Dirty Magic

( 26 )



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 she discovers that their ...

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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 she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier - on the same day she swore she'd given up dirty magic for good. Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Patrol cop Kate Prospero didn't know that the bloody werewolf that she shot was the number one snitch for the Magic Enforcement Agency task force. What she has come to realize, though, is that getting an assignment with MEA is just the first step in putting her life permanently endangered. A new series; a new mass-market paperback and NOOK Book original.

New York Times bestseller Kevin Hearne
"Kate Prospero is my new favorite heroine-imperfect, haunted, driven, and dangerous."
www.bn.com on Green-Eyed Demon
"Last year, I wrote that Jaye Wells had the potential to be the next coming of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison. This year, I'll amend that slightly: Jaye Wells is the next coming of LKH and Kim Harrison."
New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris on Red-Headed Stepchild
"A fast-paced fun book"
New York Times Bestseller Vicki Pettersson
"Jaye Wells raises the urban fantasy bar with DIRTY MAGIC, a hard-boiled series debut as unique and surprising as the creatures and characters peopling it. Kate Prospero is charged with policing the Cauldron, a magical world so fully realized, and so gritty, it gets under your nails. Wells is known for deftly weaving non-stop action with no-holds barred humor, but the unique and deeply drawn relationships are the real alchemy here. DIRTY MAGIC showcases seasoned pro, Wells, at the top of her game, and establishes newcomer Kate Prospero as the urban fantasy heroine to beat."
RT Book Reviews on Red-Headed Stepchild
"Hold on tight -- a gritty new heroine has joined the pantheon of shoot-first, ask-questions-later protagonists."
www.bn.com on The Mage in Black
"The next coming of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison."
Laurell K. Hamilton
"Jaye Wells has created a fresh, magical world full of potion junkies and alchemists that promises to break new ground in paranormal thrillers."
Seanan McGuire
"Dirty Magic is like nothing else currently happening in urban fantasy. Grim, gritty, and great."
Library Journal
★ 01/01/2014
Well's (Sabina Kane fantasies) new series opens with Kate Prospero, a beat cop in the rust belt city of Babylon, catching a case involving a new potion that turns people into bloodthirsty monsters. Kate swore off magic and potion-stirring when she broke from her family's criminal enterprise, but the opportunity to join a new federal task force to crack down on the dirty potions that have been flooding Babylon's streets is too good an opportunity to pass up. VERDICT Urban fantasy shelves are full of kick-ass heroes fighting crime on mean magical streets, so when a new book stands out from the crowd, it is something special. The characters are what makes this fantasy, from conflicted Kate to the large supporting cast of friends and enemies. Wells has created a world where addictive potions stand in for drugs and covens replace gangs. It is grim and gritty and completely fascinating. Hopefully further volumes in the series will explore Babylon's underworld and criminal justice system even deeper.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316228435
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Publication date: 1/21/2014
  • Series: Prospero's War Series
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 87,672
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Raised in Texas, USA Today bestseller Jaye Wells grew up reading everything she could get her hands on. Her penchant for daydreaming was often noted by frustrated teachers. She embarked on a series of random career paths, including stints working for a motivational speaker and at an art museum. Jaye eventually realized that while she loved writing, she found facts boring. So, she left all that behind to indulge her overactive imagination and make stuff up for a living. Besides writing, she enjoys travel, art, history, and researching weird and arcane subjects. She lives in Texas with her saintly husband and devilish son. Find out more about Jaye Wells at www.jayewells.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Dirty Magic

By Jaye Wells


Copyright © 2014 Jaye Wells
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-22843-5


It was just another fucked-up night in the Cauldron. Potion junkies huddled in shadowy corners with their ampoules and pipes and needles. The occasional flick of a lighter's flame illuminated their dirty, desperate faces, and the air sizzled with the ozone scent of spent magic.

I considered stopping to harass them. Arrest them for loitering and possession of illegal arcane substances. But they'd just be back on the street in a couple of days or be replaced by other dirty, desperate faces looking to escape the Mundane world.

Besides, these hard cases weren't my real targets. To make a dent, you had to go after the runners and stash boys, the potion cookers—the moneymen. The way I figured, better to hunt the vipers instead of the 'hood rats who craved the bite of their fangs. But for the last couple of weeks, the corner thugs had been laying low, staying off the streets after dark. My instincts were tingling, though, so I kept walking the beat, hoping to find a prize.

