working a case, but it soon becomes clear that they’ll need her help to catch the vicious creature preying on locals in a small Tennessee town. She’s got her hands full at home, but Rue has no choice. She must report for duty to honor her agreement with the director. Or else.
What she discovers leads her deeper down the rabbit hole of Black Hat Bureau corruption and promises that, no matter how grim the past few weeks have been, the worst is yet to come.
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- ASIN : B09FC6FGTF
- Publisher : Independently published (September 6, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 244 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8471725706
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.61 x 9 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#882,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #28,301 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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In part, I feel like I am missing something, as though there was a previous series that provided the bulk of the world-building for the AU. From the Black Hat organisation and it’s history, Black witches, Daemons, Fae, and Rue herself, I simply don’t have enough information to care about any of the characters or situations. The whole Salem witch trail call back made me roll my eyes so hard that I saw double for a moment. I am currently reading yet another para-mystery book that also features the same McGuffin.
My feelings of apathy and return to teenage eye-rolling was not helped by the hyperbolic descriptions of Asia’s hair as being “miles long” nor the laundry list of homeopathic ingredients in Rue’s various products. Every reference felt like filler cribbed from thrown away notes regarding Midas’s hair or Grier’s sweet treats. Too much emphasis is on the unimportant details instead of the developing the characters or story in a way that makes me want to know more about this series.
As it is, I keep trying to force myself to re-read the Black Dog series that I generally disliked (an all-powerful teenager/new adult hooks up with an immortal incubus who is also her trainer/boss? 🤮) because none of Ms. Edwards’s books bother to develop the fae AU despite having fae characters. I can only assume that the expectation of the author is that readers will have read (and recall) the series that did do the world building.
Granted, it was only in two pages, but it was completely unnecessary. I dislike any woke ideology in my paranormal romance books. It just ruins the whole story, go woke, go broke.
Which is unfortunate because I thought this was a well written book. I enjoyed the characters and I loved how much the characters grew and developed in the second book.
Rue was, before Colby entered her life, the darkest of black witches, sustained and strengthened by devouring the hearts of her supernatural targets. She was employed by the Black Hat Bureau, a clandestine agency tasked with pursuing the worst of the worst of the paranormal world. After Colby? Rue finds herself deeply changed, at odds with her ruthless, conscienceless habits and persona.
In action that precedes the first novel’s beginning timeline, we learn how Colby became as she is and how she snd Rue came to be a pair. Rue’s rescue of Colby came too late to preserve her human form; the killer, the Silver Stag, had already transformed his prey into a white moth. He was preparing to gobble up the purity of her soul when Rue killed him. Rue’s whole world vision shifted irrevocably when she linked herself to the girl-moth; she took it upon herself to change her ways, to forgo her past villainy and begin to practice white magic. She escaped the Black Hat organization and began live anew as a shopkeeper in the southern U.S., making herbal and natural products for sale, and creating a life with her new foster daughter/ward/ familiar.
The first novel in this series brings Rue back into the Black Hat fold, introduces us to her wonderful former partner and baking powerhouse, a golem named Clay, and his new partner, a dae (half fae, half daemon) named Asa. In the course of the action, Rue and Asa begin a curious fascination, Colby comes into her own as Rue’s familiar, and Rue begins to realize how difficult it will be to do her old job using only her new white-witch powers.
In this second novel, Rue is called upon again to assist in a Black Hat case. A dangerous grimoire plays a pivotal role. Rue begins a more serious flirtation with Asa and his daemon alter-ego. And Rue’s sanctuary, the home she built and the town she lives, is further threatened.
This series has all the hallmarks of the author’s best work. I cannot wait until the next installment, so I can read more about Rue, Asa, Clay, and the cutest, size-shifting, fuzzy-butted, online-game-playing, adorable moth girl I’ve ever had the pleasure to imagine.