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Dirty Magic

(Prospero's War #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  5,482 ratings  ·  652 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
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
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
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 h
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
💥 Feb. 9, 2021: only $1.99 today!

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
Mar 05, 2016 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
Oct 09, 2016 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 hy
Jan 30, 2014 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 s
27 April 2020: $1.99 on Kindle
8 April 2020: $3.99 on Kindle

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-diss
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
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
Elise (On The Bookshelves)
Finally found the motivation and time to finish this book! 'Dirty Magic' is an urban fantasy novel and it was surprisingly enjoyable, just goes to show that my older brother has good taste!

If you've read Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, then you'll most definitely enjoy this, although it's less fantasy in comparison to Anita Blake. The main character Kate is a patrol cop and she possesses the ability to brew potions, which are essentially seen as drugs and include vanity potions, blood
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 09, 2014 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
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
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
Oct 05, 2013 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
Aug 27, 2013 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

Another MacHalo Group read beginning October 3, let me know if you want in on this action if you're not already a member.
Hmm, this could be fun.

I've been meaning to read this series for ages now, I've heard great things about it. I finally found the time to start and well, I'm not exactly ecstatic about it, but it does have a lot of potential!

I don't love Kate yet, but Danny is cool. I can't say I love the male characters, either, but they might end up being fun.

So, I just have to continue this series and see what happens.
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

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 t
May 20, 2013 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 st
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! It had a kinda gritty, noir television series feel. You know what I mean? Like one of those fantasy tv shows that opens in an alternate reality where magic takes the place of drugs, but more powerful. Magic is in common use to alter appearances but then can become addictive and have terrible consequences.
Kate is one of the few with the gene to make spells. You can identify them easily because they are left handed.
Kate refuses to use magic in her police work even whe
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. ...more
Feb 05, 2014 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 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was UF definitely not PNR. Kate has a love interest but it's not the focus or a plot device, it's more of life experience. Everyone has an ex everyone has a cute coworker that maybe would be a fun tumble...
This book could be described as dark or gritty it is surely not light or bubblegum fantasy. Great world building well rounded characters. Plenty cussing.
I will continue to follow this series.
Jan 08, 2014 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
Beth Cato
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, urban, 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
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-won
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 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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

"MAGIC IS A DRUG. CAREFUL HOW YOU USE IT. The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there's a new blend out there that's as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she's brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.
Especially when sh
This was more like a 2.5 but I don't believe in rounding up.

This actually started out a strong 4. Kate prospero current cop, is a recovering dirty magic cooker (I.e she used to create street potions that are used as drugs). Her ex coven is at war with several other covens.

I was turned off by the lack of chemistry between prospero and her work partner who we are supposed to believe have sexual tension (there is none). Prospero has more chemistry with her ex flame.

Don't think I'll be continuing
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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

Other books in the series

Prospero's War (4 books)
  • Cursed Moon (Prospero's War, #2)
  • Deadly Spells (Prospero's War, #3)
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