Near Canal Street, growls rolled out of a pitch-black alley. I stilled and listened with my hand on my hawthorn-wood nightstick. The sounds were like a feral dog protecting a particularly juicy bone. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled, and my nostrils twitched from the coppery bite of blood.

Approaching slowly, I removed the flashlight from my belt. The light illuminated about ten feet into the alley's dark throat. On the nearest wall, a graffitied dragon marked the spot as the Sanguinarian Coven's turf. But I already knew the east side of town belonged to the Sangs. That's one of the reasons I'd requested it for patrol. I didn't dare show my face on the Votary Coven's west-side territory.

Something moved in the shadows, just outside of the light's halo. A loud slurping sound. A wet moan.

"Babylon PD!" I called, taking a few cautious steps forward. The stink of blood intensified. "Come out with your hands up!"

The scuttling sound of feet against trash. Another growl, but no response to my order.

Three more steps expanded my field of vision. The light flared on the source of the horrible sounds and the unsettling scents.

A gaunt figure huddled over the prone form of a woman. Wet, stringy hair shielded her face, and every inch of her exposed skin glistened red with blood. My gun was in my hand faster than I could yell, "Freeze!"

Still partially in shadow, the attacker—male, judging from the size—swung around. I had the impression of glinty, yellow eyes and shaggy hair matted with blood.

"Step away with your hands up," I commanded, my voice projected to make it a demand instead of a suggestion.

"Fuck you, bitch," the male barked. And then he bolted.

"Shit!" I ran to the woman and felt for a pulse. I shouldn't have been relieved not to find one, but it meant I was free to pursue the asshole who'd killed her.

My leg muscles burned and my heart raced. Through the radio on my shoulder I called Dispatch.

"Go ahead, Officer Prospero," the dispatcher's voice crackled through the radio.

"Be advised I need an ambulance sent to the alley off Canal and Elm. Interrupted a code twenty-seven. Victim had no pulse. I'm pursuing the perp on foot bearing east on Canal."

"Ambulance is on its way. Backup unit will be there in five minutes. Keep us advised of your twenty."

"Ten-four." I took my finger off the comm button. "Shit, he's fast." I dug in, my air coming out in puffs of vapor in the cool night air.

He was definitely freaking—a strength or speed potion, probably. But that type of magic wouldn't explain why he mauled that woman in the alley—or those yellow predator's eyes. I tucked that away for the moment and focused on keeping up.

The perp loped through the maze of dark alleys and streets as if he knew the Cauldron well. But no one knew it better than I did, and I planned to be right behind him when he finally made a mistake.

As I ran, my lead cuffs clanked heavily against the wood of my nightstick. The rhythm matched the thumping beats of my heart and the air rasping from my lungs. I had a Glock at my side, but when perps are jacked up on potions, they're almost unstoppable with Mundane weaponry unless you deliver a fatal shot. Killing him wasn't my goal—I wanted the notch on my arrest stats.

"Stop or I'll salt you!" I pulled the salt flare from my left side. The best way to incapacitate a hexhead was to use a little of the old sodium chloride.

A loud snarling grunt echoed back over his shoulder. He picked up the pace, but he wasn't running blind. No, he was headed someplace specific.

"Prospero," Dispatch called through the walkie. "Backup is on its way."

"Copy. The vic?"

"Ambulance arrived and confirmed death. ME is on his way to make it official."

I looked around to get my bearings. He veered right on Mercury Street. "The suspect appears to be headed for the Arteries," I spoke into the communicator. "I'm pursuing."

"Copy that, Officer Prospero. Be advised you are required to wait for backup before entering the tunnels." She told me their coordinates.

I cursed under my breath. They were still five blocks away and on foot.

A block or so ahead I could see one of the boarded-up gates that led down into the old subway tunnels. The system had been abandoned fifty years earlier, before the project was anywhere close to completion. Now the tunnels served as a rabbit warren for potion addicts wanting to chase the black dragon in the rat- infested, shit-stench darkness.

In front of the gate, a large wooden sign announced the site as the FUTURE HOME OF THE CAULDRON COMMUNITY CENTER. Under those words was the logo for Volos Real Estate Development, which did nothing to improve my mood.

If Speedy made it through that gate, we'd never find him. The tunnels would swallow him in one gulp. My conscience suddenly sounded a lot like Captain Eldritch in my head: Don't be an idiot, Kate. Wait for backup.

