July 18, 2010

Review: Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoeinix

Black Dust Mambo (Hoodoo, #1)Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix
"There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain't going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse . . ."

Kallie Riviere, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance's annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching -- the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju -- a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.

Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer -- even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie's search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated -- back home to Bayou Cypres Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie's aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.

Starting off, I really disliked this authors previous book, A Rush of Wings. After I had finished it I was exhausted from forcing myself to through it. It was too wordy, like the author was trying to cram to many words into one sentence. There were so many characters that took turns telling the story that I was afraid when ever I saw a page break or a new chapter starting—I didn't want to start on a new character, or go back to characters I just wasn't interested in. A Rush of Wings was a good idea, don't get me wrong, but it had so many issues that it was boring. The pace slowed it down, jumping from character to character slowed it down more.

So why did I buy this? The cover. That's right I'm a shallow cover lover. With this cover, you can't blame me. The blue hues are so pleasing, the bottles in the tree branches just call to me! The lovely lady on the cover looks like she eats Navy Seals for breakfast.

Luckily the insides of this book are just as appealing as the outsides. It was clear about 3 pages into this book that I was going to love it. Sure there were a couple of moments where the writing felt crammed, but it disappears fast and the rest is smooth sailing.

The reader doesn't spend all that much time with the main character Kallie, which is a shame cause she's a sassy anger management case. Phoenix makes up for it though. Where A Rush of Wings was plagued by the annoyance of one new character after another, characters I really disliked, it was Black Dust Mambo's strength. Even the evil villains take a turn in the narration, and it actually works out really good! The cast is so colorful and all are so easy to sink into. Let me just share some.

Belladonna, Kallie's best friend, who's 100 % evil and absolute fun at a wet boxers competition. Dallas, a family friend of Kallies, who happens to be an adulterous lech. Who just happens to have a bullseye on his head by many husbands. Layne, the hot Nomad man candy who is a vessel that ghosts can take over and use his body. Augustine a dominating Brit, with one heck of a sly attitude. Then Layne-Augustine takes the floor, trust me it's just as fun as it sounds. Then of course a Bondalicious babe. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

This book just kept going and going, and when you thought it was all about Kallies dark birth and past. It ended up throwing a curve ball out there. It's hard to find books that are ambitious enough to create a really good plot, and then include a story arc to fit into the next book.

The humor is off the hook!! Even in the most dramatic parts of the book, Phoenix managed to crack a good one. The bayou humor is so refreshing. I haven't read to many books that have taken place in New Orleans, but this has to be the best one. Usually all the Cajun talk and slang really boggles my mind, this time I was speaking the language.

Only one complaint. The book has a heavy dose of repetitive flash backs. Like Phoenix is trying to make sure that this moment is dramatic, the reader shouldn't miss it. Whether it's one sentence or a couple of paragraphs on repeat.

Bottom Line:

If you're looking for a good time and a great mystery this is the best kind of read. Urban Fantasy readers will love the Hoodoo and Voodoo users, as there aren't too many in the genre. If you were put off by Phoenix's other series, don't be shy to try this out. Black Dust Mambo is a ton of fun, between wet boxer competitions, black voodoo soul eating magic, and twisted plots! Just be prepared for a bit of a cliff hanger.

Sexual Content:

No sex scenes that I can remember. However lot's of sex talk and humor.

Rating: 5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession.


Savannah said...

You know, I had a hard time reading A Rush of Wings as well. I read about 40 pages then I had to put it down. I'm glad that this book was a little better.

Savannah said...

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Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Well thank you for the award!!!!

Chas @ LLL Reviews said...

Thank you for a thorough review. I actually like A Rush of Wings but not something that I would recommend to the general UF reader and not a book i would want to reread. But my first experience was good.

I do like all the character input in your review.
I am a shallow cover lover as well!!=) So no shame there!!!

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Glad to see I' not the only shallow one out there. I thought A Rush of Wings was a really cool idea, just not quite that great of an execution.

bookdout said...

Just hopping by..I liked Black Dust Mambo too but haven't tried Rush of Wings yet.

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

It's a struggle. I'm not sure if the others in the series are better. I own them all so I've to to try them out soon.