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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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Binding the Shadows

Binding the Shadows - Jenn Bennett ****To be posted as a guest review at Parnormalhaven.com in the upcoming week****Binding the Shadows was on my list of Books We Can’t Wait For in 2013. Jenn Bennett’s spectacular urban fantasy series has earned her a spot on my favorites shelf. The Arcadia Bell novels keep getting better with each addition, and Binding The Shadows is definitely the best of the lot. Her writing is crisp, imaginative, and capped with witty dialogue throughout the story.The first chapters don’t waste any time as Cady and her demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, are trying to retrieve another demon at the behest of Ambrose Dare, head of the Hellfire Club. Cady’s magical abilities have been manifesting themselves in strange ways over the course of the last couple of books, and you see this happen in Binding The Shadows as well. The author has a knack (pun intended) for inserting details about previous books so that you’re not lost if you’re a new reader, but if you’ve been following along, you’re not overwhelmed with the recap. Dare informs Cady there’s been a slew of robberies with Earthbounds using strange knacks. Cady doesn’t really reflect on this information until her bar is targeted and her partner, Kar-Yee, is seriously hurt.Part of what makes this series such a winner for me is that Cady isn’t a perfect, kick ass heroine. She second guesses herself, makes mistakes, and is reluctant to come forth with the truth when it might be better to do so. She’s flawed and the growth you see happen throughout the series is executed exquisitely. The emotional highs and lows run the gamut, especially when Cady meets Lon’s ex-wife’s Yvonne, Yvonne’s mother, Rose, and her sister, Adella. You watch Cady struggle with her insecurities regarding her relationship with Lon, and putting his son, Jupiter, first, even as she’s hurting inside. The way the author demonstrates Cady’s feelings through the internal monologue and her subsequent actions is spot on. One of my favorite aspects within the Arcadia Bell series is the frequent humor and sarcasm that pop up throughout the narrative. This serves to make the read a little bit lighter when things are pretty intense. I would be remiss if I went through the review without mentioning Jupiter Butler. Normally kids don’t do it for me in books as I never think of the characters as capable kids, more as placeholders or a challenge for the main character to overcome. Let me just say I’d be happy if Jupiter got his own novel. He’s very well written as a smart-ass teenager that occasionally thinks he’s smarter than he actually is, he’ll do stupid things without thinking them through, and the things he’ll say will crack me up.The pacing of the book never suffers as Cady, along with Lon, investigates what’s been causing the rash of robberies, in addition to the peculiar knacks that the Earthbounds seem to possess. Cady requests the help of Hajo, a demon with a somewhat dubious knack. A drug dealer with few scruples, Hajo meets with Cady and agrees to help her out by asking his contacts if they’ve heard anything. The ending to the book is just marvelous. I cannot stress this enough. It’s jam packed with action and emotion and will leave you reeling at the end. The ending made me pretty much howl out loud. A cliff hanger yes, but I have faith that the author will wrap things up nicely in the 4th book that will be out next year. Binding the Shadows is urban fantasy at its finest and I *strongly* encourage anyone who hasn’t read these books yet, to pick them up and give them a try.