I hadn't run halfway through the Cauldron only to lose the bastard to the darkness. But I knew better than to enter the tunnels alone. The captain had laid down that policy after a rookie ended up as rat food five years earlier. So I wasn't going to follow him there, but I could still slow him down a little. Buy some time for backup to arrive.

The salt flare's thick double barrel was preloaded with two rock-salt shells. A bite from one of those puppies was rarely lethal, but it was enough to dilute the effects of most potions, as well as cause enough pain to convince perps to lie down and play dead. The only catch was, you had to be within twenty feet for the salt to interrupt the magic. The closer, the better if you wanted the bonus of severe skin abrasions.

The runner was maybe fifteen feet from me and a mere ten from the gate that represented his freedom. Time to make the move. I stopped running and took aim.

Exhale. Squeeze. Boom!

Rock salt exploded from the gun in a starburst. Some of the rocks pinged off the gate's boards and metal fittings. The rest embedded in the perp's shirtless back like shrapnel. Small red pockmarks covered the dirty bare skin not covered with tufts of dark hair. He stumbled, but he didn't stay down.

Instead, he leaped up the gate and his hands grasped the top edge. A narrow opening between the gate and the upper concrete stood between him and freedom.

"Shit!" Frustration and indecision made my muscles yearn for action. My only choice was to take him down.

Speedy already had his head and an arm through the opening at the top of the gate. I surged up and grabbed his ankles. Lifted my feet to help gravity do its job. We slammed to the ground and rolled all asses and elbows through the dirt and grass and broken potion vials.

The impact momentarily stunned us both. My arm stung where the glass shards had done their worst, but the pain barely registered through the heady rush of adrenaline.

Speedy exploded off the ground with a growl. I jumped after him, my grip tight on the salt flare. I still had one shell left, not that I expected it to do much good after seeing the first one had barely fazed him. In my other hand, I held a small canister of S&P spray. "BPD! You're under arrest!"

The beast barely looked human. His hair was long and matted in some patches, which alternated with wide swaths of pink scalp—as if he'd been infected with mange. The lower half of his face was covered in a shaggy beard. The pale skin around his yellow eyes and mouth was red and raw. His teeth were crooked and sharp. Too large for his mouth to corral. Hairy shoulders almost touched his ears like a dog with his hackles up.

If he understood my command he didn't show it. That intense yellow gaze focused on my right forearm where a large gash oozed blood. His too-red lips curled back into a snarl.

I aimed the canister of salt-and-pepper spray. The burning mixture of saline and capsicum hit him between the eyes. He blinked, sneezed. Wiped a casual hand across his face. No screaming. No red, watery eyes or swollen mucus glands.

His nostrils flared and he lowered his face to sniff the air closer to me. His yellow eyes stayed focused on my wound. An eager red tongue caressed those sharp teeth in anticipation.

For the first time, actual fear crept like ice tendrils up the back of my neck. What kind of fucked-up potion was this guy on?

I don't remember removing the Glock from my belt. I don't remember pointing it at the perp's snarling face. But I remember shouting, "Stop or I'll shoot!"

One second the world was still except for the pounding of my heart and the cold fear clawing my gut. The next, his wrecking-ball weight punched my body to the ground. My legs flew up and my back crashed into the metal gate. Hot breath escaped my panicked lungs. His body pinned me to the metal bars.

Acrid breath on my face. Body odor and unwashed skin everywhere. An erect penis pressed into my hip. But my attacker wasn't interested in sex. He was aroused by something else altogether—blood. My blood.

My fear.

The next instant, his teeth clamped over the bleeding wound. Pain blasted up my arm like lightning. Sickening sucking sounds filled the night air. Fear burst like a blinding light in my brain. "Fuck!"

The perp pulled me toward the ground and pinned me. The impact knocked the weapon from my hand, but it only lay a couple feet away. I reached for it with my left hand. But fingers can stretch only so far no matter how much you yearn and curse and pray.

The pain was like needles stabbing my vein. My vision swam. If I didn't stop him soon, I'd pass out. If that happened he'd drag me into those tunnels and no one would see me again.

