Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/27/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Paranormal
The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge: Book One
Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.
When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.
Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.
If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spell bound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows.
I loved this world and the way the author made these paranormal beings his own. I loved learning about the differences in wizard, witches, and warlocks. I loved learning about their capabilities and their behaviors.
I loved the suspense as the bad guy was searched out and slowly revealed. I loved that there was more than one bad guy and that things were not just given away like in some bad B-movie. I loved the darkness that surrounded this story. I loved the imagery and the way the big bad was oily, and dark, and full of venom. The big bad was well portrayed. I also loved that the big bad was not captured in this one, but that the mystery will carry over into the next story as another way to connect this series. I liked that the plot felt concluded for this story, but was still open enough to carry forward.
I liked the MCs. Drake and Mason were teenagers and written as such. I did not feel like this was a case of grown men in teenage bodies who acted like adults sexually but then were teenagers when the author found it convenient. These were high school seniors, with hormones, emotions, and the shortsightedness of the young. Yet they were also a set of fresh eyes in a world set in its ways. I loved the way Drake and Mason brought forth new ideas that challenged authority, but were not cocky know it alls about it. They were great boys.
I loved that Mason grew throughout the story and that his growth was appropriate for a teenager. He had depth but was still shallow. He grew from this hard, badassed creature to a person who felt and loved. I loved that his magic mimicked his growth. As Mason accepted himself fully, his magic came to him and obeyed his commands, well mostly. I loved that life mirrored emotion.
However, I sometimes felt like I was missing something. Sometimes I wanted more information or more time spent on some ideas. Like the title concept of being spell bound. It was mentioned at the start of Drake and Mason’s relationship, but was not explored. It came across more as a reason for the insta-love. I felt it was a convenient way to excuse the fact that Drake and Mason’s love developed behind the scenes and very quickly. I am also assuming that being spell bound is also the reason Drake was so easily able to understand and accept the paranormal world around him. His trust in Mason was almost instant and with very little apprehension. Drake really never processed anything or questioned it with more than the token resistance needed to make it somewhat believable.
I also felt that things were glossed over or were too easy where the bad guy was concerned. The battle against the vampire happened in a few paragraphs and felt too perfectly executed. These battles felt set up so that Mason’s powers could be revealed and so Drake could be brought into the fold. Yes, there were powers used and that was great, but things resolved quickly and easily on Mason’s first try at using his previously unknown powers. He just magically knew what to do. I felt like any struggle was overshadowed by the need to resolve things quickly to move the plot forward.
Overall though, I am loving this series. The things I wish were more fleshed out were not enough to derail my enjoyment. The world is fantastic and I want to know more about Thad and Pierce. I can’t wait for the next book so I can find out more about the real big bad and more about warlocks and their world.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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