With her teenage charge, Savannah, repeatedly proving stronger than her in casting spells as well as becoming increasingly rebellious, the last thing twenty-three-year-old Paige Winterbourne needs is for her old nemesis, the telekinetic Leah, to come back into their lives. This time Leah has the backing of a powerful Cabal (a sort of magical Mafia) leader, as she makes a bid to take Savannah away from Paige in order to woo the powerful and impressionable neophyte witch towards dark magic and thus render her evil.
Leah soon resorts to getting Paige in as much trouble as possible, first by exposing her "witchy" ways and later framing her for murder. At this crucial juncture, the privacy-paranoid Elders of the American Coven of Witches refuse to help Paige, who is their leader. Reluctantly, Paige accepts the aid offered her by a young sorcerer/lawyer named Lucas Cortez, whose own motivations are a secret. Unable to trust him fully yet attracted to him, Paige struggles with her own discordant feelings even as she fights the battle of her life against a plethora of enemies, ranging from humans to supernaturals and other unearthly beings. Will good win this epic war against evil? Will lives be lost, once again?
Kelley Armstrong continues to dazzle readers with Dime Store Magic, her latest addition to the "Women of the Otherworld" series. Plenty of characters populate this novel, new ones and old, and there’s conflict between and within these powerful magical beings. Armstrong’s portrayal of her characters, especially Paige and Savannah and their troubled relationship, is utterly lifelike, passionate and captivating. By setting the story and characters in a current context, Armstrong makes the magical happenings look and feel natural and plausible. Paige’s growing dissatisfaction with the increasingly narrow-minded Coven and her struggles to master the grimoires and keep Savannah safe are depicted with sensitivity and an intense depth of feeling. Savannah is a typical teenager with fantastic magical powers, and this combination of immaturity and massive potential proves to be deadly. The book abounds in exciting moments, such as when a necromancer brings the dead to life or when the protagonists are involved in a midnight chase through the graveyard pursued by police and spirits alike. With such crisp, stylish writing and a tautly suspenseful, well-crafted plot, this new installment in the "Otherworld" series showcases Kelley Armstrong at her best.