Fortunately, elbows make excellent motivators. Especially when they're rammed into soft temples. At least they usually are. In this case, my bloodthirsty opponent was too busy feasting on my flesh and blood to react. Finally, in a desperate move, I bucked my hips like a wild thing. He lost contact with my arm just long enough for me to roll a few centimeters closer to my target.

I reared up, grabbed the gun, and pivoted.

The pistol's mouth kissed his cheek a split second before it removed his face.

Backup arrived thirty seconds too late.


I limped into the precinct a couple hours later. A huge white bandage glared from my right forearm and a black eye throbbed on my face. My blood-soaked uniform had been confiscated by the team that arrived shortly after my tardy backup to investigate the shooting. They'd also taken my service weapon, salt flare, S&P spray canister, and shoes. Which left me feeling naked despite the blue scrubs I'd been issued by the wizard medics.

After sewing up my arm in the back of an ambulance while I'd answered the shoot team's questions, the wizard had slammed a syringe full of saline and antibiotics into my ass. The shoot team had waited until they'd gotten a good eyeful of my rear bumper before they declared me free to go. I knew better than to believe I wouldn't be hearing from them again. Especially after they'd warned me to stay within Babylon city limits.

I'd just dropped by the precinct to grab my things before heading home. I'd called my neighbor, Baba, from the ambulance to let her know I'd be later than usual. She'd said it was no problem staying late to keep an eye on Danny. Luckily, she'd been too wrapped up in the show she'd been watching to question me about the reason for the overtime. If I were even luckier neither she nor my brother would notice the bandage on my arm when they saw me, but it would take a miracle to miss the black eye.

My feet felt like they were encased in lead boots instead of flip-flops as I made my way toward the locker room. I caught my reflection in the glass of one of the interrogation rooms and cringed. My one good eye looked unnaturally blue next to its swollen purple twin. I'd managed to get all the smears off my face, but my brunette hair was still matted in spots with Speedy's blood. I needed a hot shower and a stiff drink—preferably at the same time. But first—

"Prospero, get your ass in here!" Captain Eldritch yelled from his doorway. The entire squad room went silent as cops paused to gape at the unfolding drama.

With a heavy sigh, I dropped my duffel bag at my desk and performed the walk of shame. My colleagues didn't bother to cover their curious stares and smirks. For the next few hours, this scene would be replayed and analyzed around the watercooler along with the leaked details of the shooting. Cops were worse than housewives when it came to gossip.

"Sit down." Stress lines permanently bracketed Eldritch's mouth. His baldpate glowed dully under the harsh fluorescent lights. The desk hid a paunch that betrayed a lifelong love affair with fried dough, but one would be unwise to mistake his generous midsection for a sign of weakness. He'd maneuvered his way up from patrolman to captain in a criminal justice system rife with political intrigue and bureaucratic red tape. For his efforts, he was rumored to be next in line for chief of the entire BPD. In other words, he was not a man to piss off.

"I won't bother asking if you're all right because I can see you are. Instead, I'll begin by asking what the fuck you thought you were doing?"

"Sir, I—"

He slashed a hand through the air. "Don't bother. You weren't thinking. Not a damned thing. That's the only explanation that makes any sense. Because I know you were trained better than to enter a dangerous confrontation with a hexed-out suspect without backup."

"If I'd waited for backup that bastard would be running free through the Arteries."

"Thanks to you he's not going to be running anywhere ever again."

I leaned forward, my hands up in a pleading gesture. "It was a clean kill, sir." If you could call blowing someone's face off "clean."

He sat back and crossed his arms over his gut. He hit me with his best cop glare—the same one I used on suspects until they broke under the oppressive weight of silence. But I wasn't a criminal—not anymore, anyway—and I knew I'd done the right thing. In fact, if I had to do it over again I would have made the same call.

"Even if I'd waited for backup the outcome would have been the same." I looked right in his eyes. "He was immune to every defensive charm I tried. There was no stopping him without lethal force."

The captain scrubbed a hand over his face and sat up. His chair creaked in protest. "Christ, Prospero. Damned if I wouldn't have done the same thing." I opened my mouth to ask why I was getting the riot act if that was the case, but he held up a hand to stall my arguments. "Be that as it may, since this case involved deadly force, the rules dictate that I put you on suspension pending an investigation of the incident."

My mouth dropped open. "But—"

"There's not a damned thing I can do about it, so don't waste your breath. We got bigger issues to discuss."

