Black Magic Woman (The Others, #11)Black Magic Woman
by Christine Warren

My rating: 2.5 of 5 flames

At the beginning of this book is an author’s note and when I read it, I felt as if Ms. Warren had read my review of Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here and this note was addressed to me personally. Which made me instantly think that this book would rock my socks…and yet, I had the same exact problems with this book I had with Prince Charming.

My complaint is that the author tells us that these heroines are strong and intelligent women, but we never see it. Here, Daphanie is at her sister Danice’s wedding (heroine from Prince Charming), when she sees a little red hand groping the table for a soda. Ducking under the table, she finds a little red imp (remember Quigley from Prince Charming? He left Mac and Danice in Fairie and bailed) Daphanie thinks it’s a great idea to have him take her to an Other club. Her big mouth gets her into trouble and she blames everyone else. Dude, if you’re in a club with Others, it’s like riding the bus-eyes down, don’t make eye contact. Put your bag on the seat next to you so no one will sit with you, and keep your mouth shut. Ignorance is not an excuse. That should be the motto of this and the last book-“the Carter sisters-Ignorance is not an excuse.”

Asher, a Guardian (think like an angel, but without any religious affiliation) steps in to prevent the ignorant human from tangling with a witch doctor. She is at first grateful, until she sees that he’s telling her to keep quiet, quit insulting the witch doctor and listen to him. Well, no one tells Daphanie what to do, even if she’s in a bar full of Others. Asher has to step in and claim her as his new charge to keep the Witch Doctor from cursing her. He gets her out back, and she’s all “Hey buddy don’t think you can fight my battles, I’m a strong woman whose mama raised her with manners…blah blah blah…” Seriously?

Asher is stuck with her, but he’s 500+ years old, and while he’s falling for her, she’s mortal, he’s not. He can’t make her immortal like a vampire, so how will this work? I’d love to tell you, but they never address it again. At one point, Daphanie is getting powers like enhanced senses of smell and hearing, but like the mortal/immortal relationship, it never comes up again.

I love a good alpha male, I truly don’t mind if they are cliched, but Asher could have been AnyAlphaMale. That’s my new name for him-he was very flat and 2 dimensional. He growled, he grunted, he was hot, he was protective. And that’s about it. Generic alpha hero…oh, but he didn’t do anything heroic. He was a Guardian. A type of Other thought to be myth by the, well, myths. And his powers were such that he made everyone shiver in fear. There were no tales at all of the Guardians ever losing a ward. Once his wings unfurled, he was such an intimidating sight, but that’s all we ever saw of him-intimidation. Not once was he able to save Daphanie. At the very end, it was a group effort, which was fun to see the other characters, and although this is book 11 it’s really one of the early ones that is before the Veil is lifted. so at this point in the novel, many of our previous heroes/heroines haven’t met yet. And the Others are still hiding from humans. But my point is that Asher didn’t do it. He’s this big bad Guardian who strikes fear into the heart of Others everywhere, and I never saw any reason for that. There was no final battle where he wins, or super cool power that ended everything. He stumbled along not knowing how to help her, or even if the Witch Doctor was powerful, or a charlatan. It felt so flawed.

So we have a woman who is so idiotic and unlikeable, I wanted to stop reading at 65 pages in, and a Guardian who keeps leaving his charge, but then declares “I won’t let anything happen to you” as he leaves her alone, and that’s it. Our heroine and hero, ladies and gentlemen.

About halfway through the book, the voodoo plot thickens and becomes quite interesting and I thought YES! this is gonna get good! For a while it was really intense. And then it ended. No really. The ending was abrupt. The bad guy may or may not have been killed, and Daphanie may or may not be getting super powers that are never addressed, and Asher was almost the vessel for a voodoo queen to reanimate herself in, and then it ends. Oh, but there’s an epilogue (it was cute, and Warren’s signature humor and wit was in the epilogue, but it had nothing to do with the main plot, or what had happened, or what would happen).

I love this series, I really do-the current plot (the ones that are new, not re-writes) are going in a really cool direction-the lupine virus that some scientists have engineered to turn them insane-way cool. But we don’t see any of that since this book takes place years before that happens. I’d rather just leave the Fixed series as ebook erotic shorts-they read better that way, and I’d rather have some new books.

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