Received via NetGalley from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest and completely unbiased review.
Also posted on Silk & Serif
I don't even know where to start. I have a long history as a teenager with an interest in occult literature, folklore and YA Novels. I at one time adored witch books because it was a world where magic was real and dreary, mundane world could melt away to give birth to one where anything was possible. In The Air Tonight surprisingly transported me to a world where magic existed on a smaller, more realistic scale. The main characters were people I could identify with regardless the fact that we live in completely different worlds. I work in a boring office or a fast food joint on the daily, I am in no way a cop or a kindergarten teacher. I am a chunky white girl who has absolutely no Haitian ancestry or adoration for children (seriously, put me in a small room with kids for an hour and bad things happen), yet the characters were ones I could relate to like old friends.
I want to include here that I adored
the fact that the main character did not have parents. She didn't complain, victimize herself or place blame on others. She said "so I was abandoned and unwanted, but that doesn't make me worthless". She moved on with her life: bad ass!
Obviously, as a romance book, there were sex scenes. I was a bit leery of sex scenes concerning magic. Would it be like A Discovery of Witches
where her powers go amok? Or would it get over the top like The Trouble Maker Next Door
? Would I be skipping up to fifty pages of sex in this book to get back the story line? Nope! The scenes were tasteful, realistic and to the minimum. Once the main character and the hero get together it doesn't take over the book, and we still have concentration on the mysterious killer who marks his victims with a brand.
The crime mystery portion of the book is fantastic as well. I don't want to spoil it for readers, but it includes an ancient order and prejudices. Handeland keeps most of the huge breakthroughs until midway or near the end of the book with breadcrumbs for the readers to lead themselves to the killer. I love a romance with a bit of real mystery writing.
Finally, I want to include that although this is a book about a woman who finds her heritage as a witch, there is only sprinkles of "witchery" throughout. Refreshing! Bobby and Raye must figure out who is killing witches the old-fashioned way. No need for crazy spells, incantations or telekinesis! Raye also must hide her ability to see ghosts from Bobby, who has his own dark past with psychics.
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy paranormal romance, witch or occult novels, fun novels and simple mystery novels. Well worth the read if you want something paranormal without too much saturation.