I shook my head at him. Forcing a cop to take leave after the use of deadly force was standard procedure, but I wasn't about to sit on the sidelines with a new lethal potion on the streets. Still, the look in his eyes told me arguing would only prolong the suspension.

"The ME identified your perp." The lightning-fast change in topic nearly gave me whiplash.


Excerpted from Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells. Copyright © 2014 Jaye Wells. Excerpted by permission of Orbit.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Kate reminds me of an older version of Beka Cooper (from Tamora

    Kate reminds me of an older version of Beka Cooper (from Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper trilogy). One that is also more prone to profanity. They both come from the slums, and both joined the justice system to take down crime in the area where they once lived. However, whereas the Beka Cooper trilogy really delves into Beka's character and who she is, Kate feels disconnected from the reader. She spends a lot of time responding to the situation without really letting readers get into her mind. It reflects her take-charge, I-don't-take-any-BS attitude, but at the same time there's lost potential in making her character more complex, as it doesn't really delve into how her past has shaped her into the woman she is today. Still, she is a likable character, and I actually like her habit to spit out profanity like it's no big deal. It reflects the harsh life she's led and is integral to her character.

    There's also the teenage brother she's bringing up. It's clear that Kate's past clouds her judgment in raising her brother, as she tries to shelter him from their heritage. This is a good chance to develop her family life and show another facet to her character, and the story does to a certain extent. It just feels one-dimensional, more like a script played by good actors than something real and in your face. I also wish that we got to see more of the other characters. The members of the MEA seem really cool, and I feel like they could be very compelling characters, especially Morales and Volos. However, the side cast is fairly one-dimensional in this novel. Hopefully they'll be developed more in the next book.

    What really makes the story come to life are the heart-pounding action scenes that really immersed me in Kate's world. It's what pulled me into the first pages and really sucked me in the latter parts of the story. It also features a unique world where magic is part talent and part science. It's really interesting and made out to be the it's-part-of-every-day-life no-big-deal that it is through the minimal world building. Those who like writing that introduces enough of the world without getting bogged down in the details will appreciate this. The world is so interesting, however, that I actually would have liked to see more of the magical world that Kate comes from. Still, I can understand the lack of a magical focus because of Kate's aversion to it. Besides, because of the way the plot is moving, it looks like she'll be forced to confront her roots, and I expect magic to play a more prominent role in the future.

    Overall, this is a promising start to a new series, and I'm looking forward to seeing the world and politics more intricately developed in Cursed Moon, the second installment in the series!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Dirty Magic is a fabulous start to a brand new series by Jaye We

    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 enemies will strike. Its a race against the clock and a battle to uncover the bad magic's roots before what Kate holds most dear is destroyed...

    Dirty Magic is a fast paced, action intense story. Lots of interesting twist and turns with a huge "I didn't see that coming" at the end. There is some romantic tension but is more of a paranormal mystery thriller. I utterly enjoyed this new series. The ending had me clinging to the pages wanting more.

    I received this copy of Dirty Magic from Orbit Books in exchange for a honest review. This book published January 21, 2014.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Excellent Urban Fantasy

    The first book in Wells' new series is an excellent cop procedural/urban fantasy. Kate Prospero is a great character: flawed, ferocious, guilt-ridden over her mother's death, and determinrd to bring down the covens which peddle dirty magic. Her neighbor Baba is a hoot, and the complicated relationship between Kate and John Volos adds real depth to the story.

    There is no flashy magic here, so readers who love mysteries and police procedurals, but who usually avoid urban fantasies, will probably enjoy it, too.

    Highly recommended to fans of Seanan McGuire, Devon Monk, and Lisa Shearin. -- lyradora

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Cant put it down!

    So Descriptive and the story flows just nicely. I feel like I'm watching a movie. Brilliant detail throughout.

    Absolutely wonderful.

    Juicy Music

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2014

    If you're a fan of Kat Richardson's Graywalker series and love a

    If you're a fan of Kat Richardson's Graywalker series and love a kickass character like Harper Blaine. If you love the magical world of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, then you will love Dirty Magic by bestselling fantasy author Jaye Wells! This is the first in a new series and a book you will find hard to put down. Kate Prospero is a patrol cop in Babylon who must walk a fine line between her old life - creating dirty potions, and her new life - stopping those who would put them on the street. Kate is a complicated character, which I love - snarky and powerful, who struggles to make ends meet, raise her teenage brother, keep him from delving into the life she gave up, create a better life for the two of them by joining a special investigative unit, and fight her attraction to an old love that could pull her back to the life, and a talent, she put behind her. Dirty Magic is a fast-paced roller coaster ride. A must read filled with interesting and unusual characters and a storyline that has you counting the days until book two is released.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Great read!

