Many thanks to the author for the review copy.
No Rest for the Wicca by Toni LoTempio
No Rest for the Wicca is a cleverly titled dark urban fantasy thriller with a dollop of romance, following the adventures of paranormal investigator Morgan Hawkes.
Morgan is a half-Wiccan witch with ghost whispering talents and an expertise in voodoo rituals that she would rather not think about. But when a serial killer targets local pureblood witches to unleash a dangerous demon, it is only Morgan’s knowledge that can help the Special Forces Agency solve the case. Forced to confront her own heritage whilst fighting her attraction for handsome SF agent Cole St. John, Morgan must accept her past mistakes if she’s ever to capture the killer.
No Rest is a story you can sink into. The plot moves along quickly, the setting is vivid, and the characters are entertaining. While the story starts a little slowly, setting the scene for Morgan’s ghost-busting job, it soon picks up with the arrival of Cole St. John and Morgan’s new mission to infiltrate the local university and get closer to the murder suspects.
The world-building is carefully planned and enjoyable detailed without being overwhelming: a wide and unusual range of fantastical creatures such as trolls, shifters, demons, and vampires are featured, and there are even a couple in-depth discussions on spellcraft and magic when Morgan is undercover at university.
Morgan herself is a likeable and strong three-dimensional character and an entertaining narrator, too. She has a lot of emotional baggage and is very much in a rut at the beginning of the novel, having quit her high-flying job in the homicide department after the death of her partner to move to the much-scorned Paranormal Investigation Services. Taking on the murder case reopens a lot of old wounds and Morgan struggles to confront her past, but she — rather admirably — never backs down
Of course Morgan wouldn’t have gotten very far without Cole, who arrives at the right time and has just the right attitude to kick her out of her funk and get her into fighting shape once more. It is Cole that makes Morgan step up to the plate with his delightful tough-but-nice attitude, and the glimpses of his character left me wanting to know more.
Perhaps my only nitpick is with regards to the writing itself, which I felt could have benefited from more editing as there were a number of typos and inconsistencies. I wasn’t too in love with the dialogue either, particularly in the first few chapters, although it did improve significantly later on. Apart from that, the writing was solid and I raced through the story in only a couple days.
In sum, this is an enjoyable urban fantasy / thriller with great characters and a highly involved plot. I look forward to more titles from this author.
This book is one of my 100+ Reading Challenge!