Favorite Lines: “Leave me alone,” he said flatly. “Get the hell out of my life.” (p. 210, e-galley)
Val Shapiro has a secret she’s desperate to keep—she’s lost her slayer powers.
As the new guardian of the Encyclopedia Magicka, Val expected the books to give her powers to replace those that disappeared after she lost her “V card” to Shade. But the encyclopedia exacts a price for every spell, making the job of guardian a tricky proposition.
When a rogue demon kidnaps Val’s roommate Gwen and Micah, leader of the San Antonio Demon Underground, Val is plunged into the middle of a Solomon’s Choice. The rogue wants the dangerously potent Encyclopedia Magicka in exchange for her friends’ lives; the succubus leader of the Demon Underground in Austin is demanding the books be destroyed rather than let them fall into the wrong hands and wants Shade for herself, swearing to do everything she can to prevent Val’s turning over the books.
The kidnapping isn’t the only crisis Val faces. She’s been betrayed by Fang. Demons and vampires are disappearing. The vamps of the New Blood Movement are forcing Val to keep the terms of her agreement to work for them to combat this new threat. The Demon Underground is challenging Micah’s leadership, and everyone is depending on a now-powerless Val to set things right.
Val needs all the help she can get. Even if it means forgiving Fang and spending time with a dangerously sexy cowboy-vampire.
Cover art: I hate it. It has an 80’s cover art feel that I don’t find attractive or enticing.
Characters:We are introduced to new characters in the fourth installment of Parker Blue’s Demon Underground series. The characters are a paranormal mixture which includes vampires, hybrids and demons. Some of them are clearly evil others force you to sit the fence and wait to find out if they are on Val’s side. I expect to see many of those characters in the future. I also expect to see less of some key characters from past books as the series proceeds.
Plot: The story is pretty straight forward. Val is keeping her word to the vampires and it takes her out of town. Once there, similar to a P.I., she investigates a mystery that takes her places she never wanted to be. It also forces her to see both the demons and the vampires in a new light. She learns about both and her relationship with Shade is tested in an unexpected way. Some story lines are closed, while new ones begin.
Overall Thoughts: At times part of the story was pretty predictable. Remember that the series is marketed to young adults and that the heroine is a recently turned 18-year-old so not all of her decisions are well thought out. Don’t read it as a stand alone novel. The author supplies much back story, but it’s not an adequate substitute to reading books one through three. I enjoy Val Shapiro and loved the ending. I want to see where Blue will take Val next and will be reading book five when it is released.