    Awesome new world to get lost in! Can't wait to read the next one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    ?titib .

    ?vmtivmrybmb, "v"btobj,tb, yyi .kg

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Dirty Magic is book one in a new series by Jaye Wells. Kate Pros

    Dirty Magic is book one in a new series by Jaye Wells. Kate Prospero is a cop fighting dirty magic in Babylon. After a traumatic event in her younger years, Kate swore off using magic and now is trying her best at cleaning up the streets. Always being passed over for promotions in her department, she jumps at the chance when she is offered a spot in the Magic Enforcement Agency task force. The task force's goal is to discover who is behind the new potion, Gray Wolf. The potion is turning people into beings that crave human flesh all while being immune to defensive magic. The deaths and serious injuries are building up, so Kate and her fellow MEA task force have to act fast.

    The writing in Dirty Magic is superb. I've been eagerly waiting for another book by Wells since the end of the Sabina Kane series and this one definitely surpassed my expectations. The characters came to life as I read the story, and I had a hard time choosing which I liked best. The world building had me easily picturing what was going on. The plot itself has a bit of everything a reader could ask for, who-dun-it, an ex re-entering the picture, a race against the clock, and an evil villain. I'm really exited for book two, Cursed Moon and can't wait to see where the series goes next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2014

    Kate Prospero has landed her dream promotion (albeit on a trial

    Kate Prospero has landed her dream promotion (albeit on a trial basis) with the Magical Enforcement Agency. She lives to try to keep the streets clean of "dirty magic." Of course, part of the reason she has this mission is because of her own past with said magic. When someone introduces a deadly new potion that turns it's junkies into killers, Kate fears she has special insight into the criminal mastermind behind it all, but there are several potential suspects, all with whom Kate shares a past. When her little brother Danny's life hangs in the balance, she must decide who she can trust, and even more importantly, if she can trust herself.

    I'm on the fence about this one. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It reminded me a lot of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series. I'm not a huge fan of that series, so this isn't necessarily a good thing. However, I did like Kate Prospero as a heroine much more than I like Rachel Morgan. Kate seems much more responsible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Really different from the norm of urban fantasy novels.

    This book strikes me as really different from the norm of Urban Fantasy novels. I want to say it's heavier on the Urban half of the combo. A police procedural with a little bit of mysticism thrown in for flavor. Magic is rather wide spread, but isn't really flashy. For the most part it's potion use standing in for drugs, both legal and illegal. And it's out in the open. The magical world isn't some really big, amazingly well kept secret. So when our hero the cop starts working with a magic potion version of the drug enforcement agency, she's not playing catch up. And there are some hints that we may have only seen just one small selection of what a magic crimes task force may have to deal with.

    The language was a bit saltier than I generally prefer. And there are signs we may have to deal with some kind of love triangle somewhere in the future of the series where I feel like I'm going to lose a lot of respect for the main character for even thinking that one of the two options is a good option. Still, I'm looking forward to giving coming back to this series.

