Wednesday 20 March 2013

[Book Review] Mojo Queen and Red House

I don't normally write reviews of more than one book at once, but considering how close together I read these two, and the fact that they're the first two books of a series, then I thought I'd make an exception for the phenomenally talented Sonya Clark.

Mojo Queen and Red House are both about paranormal investigator Roxanne Mathis, who just so happens to be a practicing witch. Often aided and abetted by her ancestor, vampire Daniel, Roxie spends Mojo Queen doing battle with a demon summoned into a young woman, while in Red House, she's fighting to clear a B&B of malevolent spirits. In both books, she's both frustrated and tempted by Blake the Sexy Sorceror, a devillish young man with a penchant for chaos magic.

I don't normally read paranormal romance but these books are closer to urban fantasy, and there's enough of the cool energy-blasting and ghost busting to make me rather keen for the next instalment, Hoodoo Woman. Roxie is a strong and independent heroine, with a taste for the blues and a capable streak that made me warm to her pretty much instantaneously, and Daniel is one of the coolest vampires I've come across in a very long time (he's in the same league as my beloved Xan Marcelles). Even though Blake is by turns an arrogant so-and-so and a dangerous man, he's also Very Sexy and the type of hero someone as strong as Roxie needs. He doesn't save the day, just lends a hand when she needs it.

I think a lot of books related to witchcraft could suffer in the wake of movies like The Craft, or TV shows like Buffy, and it's nice that the female protagonist is granted power of her own, to do with as she will. Roxie chooses to use it to help people, by clearing houses of unwanted spirits, rather than using her power for personal gain. There is little in the way of religion here, as Roxie forges a strong bond with the natural world, and she's such a positive, normal character that I couldn't help but like her.

I met Sonya on Twitter, and after reading some of her Friday flashes on her blog, thought I'd give Mojo Queen a go. I read it in a matter of days and treated myself to Red House just after Christmas, a book I read in about four sittings. Sonya writes in such a way that it's nigh-on impossible to put her books down, and her world-building is incredible - it feels both painfully real, and delightfully otherworldly at the same time. Roxie has a clear, straightforward narrative voice, and she's very easy to root for. The combination of the supernatural and other cultures makes for interesting reading, and I keep wanting to look up all of these other forms of practice for extra reading.

I can't actually recommend them enough, so it's fairly obvious they get a 5 out of 5 blunt pencils!

You can buy Mojo Queen here, and Red House here.


Sonya said...

Wow, thank you, Icy! This is awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed the books. :)

Helen A. Howell said...

Nice review.

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