Friday, May 11, 2018

Caitlin Kittredge - Street Magic

Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete's eyes—or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster's chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she's shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self. But he's able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget's kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey. Even though she's spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago…

Comment: This title is one of the longest standing ebooks I've had in my ebook pile. I got it, along many others (I won't confess how many), years ago, most of them the first installments of PNR and UF series. I had this strategy that if I could accumulate as many as I could, even if one day I couldn't buy anymore, I would still have plenty to occupy me. Besides, I reasoned with myself, only getting the first book was a good compromise, if I didn't like it, I wouldn't need to get the rest of the series.

Before getting into my real comment about this book (which I didn't enjoy much), I must say some things about the PNR genre and my interest in it.
I "discovered" the genre back in 2009, my starting point was the BDB and I've read a lot since that, always trying to find a new series to be captivated by. I know I wouldn't find the same tropes and ideas as well portrayed in every new series or with any author but I hoped. 
But things, as taste and preferences, change and I think I've changed a bit in how I see things so some PNR stories no longer seem as fascinating... I can't decide if this is only me and my own perspective or if the books have gone to a path or a style that I just don't enjoy as much. 
However, when it comes to books written or published in past years, is it my current taste that has changed that much and stops me from appreciating them now? Or are some books simply not as good? Interesting things that make me think...

So, back to the book, this is a stroy about magic and magic users and beings. A detective, who has seen her share of magic, now finds out an anonymous person who gave an information about a case she is working on happens to be the man she really liked years ago and who she had seen die.
Pete Caldecott is practical and realistic but meeting Jack Winter again makes her existence change completely. Will she be able to stay focused on her work while getting herself even more into London's magical world?

What I just wrote is pretty much what I got from this book. I found the story very confusing, there were situations not always clear to me and some characters that didn't made much sense or that didn't seem to be very necessary. 
I just couldn't find the energy to be interested or engaged enough to want to read. I've paused the reading many times and probably must confess I wasn't as focused as the book deserved but it just felt so boring.

The story was sort of disjointed, meaning, there was a police investigation and that was, I suppose, the focus of everything but there were too many distractions, or the characters would care about investigating, or they would think about the magic, or their past and I struggled to follow any connections that would make everything linked well enough.
I also found some scenes not to be obviously important and if I couldn't understand why they mattered, I felt this resulted in my biggest difficulty to engage with the story. I just felt I didn't have reasons to care about the plot or the characters.

Some readers have mentioned the lack of knowledge the author has about english speaking in England vs the one spoken in the USA (her home country). To be honest I wasn't that concerned about this but I can see why some people might find it distracting.

As for the characters...apparently Pete and Jack were great friends when she was a teenager and he already past 21. The first scene is of when Jack dies (there's magic and demons involved if I remember well) and there's this notion Pete looked up to him and he liked her company. I found this to be slightly disturbing considering she was a minor and he was her older sister's ex or something.
Although in this book they don't become a couple, it seems that is the path the future books will take but I won't read more and find out.
There were also other situations about them, personally, I wasn't a fan of, but the overall feel of the story, being unattractive to me, has colored things I didn't really care about the details I'd find even more annoying had I been able to focus.

Now I wonder if I had read this when I was still loving the vibe of anything PNR, would I have liked it more? The what ifs of life.
I can say this story wasn't something I liked much, the magic content wasn't intriguing enough to make me want to spend time in this "world". 
A positive aspect I can think of though, the chapters were short.
Grade: 3/10

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