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  • Posted January 26, 2014

    What if the world changed, and instead of drug, magic potions to

    What if the world changed, and instead of drug, magic potions took it's place. You don't need plastic surgery, theirs a potion for that. You don't need antidepressants, or acne medicine, and hair restore, or energy drinks, or hair dye, or almost anything, because theirs a magic potion for that. Even cars are run on magic now, unless you have an old enough model that still runs on gas, which is hard to get. This is an amazing new world to live it. And what if you're a magic maker who is very anti magic. Hehe. But seriously, with the recession and our economy, it's an interesting way of thinking. What if? Clean magic is made by the government, dirty magic is made by regular people without the government. Sound familiar? LOL
    Kate is our leading lady. She's a cop, but she used to be the next in line to a big coven of magic makers. And her family may not let her forget it, but she will do anything she can to stay clean, and magic free, and be a good cop. She's struggling to make amends for things she blames herself for in the past, but she's still a great cop. And when she kills a guy who is totally freaking out on a new potion out on the streets, Kate's world spirals. She finally gets the career break she wants, and gets to be part in the investigation with a special unit team, except, the guy she killed was an informant for them. She finally gets the backing from her cop boss, but only because he has devious ambitions and doesn't care if he uses her to do it. And this new potion, it turns people into werewolf like creatures that kill almost instantaneously, and are really hard to kill. And an old flame from the family coven comes back to haunt her, as he's just surrounded by suspicion with this investigation. 
    There's some great side characters! Kate has custody of her little brother, who is a typical teenage boy. Their parents died, and Kate has done everything to try to keep them together. Her brother is both annoyingly stubborn, and innocently naive. It's quite a relationship he and Kate have. Agent Drew Morales is HAWT, gruff, could be potential for a lover, can be quite an ass, but is a great agent. He's Kate's new partner. Mez is the units wizard extraordinary as he handles all the magic making and also forensics. Agent Gardner is in charge of the unit and she's bad ass! I loved her. She doesn't play. And then there's John Volos, her past, her ex, and her both saving grace and biggest downfall. Oh boy, I have a feeling things are going to get really crazy coming up. And BaBa, and Little Man, I will not tell you who they are, just know they are AWESOME! 
    There's some great writing here. And not just a great plot, but some smaller plots that are great. Like a working single young woman, who is raising her little brother alone, and how to juggle life. Or, with addicts, and having friends and a support system, like AA but with potions and magic. And her hilariously horny old little neighbor pointing out that there's a different between enjoying and abusing things, just like alcohol, a drink  can be good but all the time is a no no. So not only do you get some great fantasy time, but you also get to see some wonderful real life things that make this new series so much MORE! This is a gritty, hard core, eye opening wonderful start to a new series! I am so very in for the next book, please give me more more more!!! 5 ASS KICKING, JAW DROPPING, CONNIVING WOLFY PAWS! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014



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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014


    Sweet. FYI &star means starter. The teams are: Miami Heat: LeBron James &star. Dwayne Wade &star. Chris Bosh &star. Mario Chalmers &star. Ray Allen &star. Udonis Haslem. Shane Battier. Norris Cole. Chris Anderson. Ray Lewis. Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry &star. David Lee &star. Andrew Bogut &star. Harrison Barnes &star. Andre Igoudala &star. Kent Bazemore. Klay Thompson. Francesco Ezeli. Paul Douglas. Chris Landry. ((Sorry that this took so long. MY NOOK IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!!!!!))

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    The first book in the Prospero¿s war series is an intriguing and

    The first book in the Prospero’s war series is an intriguing and fascinating new urban fantasy read.
    Patrol cop Kate Prospero finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force when she kills a werewolf covered in blood of his latest victim on her nightly rounds.  Earning a spot on the new task force could be the career break she’s waiting for, but the investigation leads to the man she walked away from ten years earlier when she swore she would never use dirty magic again.
    This steady to fast paced plot keeps the reader entertained throughout with lots of action, suspense and unexpected surprises that keep the reader guessing.  The story comes to life with vivid imagery and intense details that make the reader feel as if they are part of the story. The strong compelling characters are easily related to and grab the reader’s attention leaving them wanting more.
    The author conveys the emotions, personalities and passions of the characters with vibrant descriptions that make them seem real.  There is not a lot of romance in the story except for some flirting and suggestions, but the story grips the reader with lots of tension building suspense and an interesting story line and unique elements.  
    I loved the Sabina Kane series by Jaye Wells, so I was really anticipating this new series and I was not disappointed.  She brings a fantastic paranormal world of magic to readers using everyday occurrences doctored to fit her world and found that mixing the real issues with the paranormal added depth and understanding to the story.  All the characters were wonderful and Kate promises to be a very exciting and entertaining heroine.  I am looking forward to reading more books about Kate and her world of magic.

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Read from January 15 to 16, 2014 Book Info  Paperback, 400 p

    Read from January 15 to 16, 2014

    Book Info 
    Paperback, 400 pages
    Expected publication: January 21st 2014 by Orbit
    original title Dirty Magic
    ISBN 0316228435 (ISBN13: 9780316228435)
    edition language English
    series The Prospero's War #1 
    other editions (6)
    Source:Netgalley EARC

    Book Buy Links


    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 killed their lead snitch.

    The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she's convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she's been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she'd never use dirty magic again.

    Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.

