Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, #1)” as Want to Read:
Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dirty Magic (Prospero's War #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  3,952 Ratings  ·  530 Reviews
The first in an all-new urban fantasy series by USA Today bestseller Jaye Wells.

The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn't expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she kille
Paperback, 381 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
3.5 stars

Kate Prospero is on patrol one afternoon when she sees something she wasn't expecting. Someone who looks like a werewolf is nom-noming on a victim. She gives chase and ends up killing the baddie.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Then she lands in some hot water for killing one of the MEA's (Magic Enforcement Agency) lead snitches, but they didn't realize that he had wolfed out. A new potion is on the streets and it's one that could be bad for the whole city. Kate wants that place in MEA's team to help bury some of her
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I’m surprised I ended up reading Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells. My TBR list is out of control, and while I read most of Wells’ Sabina Kane series, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I liked the MCs and the plot, and I think the first time I ever got chills from the mention of a specific song in a book was when Voodoo by Godsmack was playing in the background of the vamp club in Red-Headed Stepchild . . .

BUT . . . it was a little too crass for me. Having a sex-fiend of a demon
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Sometimes the MacHalos Listen to Silly Little Me Miracles do Happen and the MacHalos Pick Non-Crappy Books to Read Buddy Reread (StMLtSLMMdHatMPNCBtRBR™) ☢

This book survived being reread by me. Which is, in itself, quite an accomplishment. Not only that, it also managed to retain its 4-star status.

As I am, Little Green Man, as I am.

So. Why was reading this book just as wondrous in 2016 as it was in 2014 (when I was young and naïve and stuff), you ask? Because…

Kate Prospero :
✔ Her name is Ka
Mar 05, 2016 Jilly rated it really liked it
What the hell is "dirty magic"? Well, it's like street drugs as opposed to "clean magic" which is like pharmaceutical medications. Both types are supposed to cure what ails you, but also come with a price.

For instance, you know how you watch a commercial for a drug to help toenail fungus and the spend half the ad telling you all of the horrible side effects if you take it? Like diarrhea, anxiety, heart palpitations, hives, risk of stroke, hair loss, and possibly death? That's the price of gettin
Jan 30, 2014 Patrycja rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnr-uf-sf, 2014

Title: Dirty Magic
Series: The Prospero's War
Author: Jaye Wells
Release Date: 21st January, 2014
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cliffhanger: No.
HEA: (view spoiler)

This will be short and sweet

The thing I appreciated most about this book was that plot was so action packed that not even once for a second I was bored. I really liked the suspense. Jaye Wells done a great job at creating characters and interesting world full of magic potions.

The only thing I missed? Romance! I needed some se
Oct 09, 2016 Choko rated it really liked it
*** 4 ***

A Buddy Read with the UF fans of the MacHallo Group:)):) Let's get our Magic on!!!

When I started this series, I went blind into it with only my fabulous friend Sarah as a guide. I was a bit afraid and felt a bit like the dude whom Kate Prospero, a Babylon PD cop, took to interrogate for a bit said:

"... ""How do I know where you're really taking me? Maybe you got a plan to kidnap me and make me your sex slave."
I scanned a dubious gaze over the man's ratty gray hair, serious dental hygi
Dirty Magic is mature, well-written and action-packed Urban fantasy. It's one of those books that seriously impresses you with its believable and intriguing characters, with it's lack of love triangle and with the way topics such as drug dirty magic abuse are handled.

My MAIN complain however is the limited amount of magic we see. Sure, when we finally got to the part of potion making, it was kind of exciting, but magic in general was rarely used throughout the book except to show the consequenc
This is going to be a difficult review to write. The pages of this were filled with things that intrigued, and things that irritated. This is the first book by Jaye Wells that I've read, though I've had the Sabina Kane series on my shelf for years. My friends have been overwhelmingly positive in their reviews of this book (and the Sabina Kane series, truth be told), so, even though I ended up liking it, I'm feeling a bit of the lone-dissenter here because it just didn't work as well for me.

I thi
I really enjoyed this! It's Urban Fantasy, with more emphasis on the 'Urban.' Kate is a cop in a run-down city that has a drug problem (I mean magic potion problem). People are addicted to illegal potions that eventually alter you from the inside out - or kill you - and a new killer potion has hit the streets. Kate has insider knowledge from her past to help the FBI (I mean MEA) find out who put it there.

For much of the book, this is very much a police procedural. Kate is a cop who is constrain
Maria Dimitrova
Buddy read with the MacHalos that listen to what Sarah says ;) And with this result we should do it more often!

