Friday, July 1, 2011
Review: Black Heart Loa by Adrian Phoenix
“An eye for an eye is never enough.”
Kallie Riviere, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice.
The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as a storm–the deadliest in a century–is born.
As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself.
To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Valin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup-garou designed to steal her heart–literally.
After reading this book I find myself with a bit of a problem, because now I'm not sure which Adrian Phoenix series I like better, Maker's Song or Hoodoo? There's worse things to worry about, I'm sure, so this seems like a decent problem to have, and I never really mind having an abundance of excellent books. Black Heart Loa is another stellar example of writing at its finest, and this is one of the best Urban Fantasy worlds I've sampled. I was absorbed from start to finish!
One of the things that sets Adrian Phoenix apart is the authenticity she brings to her fictional world. I felt like I was surrounded by Louisiana with every new detail and description. All the characters speak the local dialect and slang, so much so that you begin to hear them speaking in your mind, like you are an invisible observer to the conversation and that you are witnessing the events firsthand. The hoodoo aspect of the story isn't just for show, and I love all the explanations of juju, curses, and ritual magic. It feels very real. I wouldn't want to cross this hoodoo family, no way, no how. And that underlying family theme resonates throughout with equal parts frustration and love, lending another layer to the authentic vibe. These characters are believable and the writing is such that it makes it quite easy to care what happens. I worried for Jackson right along with Kallie.
Although I suppose this could be read as a stand alone I would probably recommend that you start with Black Dust Mambo, because it just helps get you in the right frame of mind for these wonderful characters and the multi-faceted world they live in. This group has a few secrets and skeletons to work through and you don't want to miss anything good. Otherwise, you might feel a little lost until you settle in, and starting at the beginning is definitely worth the time.
Black Heart Loa is filled with hoodoo, voodoo, and sexy magic! I don't know about you but I sure do hope that Kallie is the woman that finally tempts Layne into giving up that nomad way of life. These two are so hot they singe the page...8 hour marathon anyone? And not to be greedy with the wishes, but I really hope I don't have to wait long for a book 3!
Other Books in the Series:
Black Dust Mambo
Find more information about the HooDoo series, the Maker's Song series, and all things Adrian Phoenix by visiting her website.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty
*I was sent my ARC copy by the publisher for review purposes.