    My Thoughts

    Kate Prospero comes across as tough with a side of vulnerable, smart mouthed but wise enough to know when to keep things to herself, someone who believes in helping others which is why she became a cop and most of all she just wants to leave her past behind her if only everyone else would do so.

    Talk about being in the wrong place at the right time, Kate has worked for years to earn a promotion but the BPD just kept passing her by time after time. Finding herself smack dab in the middle of the MEA investigation, after shooting what she thought was a routine perp in self defense, Kate may have just landed herself the very job she should have been doing long ago rather than just beat patrols.

    This story flows well, the action when it occurs adds a lot to the believability of Kate’s character because she is in no way supernaturally enhanced but still manages to prevail over creatures who are, the world building is not complete but shows great promise for future books to come as do the side characters who we have mentioned but not yet met but who have a prominent role in the book nonetheless.

    Kate is a very simple but yet at the same time complex character who is lucky to have friends such as Pen and her elderly neighbor Baba, now that she is a member of a team with the MEA, for however long that lasts, it seems like her friendship list has been given a chance to grow. 

    The fun part of beginning a new series is always a learning curve, the new characters and their different quirks and personalities, the world in which things take place, the setup of what story arc the author has in store to follow and of course watching the twists and turns of the plot as the book progresses to the final unveiling of the villain or villains .

    After finished Blue Blooded Vamp #5 and last full length book in the Sabina Kane series last summer it was great to find out that Jaye Wells was going to release a new urban fantasy series. Dirty Magic was just what I was waiting for and now that have had a chance to immerse myself in Kate Prospero's world am ready for more!

    [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog I¿v

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at 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 trouble and a lot of opportunities, but the questions is, what will Kate do about it?

    DIRTY MAGIC turned out to be refreshingly funny and sexy. There were so many lines that had me laughing out loud with Kate’s comebacks. Though the major conflict lies in the fact that she doesn’t want to practice magic anymore, the events she experiences inevitably lead to a hard choice. I love this part of the storyline and felt that it really tested Kate’s character early on. We learn things about her that we normally wouldn’t have and I liked that Wells attacked this early on in the series because it sets a good example of what we can expect from Kate’s character in the future.

    I sense a bit of a love triangle between Morales and Volos. Though I am heavily leaning onto one side, I can see the appeal for both characters. One is a cocky cop and the other is an old flame. It makes me eager to read more of Kate’s love life.

    Fans of the Downside Ghosts will enjoy this series. As it involves cookers, magic and a world that is so uniquely original, I am sure that this series will be just as successful, or perhaps even more so, than the Sabina Kane series.

    DIRTY MAGIC is a flat-out high-octane thrill ride in an alluring world. I can already sense that Kate Prospero will become a highly recognizable name in Urban Fantasy soon.

    *Review copy provided by publisher

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Beginning to What Could Possibly be a Fantastic Urban Fan

    A Good Beginning to What Could Possibly be a Fantastic Urban Fantasy Series

    Dirty Magic was my first book by Jaye Wells and I liked it but not nearly as much as I'd hoped I would. Kate Prospero was an intriguing character with major issues, the world building was unique (an urban fantasy world where magic is being used like drugs and Wizards are running covens like gangs? Oh. Hell. Yeah.), and a couple of the secondary characters could truly only live in this world. Okay so maybe Baba, the pervy, old-brood-next-door could fit in a different world, but Little Man and Mary? Hell to the no. I must admit, LM kinda skeeved me out but the homunculus was so original I looked forward to more of his creepy ass.

    Kate Prospero is an Adept, beat cop on the Babylon PD with a history of cooking dirty magic. Many of the other officers see her as only that and she can't seem to get a break even though she is good at her job. That is until she's walking her beat and comes across a guy hopped up on a new potion called Grey Wolf. The potion has given him wolf like features, claws, and raging blood lust. In the process of taking the perp down, Kate catches the eye of the Magic Enforcement Agency task force and soon becomes part of their team. Together they will work to discover who is behind the creation of Grey Wolf and try to rid Babylon of the dirty magic.

    I give Dirty Magic, the first book in Jaye Wells Prospero's War series 3.5 stars. It was a good beginning to what could possibly be a fantastic urban fantasy series. I look forward to learning more about Kate, her uncle Abe, and seeing what's to come of her interaction with Volos.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Um? What happened

    Only an extended preveiw the preview ends a cliff hanger

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014


    Getin ready 2 read this book

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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