When a book starts with a bang there are two options:
1) It's going to slow down and be a total bore or
2) Be absolutely awesome.
Thankfully this was the second case :) Kate Prospero lives in a f@#$ed up world where magic has replaced drugs. You have covens that cook up dirty potions, which are basically the cartels from real world, corrupted officials and cops more interested in their po
Aug 27, 2013 Elspeth rated it did not like it
I received this a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

When I first read the synopsis of this book I was really excited, so boy what a letdown it was. It had a lot of my favorite aspects, like a strong female lead, and the plot looked quite interesting. Too bad it just didn’t make the grade, the beginning started off with a bang, then slowed right down to a crawl. The plot included a super rich bad boy from the main characters past, which ugh, I am totally sick of. Though what r
Casey ~Kaleidoscopic Killer of the Deep~

Another MacHalo Group read beginning October 3, let me know if you want in on this action if you're not already a member.
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 09, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy Urban Fantasy with a female protagonist (pictured leaning toward us on the cover) that DID NOT turn out to be a PNR (paranormal romance). I almost...almost didn't go 4 stars on this one. I do plan to follow it up and see how the series goes. I couldn't quite get past a few things that bugged me here and considered dropping the rating to 3 and calling it 3.5 but in the end thought I enjoyed the book and had no trouble getting back to it when I'd had to lay it aside. I got to know the ch ...more
Initial Thoughts: 3.5 - 4.0 stars. A solid start to a new series with a very meticulous and detailed world. This is not your average urban fantasy and it promises to be a series to look out for. The first 100 pages have a lot of information about this world - stick it out - it's worth it.

The Review:
Dirty Magic is the first book in Jaye Wells' new urban fantasy series Prospero's War. Dirty Magic is a solid, action packed, magic infused thrill ride and a fantastic start to a new and original seri
May 20, 2013 Brandi rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of easy UF
Recommended to Brandi by: Myself.

Tortured sigh. Looks like I’m still I my slump after all.

I was so excited about this book because I loved Jaye Wells’ Sabine Kane series, and the synopsis for this one was exactly what I like in stories, but this just wasn’t quite what I wanted. I loved that Kate was such an independent and capable woman, but other than that, not too much else ended up working for me. I was pulled in a few times but overall spent most of the book watching the words go by.

I do still like the style of writing
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

I’ve been a fan of Jaye Wells’ writing ever since Red-Headed Stepchild came out so I was very excited to hear she was starting a new series. DIRTY MAGIC is the explosive beginning to the Prospero’s War series.

Kate Prospero is my kind of heroine. She is kick ass, lively, determined and a little vulnerable as well. As she tries to make her way up the career ladder as a patrol cop, she shoots a man who just happens to be the lead snitch in the Magic Enforcement Agency. This brings on a lot of trou
Oct 05, 2013 Mara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy

4 1\2
Everytime I think I am pretty burned out on UF, there is a new book out that makes me change my mind, again. Dirty Magic may not be the perfect novel, but it represents everything I like in the genre.
It's a police procedural/mistery revolving around drugs, in this case magical ones. Like in a real setting, any drug is potentially lethal, and it's made in the same way whether it's pharmaceutical or criminal. In Babylon magic can be legit, ergo clean, or dirty, ergo criminal. With the added
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
The Prospero's War is a new urban fantasy series by Jaye Wells and Dirty Magic has launched it with a bang. I loved this book! It had all the elements of UF I love the most, fantastic heroine, interesting new world, beginning of a complicated romance and a bit of humour. So although I did like Jaye Wells' Sabina Kane series, I get the feeling that I am going to love this one.
Jacob Proffitt
Ugh. There's some good things in this book. Lots of them. But they were all eclipsed, for me, by Kate's stupidity.

The world is gritty, seen through the eyes of a beat-cop, that's no surprise—particularly when Wells has created a magic that's largely alchemical and used the current drug trade as her model. I don't say that as a bad thing. As a choice, it allows you to immediately see the dangers of magic use and the draw of it as well. I mean, imagine that you could buy potions that actually brin
Tabitha (Pabkins)
Dirty Magic was a great read. It is urban fantasy but focused on magic instead of on various supernatural species such as many UF series are that I’ve read. I felt it was a refreshing change from that. Oh don’t get me wrong there was a type of were in this book but it was one brought on by a dirty magic potion rather then being a supernatural race.

I don’t need no stinking magic!

Kate gave up all things magic ten years ago when her mother died from some dirty magic. She also comes from the wrong s
Feb 05, 2014 Deniz rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, botw
Book of the Week 6

Reading it February 8/9


I feel kind divided about this one. Because there were some awesome parts and some things that grated one me.
It was also interesting to see the reactions of my GR friends. Their ratings were just as divided. Some people enjoyed it others just found it annoying.

Let's start with the prose because that's in the middle for me. It's well written and enjoyable but I wouldn't describe it as amazing writing style.

The plot was fun. Never a dull moment. Th
Jan 08, 2014 VampireNovelFan rated it really liked it
Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War #1) by Jaye Wells

Let's start with the quotes!

"I pinned him with pitying glare. 'That the best you got?"
His eye flares at the challenge. 'No, this is.' His hand cupped his balls.
'According to Alice in Dispatch'--I lowered my gaze to his crotch and winced--'there ain't much magical about that wand."

"How do I know where you're really taking me? Maybe you got a plan to kidnap me and make me your sex slave."
I scanned a dubious gaze over the man's ratty gray hair
Beth Cato
Dec 03, 2013 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban, netgalley, 2014
I received this gratis book through the publisher via NetGalley.

