Publisher: Mind Your Muse Books
Series: Madison Fox Illuminant Enforcer #1
Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.
On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.
When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life.
This is a well-written paranormal urban fantasy about a girl who can 'see souls'. This innate gift can be trained into an ability to destroy evil. The main character is a 25-year-old woman called Madison who up until the first chapter of this book has shown little to no interest in using, understanding or developing her gift (curse?), which she has had her entire life.
It was a bit grating that this character would be so uninterested in her unique ability for the first 25 years of her life, with a lack of back-story as to why that would be the case.
When she discovers that her gift is not as unique as she thought, from a man who can teach her about it, she still seems surprisingly uninterested.
I thought the character acted more like a teenager - and if she was a teenager, the lack of use of her gift might be easier to explain.
For a significant chunk of the book, the character seems to have little motivation for doing anything, other than getting enough money to pay her credit-card bill - not particularly inspiring.
What I liked:
Madison starts off as a very ordinary, humourous woman with depressingly little going on in her life. While the first third of the book is a bit slow, once Madison discovers that there is a larger evil growing in her town and she embraces the idea that it is down to her to stop it, the book really picks up.
While there is a potential romantic interest set up in this book, little is made of it, and I thought that was a good thing as the story concentrated on developing Madison as a heroine that can and will fight the evil her gift allows her to identify.
The second half of the book is quite fast paced and exciting and I enjoyed it. It left a good setting for more adventures, with an main character that has embraced her role as a paranormal heroine.
Why it doesn't get 5 stars:
I enjoyed this, and it is well written, so it gets at least 4 stars.
The niggles listed above would probably have been enough to lose it a star, but what really lost it is that it is a bit predictable. By the end of the first chapter, you can probably guess how most of the plot will go - it is the same as most other Urban Fantasy. It is a recognisable formula, that seems to work so I can't blame anyone for sticking to it, but the lack of deviation was a little disappointing."
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