NOTE: This review is for a book with mature content and sexy times!
Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett is the first book in the Arcadia Bell series. It follows Arcadia (Cady), a spunky magician with uncharted abilities thanks to her ritualistic conception. Once a child celebrity of sorts within the occult community, Arcadia is now in hiding after her parents faked her death due to the unfortunate murder accusations they were facing.
I felt really torn about my rating for this book. The first 75 pages or so was definitely a 3 star rating – the story was interesting, as was the world building, but it just didn’t draw me in enough for 4 or 5 stars. Then, all of a sudden, the book was a 5-star read! The action picked up, as well as the character interactions and dialog, and the plot really began to progress. Because of the slow beginning and the fact that I had to actively will myself through it, I settled on 4 stars.
I can definitely pinpoint the turning point toward awesome. It was when Cady opened Lon’s front door and stood face to face with Jupe, a goofy, mouth-running kid with a classic film obsession. He was such a bright character that breathed life into a humdrum beginning. Kids can really go either way in adult stories, being either annoying as hell or a strong attribute to the story. Jupe is definitely the latter.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked both Cady and Lon, an earthbound demon with an impressive library on the occult. I was hesitant about their potential relationship at first, but Bennett maneuvered it very well. There wasn’t any mystical insta-love and the conflicts that arose were believable. This story was much more about Arcadia’s pressing circumstances and adventure than it was about their romance.
My biggest pet peeve throughout the story was Lon’s mustache. He was described as a ruggedly handsome, mature man… with a mustache. Not quite a goatee, not stubble or a beard–a mustache (to be fair, it is described as a hot pirate one). Mustaches are just not for me. When I read about a character with a mustache, I think of my friends’ parents during my childhood and Borat. I was happy to imagine a Lon sans mustache, but Cady kept bringing it up in her inner monologue! I’m pretty sure I physically cringed every time. Thank goodness the plot and action scenes were plentiful and distracting!
By the end of the final showdown, I was dying to pick up the second Arcadia Bell book, Summoning the Night, especially since the story revolves around Halloween, one of my favorite holidays.