K. Bird Lincoln's Reviews > Punished

Punished by Kira Saito
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Mar 25, 2012

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Arelia LaRue is still at Darkwood "working", still fighting with Ivan, and still attracted to mysterious, cursed Darkwood-owner Lucus.

If you haven't read the first book, the instant plunge back into events might throw you off a bit.

All the things I liked in the first book of the series are here, too; interesting Voodoo/Hoodoo spirits with tricky personalities, brooding angst from Lucus, and Arelia's spunk in navigating the tricky waters of magic in African/Hoodoo mythology. I enjoyed the focus on smells and delicious sounding cuisine (buttermilk drops and chocolate)

However, the things that keep it at three stars are that the side characters of Aunt Mae, her rich friend Sabrina, Ivan (at least until the very end), and Mr. Dumpty were fun when they were first introduced, but since I found little development in this book, those side characters kept appearing and playing the same role over and over again.

Mr. Dumpty said self-centered things and got drunk. Arelia encountered Ivan who grabbed her, said sarcastic and mean things, and Arelia told him off and called him creepy (until the very end but I can't talk about that without spoilerage). Sabrina became a caricature of a rich spoiled girl overly name-dropping designer names and lusting after Lucus completely clueless to her best friends' feelings or magic adventures. Henri was reduced to sad, puppy dog eyes constantly giving Arelia iced chocolate coffee.

What kept my interest despite the sense of marking time were the little vignettes of Arelia encountering various Hoodoo spirits as well as the developments of her encountering alternate Lucus (although the insta love there was a bit too much for my taste) and finding out more about Louis.

For an author of Saito's popularity/experience, I was surprised there wasn't a bit more attention to editing. Some typos and overuse of creative dialog tags sometimes tripped my annoyance wire. "His dark eyelashes casted long shadows on his smooth tanned skin and highlighted the sharp angles of his cheekbones." and exchanges like this:

"I like rum," it answered.
"He only wants run," I advised.
"Arelia..."
"Fine, show yourself," I instructed.

Despite my quibbles, I think Saito's series is worth your time and 2.99 for a light and entertaining read.

This Book's Snack Rating: Still the same, sweet airy taste of store-bought beignets with a little bite at the end to peak your interest.
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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I noticed the editing issues & the 1st book and found out they're self-published, which explains a lot :-(


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