Series: Baba Yaga #1
Published by berkley on September 2, 2014
Genres: Mythology, PNR, Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…
Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.
But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.
Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…
This story was a bit of a let down. It comes across as an Urban Fantasy, but ends up being more of a Contemporary Romance with paranormal aspects. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, except…this was just too easy, and too light. I’d call it PNR lite.
So we have this amazing new paranormal concept-bringing in Russian mythology in the form of the Baba Yaga. We have a leather wearing, sword toting, dragon having, motorcycle riding witch. She’s called to a small town to help locate missing children. But, and it’s a big but, the plot becomes secondary to the romance. The story has all this exciting potential, and it’s not a kick-ass story with a kick-ass heroine. I was honestly expecting another Janet Begay from Stormwalker, or Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series, but I got a PNR lite.
Now, once I realized this wasn’t a super intense PNR, or UF, or even a Romantic Suspense, I was able to enjoy it a bit more. BUT (there’s that word again), it still was a bit of a let-down in the mystery/suspense department.
Basically children have been going missing for the past 6 months and everyone is stumped, especially the sheriff. The grandparents of one of the children call on the Baba Yaga to help find them. Enter Barbara Yager. She pokes around a bit, realizes that magic must be afoot, has an inkling of who’s to blame, and then goes and drops the ball. She has lots of chances to shine, and just…fizzles.
The sheriff is, well, he’s not my idea of a hero. He’s more of a Boy Scout. And I guess that isn’t bad,but I feel like there were several instances where he didn’t even stand up for himself, so it’s hard for me to see him standing up for others, let alone as hero material.
I have the next book Wickedly Wonderful, and I’m not really in any hurry to read it. It’s a shame. The mythology is there, it’s just that this doesn’t have the world-building I love that comes with PNR, it doesn’t offer much in the way of PNR for that matter.
As long as you know going in that this is NOT UF or PNR, it’s a contemporary romance with paranormal bits and pieces, or PNR lite, whichever you prefer, you should be fine. I think that might appeal to some readers as well, because I know not everyone wants an intense PNR, or a gritty UF.
***ARC courtesy of Berkley