Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown by Michael Alan Nelson

Published: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Pyr
Pages: 290
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves, Lucifer for short, isn't your typical teenaged girl.  She's a thief who survives by stealing bad things from bad people in the magical and mystical underworld hidden beneath our own.  So when a policeman's daughter, Gina, is kidnapped by a force he can't explain, Lucifer is the only one who has a chance at getting his daughter back.  

With the unsolicited help of Gina's friends, including Gina's boyfriend David, Lucifer's investigation leads to the unfortunate truth of the kidnapping.  Gina was taken to an otherworldly dimension by a creature of unspeakable evil: one of the Seven Sisters of Witchdown.  Against all odds, Lucifer must use every magical tool hidden in her trick bag to steal her way into the Shade and bring Gina back before the Sister sacrifices her for her own dark ends.  But the closer Lucifer gets to Gina, the closer she gets to David.  And David to her.  Lucifer must risk her life by confronting demons, witches, and the cruel demigoddess controlling her destiny - all to save the one girl who stands in the way of Lucifer finally finding love.

It looks as if Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown is the novel length version of Mr. Nelson's graphic novel Hexed. I haven't read the graphic novel - which appears to have been published in 2010 - so I can't be sure though. Let's just say that as a novel, the story was immensely entertaining and kept my attention from start to finish.  It's not a particularly long book, but a lot is going on in the story and the pace is pretty breakneck all the way through. 

Lucifer is a wonderful protagonist.  She's a take charge kind of girl who is not afraid to help herself out of dangerous situations. We learn a little about her background in Brazil, but really only enough to whet the appetite and I suspect that if there are more books to follow, we will find out a lot more about Lucifer's childhood and how she ended up in the US. Lucifer's character seemed older than her actual years and it was kind of funny to see her reactions to David, which made the reader realize just how young and naive about romance she really is.  While I had some reservations about the romance I was surprised and ultimately very happy about the way it ended.

Hexed for me read like many of the adult urban fantasy I have read, but the inclusion of a teen protagonist and the lack of sex set this firmly in the YA category.  With several supernatural elements a quick-witted heroine and an exciting mystery, Hexed is well worth reading.  A very satisfactory ending left hints that there might be more to come and I will certainly be on the lookout for more.

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