*I read this book for my own enjoyment.
Kate Prospero is put on suspension from the force due to a deadly encounter on the job. A man with oddly predatory eyes, fast running, immune to charms, and growing hair all over who's drawn to blood. This man was connected than Kate had ever imagined. Drawing her to an opportunity on a new task force to help clean up the dirty potions and the top of the chain of who's making and selling them. Kate was raised on the streets of the Cauldron and can help with her knowledge, and maybe contacts, to help find who's making the new deadly and dangerous potion.
First thing I noticed, Jaye's descriptions. Nicely done. Her writing feels to have grown greatly coming into this book.
We start into the world with a quick insight to a new potion and what it does to its users. We then take a step back and see Kate Prospero in her life, with family and friends. Her family is a huge thing in Kate's life. She has complicated...issues with some of her family, but her younger brother lives with her. Taking care of Danny and keeping him out of magic, whether clean or dirty, is her goal in life along with helping to clean up the streets as a cop. This is a huge motivator for Kate through out the book.
Then come to the team she'll work with. The crew is fun and I enjoy their interactions with Kate. Especially Morales who becomes like a partner on the beat to Kate. He gives Kate a hard time, but it feels as it turns into innocent picking on a friend a the book goes. They do grow closer as the story goes. We have the cool science guy, Mez, who's a wizard and mixes clean potions for the team going into dangerous situations. And Shadi, who I feel we don't see enough of in this book. She's part of the team but does different parts to the same mission.
This book felt like it was one that anyone who loves cop shows could read. The story didn't feel high in the magic field that others would be distracted by it. The story feels as though it's more character driven based on Kate and her wants and desires to do or not do things, also her complicated family connections don't help her but make her beliefs stronger in her mind.
The magic part of the story is very low key. There is no spells whipping around like Harry Potter. The magic is discrete and in the sense of mixing potions, which are similar to drugs. The making of the potions actually feels more science than magic to me, though there is a moment of magic in making them. The world of drugs and a dangerous city is replaced with the obsession with potions that can make you prettier, faster, to lose weight, to protect you, and much more. But! These potions come at a cost. If you over use them, which we see is very possible as people become addicted to them, you could turn colors like purple, or lose all material possessions with the need for more and end up living on the street. Or, the worst cost to potions, you could lose your life. And we do see this example in the book.
The story is well constructed in we see how the characters are lead to where they go. There are strong beliefs that they don't want to deal with, yet by fighting it they are lead to face what they don't want to. Kate has much going on in her personal life with raising her younger brother, it's hard having a teenager. But Kate also has to deal with a prejudice at the police station because she's a female and because she's an adept. There is plenty of action to go with the story after we get through the introduction phase of the book.
I was impressed with how well all worked together to create the world of potions and the cop scenarios. Well done. I'll be looking to pick up the next few books when I get money.