I have read a lot of urban fantasy. Frankly, I have started to get burned out on several series because they feel too episodic and the protagonists unlikeable. I enjoyed Wells' Sabina Kane series because the writing was so fantastic, even if vampires are not my thing. Therefore, I was excited about Dirty Magic because it had such a cool premise: a world where magic is a new, ugly form of drug addiction. Wells nails it. This is a fre
Vanessa *the Pixie Princess*
Oct 07, 2016 Vanessa *the Pixie Princess* rated it really liked it
Buddy read with the MacHalos. Books like this are why I love being in a Goodreads group that does Buddy Reads. I would have never picked this up otherwise and I would have missed out. I really like this one!
Sep 11, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-won-arcs
Kate Prospero is a beat cop in the fictional Rust Belt city of Babylon, patrolling a run-down area called The Cauldron. Instead of gangs selling drugs, Babylon has covens selling magic potions. Each coven practices a different kind of magic (blood, sex, etc.) and controls a different territory. Despite the supernatural elements, Babylon is a pretty realistic depiction of a Midwestern city struggling through a recession.

One night, Kate kills a potion junkie, who turns out to be a federal informan
Feb 08, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Review from Tenacious Reader:

Be aware that if you tend to get offended or bothered by swearing or crude language, you might want to pass on this book as it has more than its fair share. That said, I this book was just a ton of fun.

The world is vivid, it’s an urban fantasy where magic comes in two forms: clean and dirty. Clean magic is good, wholesome magic. People can use it in the open, you can purchase clean magic potions and items readily.Clean magic c
Snarktastic Sonja
Mar 21, 2013 Snarktastic Sonja rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This was a Book of the Month in a couple different groups I am in on GoodReads, so when I saw it at NetGalley, I happily snagged it for a review.

Warning: There are slight spoilers ahead. Only slight – nothing major. But, if you resist any type of spoilage, you might want to tread cautiously.

I really enjoyed this book. The world created was a very different tack on urban fantasy – all the fantastical creatures come from potions – potions created by adepts. Ok, so adepts are their own sorts of fan
Katie Michaels
Jan 21, 2014 Katie Michaels rated it really liked it
Ever since Jaye Wells wow’ed me on a string of book convention panels, I promised myself I would read one of her books. If nothing else, I had to see if her writing would be a fraction as entertaining as I found the author to be in person. Honestly, this was nothing like I expected. I kept waiting for evidence of her humor and wit to surface, but this is not that kind of book. It’s dark and gritty. It’s violent and complicated. And I really enjoyed it.

The story follows Kate Prospero, a beat cop,
Jan 22, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Dirty Magic is a fabulous start to a brand new series by Jaye Wells. She instantly pulls us into a world where the line betweens right and wrong/clean and dirty magic immediately becomes blurred.

Once a practitioner of dirty magic, Kate Prospero is now a cop routing out that very element in society. When a new dirty potion is released, Kate must take on her old “family” and uncover who is behind this magic before horror is unleashed on the city. But the deeper Kate digs the closer to home her en
Tanya Davis
Jun 29, 2013 Tanya Davis rated it really liked it
Dirty Magic is the start of a new series by Jaye Wells featuring lead character, Kate Prospero. Kate is a police officer working to protect the world from magic. Magic is used for almost everything is this new world, and as in real life, good things get abused and turned into not so good things. Kate is not going to let even a little good magic into her life for fear of addictions forming, whether they be to making the magic or actually taking it. Kate is strong in her convictions and I guess yo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • House of the Rising Sun (Crescent City, #1)
  • Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock, #7)
  • Hell Bent (Broken Magic, #1)
  • Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain, #2)
  • Night Owls (Night Owls, #1)
  • Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell, #4)
  • Free Agent (Grimm Agency, #1)
  • River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans, #2)
  • Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales, #2)
  • Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Stories, #1)
  • The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1)
  • Charming (Pax Arcana, #1)
  • Jinn and Juice (The Jinni, #1)
  • Edged Blade (Colbana Files, #4)
  • This Case Is Gonna Kill Me (Linnet Ellery #1)
  • Gilded Hearts (The Shadow Guild, #1)
  • Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
  • The Taken (Celestial Blues, #1)
Jaye Wells is a former magazine editor whose award-winning speculative fiction novels have hit several bestseller lists. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a sought-after speaker on the craft of writing. When she’s not writing or teaching, she loves to travel to exotic locales, experiment in her kitchen like a mad scientist, and try things that scare her ...more
More about Jaye Wells...

Other Books in the Series

Prospero's War (3 books)
  • Cursed Moon (Prospero's War, #2)
  • Deadly Spells (Prospero's War, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Why did everyone send casseroles in times of crisis? Why didn't anyone ever send brownies and Jack Daniel's?” 7 likes
“Baba made another disgusted noise and waved a hand through the air. “People allow things to have power over them. You want to get your head right, girlie?” She snapped her fingers together as if she were grabbing something from the air. “You gotta snatch that power back!” 0 likes
More quotes…