Willow’s Review of Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
Paige Winterbourne was always either too young or too rebellious to succeed her mother as leader of one of the world’s most powerful elite organizations- the American Coven of Witches. Now that she is twenty-three and her mother is dead, the Elders can no longer deny her. But even Paige’s wildest antics can’t hold a candle to those of her new charge- an orphan who is all too willing to use her budding powers for evil… and evil is all too willing to claim her. For this girl is being pursued by a dark faction of the supernatural underworld. They are a vicious group who will do anything to woo the young, malleable, and extremely powerful neophyte, including commit murder- and frame Paige for the crime. It’s an initiation into adulthood, womanhood, and the brutal side of magic that Paige will have to do everything within her power to make sure they both survive.
This has been my favorite book of the series so far. While I like Elena and enjoyed her two books, I find I can connect with Paige more. Truth be told, this was the first book of Armstrong’s that I had ever read, so coming back to it was interesting. There was a lot that I had forgotten, but some scenes I remembered clearly. The skyclad Wiccans scene is one example of a moment that I remembered and I giggled just as much this time around as I did the first time I read it. =^.^=
And that right there is one of the reasons I liked this book more than the first two…it had more humor than the previous ones. Paige’s one liners kept me amused the entire read and I loved that she didn’t allow everything going on around her to stop her from fighting for what she wanted. There were several moments where she easily could have thrown her hands up in the air and called it quits, but she didn’t. As a result, I believe it is safe to say that she has grown a lot since she was introduced in Stolen. She’s definitely become a strong leading character.
I also found the discussion of spells and the distinction between Witches and Sorcerers to be fascinating. While I liked the werewolf history from the previous books, I felt that Armstrong had a stronger grasp on the history of her characters in this one. Actually, Armstrong had a better grasp of everything in this book. Her world building was stronger, the character development flowed smoother, and every element introduced in the previous two books was given a clear explanation in this one. In short, the book felt more solid.
Another thing I liked was you didn’t have to read the previous two to know what was going on. Yes, there is mention of the events in Stolen, but the book really does stand on its own seeing as the main focus is entirely on Paige and Savannah. It’s nice to be able to have a choice on where you would like to start in a series sometimes. Yes, it was nice to be introduced to Paige via Elena’s stories, but I believe it would have been just as enjoyable reading Paige’s story first and then learning about Elena later. ~shrugs~
So after three books in the series, I’m curious to see what happens and who I shall meet in the rest. I already know that Industrial Magic is another of Paige’s stories, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading it next month! Here’s hoping that I love it as much as I did this one.